View Full Version : 1970, 1972 & 1976 Topps Stickers - Expanding the Knowledge Base

11-12-2007, 11:01 AM
Posted By: <b>Dave Hornish</b><p>Third Installment in my quest to learn more about some obscure Topps test and proof issues. I want to address three hard to find Sticker issues from the 1970's and will start with 1976. These were precursors to the widely distributed 1977 Cloth Stickers. In original article(from 15 years ago) on www.oldbaseball.com I wrote about these:<br /><br />"1976 Cloth Stickers (Unknown)<br /><br />It's very possible this was a two card set, but I'm not positive. I've only seen the Dyer, but know the Apodaca exists. They were battery mates for the Mets in 1974, which might explain things, it's just too much of a coincidence. These are somewhat like the 1972 "Stickers" in that they have no backing, and no glue and some are also diaphanous (that's the opposite of opaque). In fact, four varieties of each exist: silk-like and three types of felt, each of varying thickness. One day long a go, in a card shop whose current lack of existence is still lamented by yours truly, I encountered three strips of the Dyer, three to a strip, one above the other. Had to cut one of the danged things off myself, which was nerve-wracking, believe me. Centering is skewed extremely right on all copies I saw. Should measure the same as a regular card, but hand cutting ain't exactly like using a laser you know. Duffy's an exact dupe of his regular issue card, I assume Apodaca is the same. Rarest Topps baseball issue from the Seventies, I would think. A possible test for the 77's, but these were never released. Probably just a test printing, which was a good idea, as the colors on my Dyer are murky. The silk-like 77's are much more striking."<br /><br />This is indeed a two card set, as surmised above. What I did not know at the time was 1) They are not the rarest 1970's Topps baseball issue (If you count 1970 as part of the 70's, which is debatable but neater)the 1970 Cloth Stickers are tougher and the 72 Candy Lids Probably Are too, not to mentions a few other proof issues that may be one of a kind; 2) There are four types of sticker, which can best be described as sheer felt; thin felt, thick felt or full sticker with backing:<br /><br /><img src="http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p280/dsh46/76attachedcloth.jpg"><br /><img src="http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p280/dsh46/76toppsclothdyerthreefelttypes.jpg"><br /><br />The topmost scan shows a completed sticker version (it has a backing) which I won on Ebay and the bottom one shows the three types of felt, in an auction I unfortunately lost. I do have a Dyer in what is the sheerest of the three and it's pretty thin.<br /><br />Every one of these I have ever seen in uncut form came in vertical strips, not sheets. Now Topps tested these type of Stickers in 1970 (about 20 known but I guess either 22 or 33 were actually produced) and 1972 (33 produced) plus there were the Action All Star Stickers from 1973/74 (24 subjects, i.e. one for each tea and which seems to have been a better test than anything else since it was a product sold in packs). Why then did they just test two subjects in 1976?<br /><br />The 1972 Stickers are fairy well known in the hobby and a supply of uncut partial sheets made it's way into the hobby. The earliest reference I have seen on the 72's is from the December 1982 issue of The Trader Speaks in which Rob Lifson discussed an unbacked (presumed) 33 card uncut partial sheet. There were later references in SCD and it became known some of these could be found with backing. A common problem with backed stickers is they are cut short 1/4" or so sometimes. All cards are from the 1972 regular issue 3rd series. It appears Topps was ready to test these stickers but never did. These are not terribly difficult to find today<br /><br />The 1970 Stickers on the other hand are very, very rare and each may be unique or perhaps two-of-a-kind. Some stickers do not match the pose of 1970 regular issue card of the player. SCD states they are blank backed and I am not sure if this is supposed to mean "unbacked". Here is what one looks like (apologies if I lifted a board member's scan along the way:<br /><br /><img src="http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p280/dsh46/70ToppsClothHiggins.jpg"><br /><br /><br />These were certainly never issued.<br /><br />I know a couple of board members own some of these so whatever information can be posted here would be of interest.

11-12-2007, 03:31 PM
Posted By: <b>Paul</b><p>If any of you know how many of the "Seaver Wins Opener" 1970 cloth card exist, I'd sure appreciate knowing. Thanks.

11-12-2007, 04:05 PM
Posted By: <b>AL</b><p>Bob, Bobsbbcards, has several of the 70 Cloth, including the Ryan. So far, I have not myself seen a second example of any of them. These and the 71 Topps Rookie Artist Proofs may be single example items; rarer I think than the Topps 61 Dice or 55 Stamps.<br /><br />David---I have the 76 Cloth in two forms and would pay a premium to get one of all 4 of the different types you mention. They come up for sale fairly regularly, but usually sellers can not tell you exactly what type material they have. I envy you your backed duo.<br /><br /><br />I have a set of the 72 Cloth, and I think Bob has a scan of an uncutsheet of them<br />

11-12-2007, 04:58 PM
Posted By: <b>Dave Hornish</b><p>I was definitely unhappy to lose the Dyer lot as it would have been all three felt types in one swoop. I believe the sheer version is the easiest and there is a seller on Ebay that seems to have a never ending supply of them. He always sells both Apodaca and Dyer together. <br /><br />The strip with both players is the first I've ever seen and the fact both are there and one is upside down is amazing. For some reason, there seem to be more Dyers floating around. I can't think of another Topps test with such a small player selection.

11-12-2007, 07:05 PM
Posted By: <b>Paul</b><p>The Standard Catalog lists a 1980 Topps coin set with only three players, so that comes pretty close to the two 1976 cloth stickers.

11-13-2007, 12:23 PM
Posted By: <b>Al</b><p>I have a set of the 1980 Coins. They are tough to come by. There have been some single card "issues" for special occassions....the Bowie Kuhn "card", the President Bush card, the two Garagiola cards, 76 and 94 (?), and the card you need to complete your 1984 Topps set, Darryl Palmer # 800

11-13-2007, 03:13 PM
Posted By: <b>onlychild</b><p>If Al doesn't know then Bob is the guy to talk to.<br /><br />In the mean time, here is an article on him and his collection if you haven't read it yet:<br /><br /><a href="http://www.psacard.com/articles/article_view.chtml?artid=4562&universeid=314&type=1" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://www.psacard.com/articles/article_view.chtml?artid=4562&universeid=314&type=1</a><br /><br /><br />Jezz...and I thought I was cool with three 1984 Topps encapsulated cut sets. <br />Gotta' love those obscure rare cards!<br /><br /><br /><br />Kevin Saucier

11-13-2007, 04:11 PM
Posted By: <b>Bob</b><p>I have 8 full cards and 3 partial cards. Here are scans of all that I have except Curt Motton (can't seem to find it):<br /><br /><img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothAlston.jpg"> <img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothCulp.jpg"> <img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothGentry.jpg"> <img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothHartenstein.jpg"><br /><br /><img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothHiggins.jpg"> <img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothLaboy.jpg"> <img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothNiekro.jpg"><br /><br /><img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothPalmer.jpg"> <img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothRyan.jpg"> <img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothSantorini.jpg"> <br /><br />The SCD catalog shows 19 known. If you add on the three partial cards, you get 22 different. I've seen two different Ryans, but I've never seen duplicates of any of the others. All of the cards are in the 2nd series of 1970 Topps (133-263). The known numbers are 139, 144, 153, 158, 160, 167, 169, 177, 178, 179, 195, 197, 200, 210, 212, 216, 226, 238, 242, 252, 257, and 261. All of the cards have backing. Here's a scan of the back:<br /><br /><img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/baseball/1970/1970toppscloth/70ToppsClothBack.jpg"><br /><br />The partial cards make me think that they were originally on a sheet similar to the '72 Cloth Stickers. A scan of that sheet is shown below. Note the partial cards on the left and right (Sparky Anderson, Willie Stargell Boyhood Photo, etc.). I imagine that there'll eventually be 33 full cards found with possibly a duplicate row (like the 11 extra ones on top of the '72 sheet with their tops chopped off).<br /><br /><img src="http://www.bobsbbcards.com/images/miscellaneous/72ToppsClothSheet.jpg">

11-13-2007, 09:18 PM
Posted By: <b>Paul</b><p>Bob, do you know of the whereabouts of the '70 cloth Tom Seaver? I know that a longtime Seaver collector named John Wells had one but sold it a few years ago when he sold off his Seaver collection. He said his was in about "good" condition. If you've seen another one in different condition, I'd be interested to know about it. It would be nice to know there's more than one out there.

11-14-2007, 05:08 AM
Posted By: <b>Bob</b><p>Paul,<br /><br />Unfortunately I don't. I'd love to know the whereabouts of all of the known cards just to get a count on the number available. Since there are two Ryans, you might have at least two shots at picking up the Seaver. <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14><br /><br />Bob

11-14-2007, 07:36 AM
Posted By: <b>Dave Hornish</b><p>Paul-It was a 1970 Seaver? If memory serves (since I am not at home) Seaver is #300 in the 1970 set and I'm not sure he could be included in the cloth test issue referenced here. This seems like it's worth investigating though; it could mean Topps did a second cloth test with the 3rd series cards.<br /><br />This is why I enjoy making these long posts on obscure sets-you never know what information will turn up. Already we have 22 confirmed 70 Cloth cards, which fits a known Topps pattern and there may be more to come. To quote Arte Johnson "ver-ry inter-esting!"<br /><br />Also, a 66 card half sheet (technically 1/4 of a full press sheet) seems to be a popular size for uncut proof issues. This too is worthy of more study but definitely in another thread.

11-14-2007, 07:48 AM
Posted By: <b>Bob</b><p>Dave,<br /><br />Paul's talking about the 1970 Topps #195 Seaver Wins Opener card (NL Playoff Game 1). Definitely one of the toughest cards (if not the toughest) for a Seaver collector.<br /><br />Bob

11-14-2007, 11:01 AM
Posted By: <b>Scott Mt. Joy</b><p>Could anyone confirm that the 1972 topps cloth came both with backing and without?

11-14-2007, 05:36 PM
Posted By: <b>Dave Hornish</b><p>Completely forgot about the Playoff card of Seaver....yup, that would kill the complete Registry set!<br /><br />I have 72's with and without backing. The one I have with backing is cut short. I wonder if the glue would dry up over the years because my unbacked one feels smooth on the reverse.

11-14-2007, 07:28 PM
Posted By: <b>Bob</b><p>Dave,<br /><br />The ones that are cut short are the ones at the top of the sheet (11 different). All of mine have had the glue dry up on them over the years and the backing has come loose. I don't think there were any "issued" without backing.<br /><br />Bob

11-14-2007, 09:45 PM
Posted By: <b>Dave Hornish</b><p>OK that fits. My Stone is cut short and he is topmost, left side. I have a Roy Foster that is whole but unbacked.<br /><br />Now, do we have any theories who introduced all of these into the hobby?

11-18-2007, 08:14 PM
Posted By: <b>NickM</b><p>I have a sheet of 9 (3x3). It's unbacked.<br /><br />Dyer is in the upper left, and the entire right column. The rest are Apodaca. All are in the same orientation, and the size of the border around the group tells me that it's not part of a larger sheet.<br /><br />Some of the Apodacas are tilted a bit on the sheet.<br /><br />I'll post a photo when I can take one.<br /><br />Nick

11-19-2007, 09:18 PM
Posted By: <b>J Levine</b><p>I own four 1972 Topps stickers...one is from the top of the sheet. I have two of the same (I think it is Mike Ryan) with two different kinds of backs. One a lighter shade smoother back, one a darker shade rougher backing. I will try to get scans at some point.<br /><br />Joshua

11-22-2007, 12:05 PM
Posted By: <b>John Moran</b><p>Ok, I've been playing with the 1970 uncut sheet that has Bob's 10 cards on it (in red, the Motton is on the bottom row). Per my calculations there should be at least 28 full cloth cards inlcuding McCovey and 8 half cards which should include Munson and Ted Williams.<br /><br /><img src="http://mywebpage.netscape.com/jmoran19j/70series2.jpg"><br /><br />

11-22-2007, 12:08 PM
Posted By: <b>John Moran</b><p>Oh, forgot to mention, I used the issued Higgins card, not the proof in Bob's post. Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, John.

11-22-2007, 12:18 PM
Posted By: <b>Dave Hornish</b><p>The link is broken, would love to see your scan

11-22-2007, 12:20 PM
Posted By: <b>John Moran</b><p>let me try a different way<br /><br /><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1195669209.JPG">

11-22-2007, 12:45 PM
Posted By: <b>Dave Hornish</b><p>OK, that's interesting. Going to digest that a little and check the 70 Topps sheets scans I have.

11-22-2007, 01:09 PM
Posted By: <b>Bob</b><p>That is VERY interesting!! Thanks John!!!!! <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14><br /><br />Let's take a try at figuring out a complete checklist. Asterisk for cards already part of the SCD checklist:<br /><br />Bottom Row:<br />Steve Hargan (half card)<br />*Jose Laboy<br />*Ivan Murrell<br />*Chuck Hartenstein<br />*Curt Motton<br />*Denny Lemaster<br />*AL Playoff Game 2 (Boog Powell)<br />Willie McCovey<br />*Lowell Palmer (half card)<br /><br />2nd to Bottom Row:<br />Yankees Rookie Stars (Thurman Munson rookie) (half card) - how cool is that!<br />*Phil Niekro<br />*Ron Perranoski<br />*Rich Nye<br />Syd O'Brien<br />*Juan Marichal<br />*NL Playoff Game 3 (Nolan Ryan)<br />*Tom Hall<br />Ted Williams (half card) - WOW!<br /><br />2nd to Top Row:<br />Dick Hall (half card)<br />*Jerry McNerty<br />*NL Playoff Game 1 (Tom Seaver)<br />*Dennis Higgins<br />*Gary Geiger<br />*Jim Northrup<br />*Bill Burbach<br />*Al Santorini<br />Clete Boyer (half card)<br /><br />Top Row:<br />*Ray Culp (half card)<br />Tommie Reynolds<br />Fred Gladding<br />Duane Josephson<br />Padres Rookies<br />Danny Murphy<br />Mike Wegener<br />Vic Davalillo<br />*Walter Alston (half card)<br /><br />All of the cards in SCD (plus the three half cards I have) are included in the checklist above. Fantastic!!<br /><br /><br /><br />

11-22-2007, 06:08 PM
Posted By: <b>Paul</b><p>I'm confused. How can you determine from an uncut sheet that the cloth set should have "half cards"?

11-22-2007, 06:42 PM
Posted By: <b>Bob</b><p>Paul,<br /><br />We're going by the fact that I have three half cards that match the edges of the proposed '70 Cloth sheet, combined with the existence of half cards on the '72 Cloth sheet.<br /><br />Bob

11-24-2007, 04:45 PM
Posted By: <b>Dave Hornish</b><p>OK, I do not have any 1970 uncut sheet scans from the series the Cloth Stickers are taken from. I really have to believe that this latest information means it's highly likely the checklist is comprised of 44 cards, some possibly partial. The uncut 70 regular issue sheet shown above is truncated and should consist of 11 cards per row, which is a Topps standard for this time frame. I doubt they would rearrange cards for a sticker test run but you never know and the checklist could be far less than 44 or not divisible by 11.<br /><br />The partials are interesting and known to be possible from the 1972 cloth stickers. The 72's however, are partials from the top row of the sheet. The 70 partials are from the side. The 72 partial sheet shown above shows how this "side cut" could be possible as the gutter in the middle would throw off a machine cut if fed incorrectly. This 72 sheet also illustrates how Topps printed full size press sheets (more on this below). Not sure how Topps tested the cards but they may also have used odd size sheets for the 70 sticker run and it just sliced wherever (I doubt these were guillotine cut). Possibly the proof run is to see how the stickers would cut, not how they would look. In 1972 they did not cut well and that may be true in 1970 as well, resulting in some partials (and abandonment of a full production run).<br /><br />Another explanation may relate to the fact a full Topps press sheet is 264 cards. Such a sheet is then cut down the gutter in the middle to make two 132 card sheets, which are the familiar version of uncut sheets most of us are used to seeing. Here is a 1964 Press sheet that shows how this would look when a sheet rolls off the printing press:<br /><br /><img src="http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p280/dsh46/64ToppsUncut264CardSheet.jpg"><br /><br /><br />It's unrelated to this discussion but worth noting for cards issued in series from 1957-73 this could result in a full run of three full 88 card series runs over two sheets. With some slight variations, Topps had used this method at least since 1953 (and possibly in 1952). They likely used the 264 card sheets until they ceased production in Duryea (forget which year). Sometimes, though, the series don't jibe between the two sheets (110 card first series come to mind, or the 77 card 1967 high numbers) and short prints result. <br /><br />Back to this subject, with the 70 cloth stickers, it looks like the sheet may not have been sliced down the gutter, but through a card adjacent to the gutter. Maybe they used scrap or did not have the cutting machine set right. Perhaps they were cut on different types of machines in an experiment to see which one worked better and normal cards were sliced through. <br /><br />Does anyone have a scan of the 11 row by 4 column regular 1970 half sheet that the stickers are taken from? The 1972 regular issue sheet of 11 x 3 that's years cloths were taken from would be nice to see as well.

11-24-2007, 09:25 PM
Posted By: <b>John Moran</b><p>I have scans of the 1970 and 72 uncut sheets although the 70 sheet is a poor one. I'll post them next weekend as I'm in Paris this week (the wife is working there so me and the kids tagged along, life is rough sometimes)

11-24-2007, 09:47 PM
Posted By: <b>Dave Hornish</b><p>Yup, I have spent some time on the Continent on business; a total drag.......

12-06-2007, 12:50 PM
Posted By: <b>John Moran</b><p>ok, finally back home. Here's the right half of the 1972 series 3 uncut sheet as requested, the bottom 6 rows are the same as the cloth sheet:<br /><br /><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1196880532.JPG">

12-06-2007, 12:56 PM
Posted By: <b>John Moran</b><p>Here are rows 4 thru 9 of the left side of the 1972 series 3 uncut sheet. The bottom 3 rows (x2) are the ones included on the cloth sheet. Will post the 1970 series 2 sheet later, John.<br /><br /><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1196880950.JPG">

12-07-2007, 12:25 PM
Posted By: <b>John Moran</b><p>1970 series 2 uncut sheet (left side) as promised:<br /><br /><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1196965521.JPG">

05-22-2010, 12:29 PM
Just to let you all know, I have posted again on the 1970 Topps Stickers on the Topps Archives blog and speculate that one sticker (Padres Rookies) should exist even though it is not known right now. Not really news since John Moran posited the likelihood above that 28 full stickers may exist and I have identified 27 of them (plus eight possible partials, three known) in writing and researching my post and Bob Fisk also had a lot of input on this, so I merely tried to tie all of this together and get some lists going with each type of sticker or potential sticker.

I am convinced the Padres Rookies sticker exists but where is it?

Here is the link if you are interested in the details:


05-22-2010, 01:15 PM
Great input Dave. ...despite Bob's help

Karl Mattson
05-22-2010, 02:50 PM
When I was collecting test issues 20-25 years ago, I had only one 1970 cloth sticker, AL Playoff Game 2 (Boog Powell), in ex-mt condition; I also had both 1976 cloth stickers (don't recall which type), however mine had the card front images reversed ("REYD YFFUD") and they were slightly oversized with extra-wide borders on one side.

I recall first seeing the 1972 cloth sheet(s) in Willow Grove around 1984/85 and buying a few of those commons after a sheet or two was cut up, and I recall quite a bit of arguing among dealers and collectors as to whether those sheets (and the discs sheets which also surfaced around that time) should be cut...