I wrote a fairly extensive piece about four years ago covering the 1959-63 Topps Baseball Presentation Sets, which have long been rare beasts. Friend o'the Archive Don Johnson showed off some of his 1963 Presentation cards recently to a small circle of friends and I was lucky enough to get a viewing and some scans. Some other details have now come to light that are interesting and also add a bit to to the mystery of how these were produced.
The cards from these special sets have been described as being cut with a beveled edge and some are known to be "slightly" undersized. Well take a look at this John Goryl presentation card, pulled directly from one of the boxes:
Seeing this, I went back to the mailer I covered in my post from five years ago that sent a 1963 presentation set to a Yankees executive:
Same date! This all begs a few questions:
- Did Topps save up sheets from each series then cut them up well into the next year's production cycle?
- Did Topps have new sheets printed up to take care of the presentation sets?
- Did some executives write in after the fact to request a set?
- Who cut these things?
Better gloss seems like it's just a matter of applying a shinier varnish, while the more vivid colors can be attributed to a fresh stock of inks or a slightly more intense mix on them. But the cuts can be wild!
Before I sign off, check out the inside peek at the 1961 mailer:
The date can't be found on this, nor the recipient unfortunately but it illustrates how the cards were packaged (with exposed edges in the smaller boxes), and how tight a fit the outside mailer offered.
So once again, some questions on a Topps obscurity have been answered, which in turn have created new ones. Just another day at the office at the main Topps Archives Research Complex and Vault!