Saturday, January 21, 2023

Some Jive In 1965

I generally spend the end of a calendar year reorganizing things at home and on and in my various devices and cloud accounts. True to form, I've pulled up some things sent to me in years past that I never got around to discussing at the time.  Today's excursion in exhumation takes us back almost 60 years, to the 1965 Topps Baseball set. 

This was the final Baseball set Topps packaged out of Brooklyn and its always been one of my favorites, with some really nice photography, excellent use of color and a pleasing blue reverse.  I managed to unearth a full 1965 proof sheet featuring 5th and 6th series cards from an old REA auction that went for a relative song.  Here she is:

This behemoth is blank backed and is a little beat up but I'll bet it framed up really nice.  There are seven discrete rows of players, so we have a 77 subject sheet, meaning there's some kind of extra or short printing going on and sure enough, that's how things turned out.

Using the player "heading" each row, like so...

A Bateman
B Blanchard
C Drabowsky
D Bertaina
E Shaw
F Alou
G Jackson 

...we get the following pattern of rows:

Left side (A Slit):

A
B
C
D
E
A
F
G
B
C
D
E

Right Side (B Slit):

B
C
A
F
G
B
C
D
E
A
F
G

That yields the following distribution:

4X Rows: A B C

3X Rows: D E F G

In terms of Hall-of-Famers making an appearance on this sheet, Luis Aparicio (#410) is the one 3X print, the rest (Al Lopez, Carl Yastrzemski, Harmon Killebrew and Willie Stargell) are 4X subjects.

There is another twist though.  I note the 5th Series Checklist runs from #353 to #429 while the 6th Series Checklist spans #430 to #506.  This is why REA describes this as a 5th and 6th Series sheet since the numbering plays out as follows:

361 (5th Series Checklist)

368

371-385

387-446

So that's two stand-alones, 15 cards before the next missing number occurs (386), then a 60 card run to land at 77. The 5th Series Checklist is easy enough to explain as it originally appeared on the prior press sheet, which would primarily have included the 4th Series plus a smattering of cards from the "5th Series" here.  This is because Topps lagged their checklists when compared to the press sheets by "previewing" the next series, which meant some cards from the later series had to be printed with what was ostensibly the prior series.  I have to admit I thought it would be cleaner than this with consecutive numbers missing but in sure Topps fashion, it's not and seems a little sneaky to me.

3 comments:

Bo said...

This guy in New Jersey is selling a '66 sheet for $9,000 on Craigslist. https://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/clt/d/toms-river-1966-topps-baseball-uncut/7579773041.html

Jim from Downingtown said...

I wouldn't think that cards from a "next" series were printed with the previous series cards (except the checklists themselves).

Remember, except for the 1st series checklist, the other checklists are actually part of the series before it. (So for example, the checklist for the 2nd series is actually numbered and listed on the 1st series checklist). It is also reprinted with the series for which it pertains.

toppcat said...

The assigned series run on each checklist card does not match the press sheets for a good chunk of the 1960's, so most Topps series as shown on the checklists were off in comparison. Yes, the checklist cards are reprinted from series 2 until the last series but the way Topps worked it, you could get cards from either "series" (per the respective checklist) on a press sheet. So the cards assigned by Topps to the 6th series in 1965 start at #430 and go to #446 but the majority of the sheet has 5th series cards. It would all get trued up in the final series.