Friday, May 11, 2012

SABR Haber

Following up on the Topps Teamates near set auction discussed here back on April 26th, Rob Lifson, president of REA has advised regarding the missing, 18th (and last) card in the set:

"I can’t be 100% sure but it may be the Sports Department! I say this because I think the missing card may be the one with Bill Haber (and others). Bill wrote the backs of the cards and I think was officially in the “sports department”. He was definitely in the set, and though I am not looking at the lot or the writeup as I type, I think that card is missing. I owned this set (minus one) ages ago and I probably got it from Bill Haber. Maybe either he kept that one card or I put it aside and misplaced it – I can’t remember – but he was on it!" 

My theory that it was the Sales Department that was missing looks to be incorrect.  REA has kindly furnished back scans and I will add them to the prior post (which has a visual checklist) soon, so check over there if you want to see the backs.

Bill Haber was a Topps employee for quite some time and wrote a lot of what appeared on the backs of baseball cards. He was responsible for bringing many Topps test and proof issues into the market as he was an early dealer; he spun some tall tales about the origins of these sets i certain cases, thereby obfuscating the real story but giving us raison d'etre here at the ol' Topps Archives. Here is a picture of Bill I found at the Baseball Revisited blog showing him as one of the founding members of SABR in 1971:

Sadly, Bill Haber passed away in 1995 at age 53 from as asthma attack.  A tribute can be found here.

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