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Old 08-14-2017, 01:07 AM
mighty bombjack mighty bombjack is offline
Wayne Walker
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 950

Man, this thread brings back memories. I have mentioned it in this board a few times before but will repeat it here:

I was Baseball Editor at Topps in 2001/2 and was the editor of the first two Topps206 products. For the first series in 2002, I had the pleasure of opening a package from Kit Young that contained around 250 original t206 cards (and a couple of t205s). My immediate job was to alphabetize them, and because my desk was covered in slides and crap, I went into an empty area of the office, an open carpet space where a couple of cubicles had been removed, and laid these out to sort by first letter of last name on front. Coincidentally, that was one of the few days that Cy Berger was on our floor (he was pretty much retired then and wasn't around Whitehall Street very much, at least not in our floor). But he walked by and saw me - a 27-year-old sitting on the floor sorting old cards - and he smiled form ear and ear and said something like "now that really takes me back." It was a pretty cool moment. But I digress.

I have frustratingly little information beyond the anecdote. I was not (and am not) anything close to knowlegable in t206 cards beyond being able to identify them (and separate out the couple of t205s mentioned above - which I believe got mixed back in by somebody later down the line who didn't know or possibly didn't care about the difference). I did know then about what is still my passion, which is HOFers, and I can tell you that there were not many. Honestly, I think there were no more than five. I vividly recall a Walter Johnson that the little devil and angel on my shoulder argued about for a while (the angel won - the card went into the product and not my pocket). But easily 95%+ of the cards I funneled into the product were no-name players (edited to add: no-names to me, I should say; there could well have been rarities in there, and I never even looked at the backs, a fact that I imagine kills many of you with your amazing passions for this set).

Topps definitely did not track these or keep a spread sheet (that would have been my domain and I was never tasked with it). Whether these cards were 'vetted' for things like cleaning and trimming would be a question for Kit Young (i honestly don't know, either about his reputation for that or for Topps' requirements for same). I can verify what is already known: pretty much every name on the spreadsheet Leon showed early in the thread was NOT put into the set by Topps, at least not into series 1. I think, but am not certain, that this shipment was the totality of cards put into series 1, and while I set the checklist and chose photos for series 2, I did no such sorting of purchased cards for that series or the subsequent series 3. I believe original tobacco cards were put into all three series, but at a significantly lower rate in series 2 & 3 than in 1, as my unreliable memory is telling me that 'buybacks' fell every four boxes or so for series 1, but more like every 10-12 boxes for series 2. Honestly, many others here know more about that than I do, as I was living in Europe by the time the second series came out.

So, I offer little concrete information. I myself owned one of these that I pulled from the box Topps gave me at release, a no-namer, which I sold on eBay maybe 6-7 years ago. I think it sucks what this guy did to a cool item, but little in this hobby surprises me anymore.

Feel free to ask me any questions, but I doubt I'll have satisfactory or concrete answers.
My Hall of Fame autograph collection

Last edited by mighty bombjack; 08-14-2017 at 01:19 AM.
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