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toppcat 06-03-2013 06:40 PM

1951 Topps Red Backs Oddity
Curious what everyone thinks about this pair I just picked up; first I have ever seen. The #7 #12 pairing is correct (the cards are separated) and while I have a theory on these, I am interested in unvarnished opinions:

sflayank 06-03-2013 07:09 PM

nice pick up
i guess they printed a wrong back sheet

Cliff Bowman 06-03-2013 08:03 PM

1 Attachment(s)
That is the back of a 1951 Topps Team card, either someone accidentally mixed them up at the printing factory or it was a test run not intended to be distributed like the 1979 Topps cards with 1978 Topps backs.

SMPEP 06-03-2013 10:22 PM

Makes sense
Given these were both printed in 1951 by Topps, this seems like a case of a wrong/front back being printed on teh same sheet. In theory, this means there should be additional ones of these floating around.

Very good find!


Volod 06-04-2013 12:03 AM

Great find, Dave, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for more to surface. I've been collecting the '51 issues since 1983 and have never seen a misprinted panel like yours. I guess you never know when someone might open an old desk drawer, though.

Exhibitman 06-04-2013 12:21 PM

Love the print freaks!

ALR-bishop 06-04-2013 03:48 PM

Over here in Ireland they think this is a great pick up Dave

toppcat 06-04-2013 06:43 PM

Al, sounds like I have the support of the entire country-huzzah!

I suspect the back was runoff as a color test after the team card run (the cards were marketed together in 1951 as Baseball Candy). Following the test I then have to think either:

a) a few sheets were added to the top and bottom of each pallet of uncut sheets to protect the sheets to be cut for retail. At some point at least one sheet got mixed in with the production sheets and was diecut and perforated.

b) it's an early production proof checking for color and was never mixed with retail product.

Either way I suspect at least one full sheet or a substantial partial must have been printed.

Have to say I am happy I hit the BIN...

toppcat 06-05-2013 06:47 PM

So now I am thinking it's possible the Red Backs, Connie Macks and Team cards (the latter two can be demonstrated to have cohabited on the same sheet) could all have been on the same sheet. Instead of this being a color test, maybe the sheet was upside down instead.

I just blogged on all of this, link is here.

Spike 06-06-2013 01:50 AM

Red Backs + 11 Connie Mack + 9 Teams on one sheet?
Great find, Dave. Just posted a blog comment hypothesizing this sheet layout for the "red ink" sets.

Red Backs (unknown number of 20-card vertical rows) at "left" followed by 11 Connie Mack + 9 Teams (in 10-card vertical rows)

Topps might've never intended to cover more Teams than needed to fill the sheet, given their focus on Red Backs + Connie Mack as a "unit." It also means including Ty Cobb in the Connie Mack set would've taken away a Teams card to stay at an even 20 total cards (2 side-by-side rows).

With that layout, reversing a sheet between front and back printing yields the Red Back front / Teams back you snagged. It also implies Teams would've been on the far right edge, with your 7-12 Red Backs panel on the far left before being swapped. A common sheet could also explain why Connie Mack cards with rounded corners might exist.

Sometime after the first two printings, probably after Red Backs proved a hit and the "1950" Teams cards didn't solve the legal problems with Bowman, Connie Mack and the Teams were printed on separate tan stock sheets, explaining why no Red Backs appear on tan. (You already posted a mis-cut showing Connie Macks and Teams side-by-side on the same sheet, which would happen for all 3 printings.)

What do you think, does this layout hold water?

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