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  #1  
Old 04-15-2012, 10:16 PM
Brianruns10 Brianruns10 is offline
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Default The order of topps cards?

Hey All,

The title says it all. Has it ever been explicated just HOW Topps decided the order of its cards? I mean, apart from the fact that Ted Williams contractually stipulated his card be first in a number of sets, the rest just seem random.

I read one suggestion that the cards were in the order in which the players signed their contract, but that doesn't really hold water given Topps clearly strategically placed star cards throughout the series to keep the kids buying.

I mean, like why would they kick off with Andy Pafko in '52, as opposed to someone with more cache as they did with Jackie Robinson or Ted Williams later on?
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:47 PM
novakjr novakjr is offline
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Numbering system as explained on wiki.

"Topps generally put the biggest stars on card numbers ending in x00 or x50. For example in the 1966 set, Mickey Mantle is card #50 and Sandy Koufax is card #100. In 1965, Willie Mays is card #250. Other star players were put on card numbers ending in zero (10, 20, 140, 270 , etc.) and minor stars were put on cards ending in "5". Topps continues this numbering system (at least to a degree) today."

Aside from that, th number 7 is permanently set aside for Mantle. Not sure if there's an exact system for first cards, but it's usually a star or commemorative..

As far as the in between numbers, I haven't the slightest clue how they're chosen.

Last edited by novakjr; 04-15-2012 at 10:49 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2012, 09:06 AM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
Al Richter
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Default Topps Order

Have seen SCD articles that are consistent with David's explanation and my own experience with Topps sets.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:22 PM
Tomman1961 Tomman1961 is offline
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I have to agree also with David. Take a look at a checklist. The ending number "0" and "5" are almost always a star for it's year. Anything ending in a muliple of is a guy like Koufax, Seaver, Mantle, Clemente, Rose, etc. After that I think Topps would not want consecutive cards of players from the same team. They would not 156 and 157 be players from the same team.I doubt I can recall consecutive numbers of players of the same team.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:58 PM
mckinneyj mckinneyj is offline
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> I doubt I can recall consecutive numbers of players of the same team.

Most true - however there are several instances in the older set where players on the same team were assigned consecutive numbers - the 53 and 54 sets come to mind - for example from '54 #115, #116, and #117 are all Cardinals, or, from '53 #18 and #19 are bot h Red Sox and #25 and 26 are both Indians.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:59 PM
David W David W is offline
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It was great in 81 when Fleer put the cards out numerically by team, by best record.

I have no idea why Topps never did that, as I always sorted my cards by team when I was a kid and it without marking up checklists which was boring, you never knew if you had all the cards of each team.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:43 PM
HaloFan HaloFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckinneyj View Post
> I doubt I can recall consecutive numbers of players of the same team.

Most true - however there are several instances in the older set where players on the same team were assigned consecutive numbers - the 53 and 54 sets come to mind - for example from '54 #115, #116, and #117 are all Cardinals, or, from '53 #18 and #19 are bot h Red Sox and #25 and 26 are both Indians.
I believe there's a couple of 3-card runs of Dodgers players in the high-number series of 1952 as well as consecutive numbers of Pirates and Reds in that series. There are quite a few Dodgers just in that particular series.

Craig H
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:07 AM
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toppcat toppcat is offline
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I don't think Topps had much of a numbering plan until near the end of the 50's, although there was some sporadic usage of the "00" 10's and 5's strategy before then. The first couple of years (51 and 52) cards may have been numbered in the order the player or image was cleared for printing by Topps but I have never seen anything to substantiate that, just a hunch on my part.

Last edited by toppcat; 04-18-2012 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:37 AM
ALR-bishop ALR-bishop is offline
Al Richter
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Default A Hunch

I would go with Dave's hunches over the knowledge of many...including me
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:02 PM
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Gary Dunaier Gary Dunaier is offline
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I always thought it would be cool if a company numbered their sets either, a) alphabetically, b) chronologically by age with oldest player first, c) chronologically by ML service with longest service first.
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