Saturday, June 11, 2022

Opening Day

I stumbled across something that was both interesting and infuriating a couple of weeks ago concerning a 1952 Topps Baseball pack opening. Yes, certainly an interesting thing to do but it's infuriating to me that it survived 70 years and then got dismantled. Here's a link to the whole video but you will need to watch it on Cardporn's Facebook feed (sorry).

However, there's a silver lining, or at least a white one.  I've known for some time that many of the early penny and nickel packs sold by Topps came with a glassine insert that I thought helped protect the cards from the gum.  However, it seems, after watching the video, it's possible the insert was fashioned in order to allow the gum to be inserted into the pack to allow for a neat final sealing job vs. being a purely protective measure.  

Here, check out these two frame grabs to see what I mean.  This is the arrangement after the pack was opened; you can see how the white insert is partially, but neatly, folded around the five cards within:

Then on the flipside, you can see how the insert is still only providing partial cover.

Now, it's possible the gum rotated sometime during its 70 year nap and was meant to be inserted horizontally and just lightly adhere to the glassine, but it sure seems like the inner wrap was needed to help stabilize the gum and cards for outside wrapping.

Topps would often have in-house advertising or premium offers on the inserts and I'm not sure why they didn't in 1952, at least for the Baseball set (this was a first series pack, with first run black backed cards within) but this video, which essentially documented the destruction of a $80,000 pack in what I have to assume was a quest for a really nice #1 Andy Pafko, at least has given us some good information.

I've seen videos like this before but this is the best view I've seen of such proceedings, disturbing as they may be.

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