Happy New Year folks! Today I want to dip into the recent past, December 9th, 2023 to be exact, wherein I examined some of the subtleties of a 1959 Topps Baseball 3rd series proof sheet. Friend o'the Archive Keith Olbermann recently posted some images of a 7th series proof sheet on Net54 Baseball and was kind enough to send me some higher-res scans. I don't want to usurp the discussion on Net54 but do want to look at some of the production details, just like last time.
Here is the front side, with all 66 cards showing, including the Bob Gibson rookie and Roy Campanella's Symbol of Courage tribute card among its very colorful array:
The reference number for the third series sheet was G-803 and we're all the way up to G-1174 here.
While it seems like the high numbers were issued just in August and September most years, their preparation clearly was undertaken in May, at least in 1959. Since the 3rd series was being prepped in March, it seems like a new series was being created every three weeks or so. With May seeing work this advanced on the high numbers, even allowing for final printing in say, June, there seems to be a bit of a lag built in. This surprised me as it may indicate sheets were stored onsite at Topps Warehouse/HQ in Brooklyn (or in another nearby warehouse of theirs) or even packed and held for a spell. There's a reason that gum tasted so stale even in a newly issued series!
Intriguingly, this sheet has the backs as well: