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  #1  
Old 05-06-2022, 11:34 AM
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Default 1972 Topps question

Posting this in the correct section this time... *facepalm*

Does anyone know the release dates of each series of the 1972 Topps set?

One of my (way too many) autograph projects is getting the 1972 set signed. With the fact there are something like three Clementes, four Aarons, two Munsons, and plenty more toughies I know it'll never get finished. But I currently have 475 cards completely finished, 493 with at least one signature, and 523 total signatures. This count includes an umpire active in 1972 on each checklist, and either a coach, a player without a card, or another organizational figure (owner, broadcaster, organ player, etc.) on each team card.

I am mostly wondering about the release date of 4th series, which of course carried the late Gil Hodges. His O-Pee-Chee card lists his death date, but I am wondering whether or not his Topps card came out while he was still living or not.

Even if he was alive, I'd think there wouldn't be many/any out there signed; although there are 1987 Topps Dick Howser sigs out there despite him being at Spring Training for only four days so depending on the release date it's possible. I've seen a few "signed" 1972 Hodges cards out there but I'm clearly skeptical of their authenticity.

It's just something that has been nagging at me for a while-- COULD there be a signed 1972 Topps Hodges out there, or did the 4th series come out after his death?
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Old 05-06-2022, 12:54 PM
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Default 72 signed

I thought Ive seen signed 72T Hodges also
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Old 05-06-2022, 02:52 PM
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I am quite skeptical given his card #465 puts him in the fourth series.

From what know of it, roughly one series was issued every 4-5 weeks back then, with series 1 shipping in Feb.

I vividly remember as a young Mets fan Hodges dying and then finally being able to get a card of him a couple of months later (from a five cent vending machine at Coronet in Westbury!). I was never able to get first series cards on Long Island until spring training started so my guesstimate is you would not have seen a Hodges card before mid-May if not mid-June and we all knew his card wasn't out in early April (d.o.d. April 2) back then. If someone can find a 4th series proof sheet or remnant, it might have a date stamp on it that would solve this for sure.

By 1987 cards were being released in December or early January, with series-by-series release long a thing of the past by then.

Last edited by toppcat; 05-06-2022 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 05-06-2022, 03:26 PM
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Drew---good luck on your project and congratulations on your progress so far
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  #5  
Old 05-06-2022, 04:58 PM
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Fantastic work on that 1972 set. Good luck .
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Old 05-06-2022, 05:55 PM
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We didn't even have 1st series cards in California when Hodges died. I don't see any way that the 4th series was out in New York before Hodges died. 1st series and maybe 2nd, but not 4th.
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Old 05-06-2022, 06:30 PM
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Default signed 1970"s Topps card

reminds me of another rare signed card -
1970 T rookie card of Herman Hill...and ..forgot the other player

Hill died sometime in 1970 I recall...signed card incredible rare
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Old 05-06-2022, 08:00 PM
Gr8Beldini Gr8Beldini is offline
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Also, Miguel Fuentes died January, 1970 before his '70 T card came out and Paul Edmunson died February, 1970 before his '70 T card was released.
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Old 05-06-2022, 08:22 PM
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Props on an amazing project Drew, good luck on the set.
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2022, 07:45 AM
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Interesting thread. I too would be skeptical on Gil Hodges ever seeing a copy of his '72 Topps card.

I've often wondered if anyone had exact ship / release dates for Topps cards back 1973 and earlier when series distribution was still a thing. If so, I've never seen where this was confirmed.
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  #11  
Old 05-11-2022, 03:28 PM
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Thanks everyone for the info and comments. So if the first was in February and they came every 4-5 weeks after, that puts the fourth series as appearing in stores in May, at least a month after his death.

I did a little more digging. Hodges' card mentions the Jim Fregosi trade on the back, indicating the card would have been finalized for printing no earlier than December 10, 1972. Additionally, Pete Hamm is on card #501 with the Twins; the Twins shipped him to the White Sox on February 5, 1972. Therefore it would seem the cards were finalized for printing somewhere between mid-December and mid-February. Series Five was finalized after February 7, 1972 when the White Sox acquired Rich Robertson from the Giants (he was depicted with the Sox) and before March 19, 1972 when the Sox returned him to the Giants.

Of course, finalization and creation and shipping and release dates are all different things. Being in the card industry as a photo editor, I know cards have to be produced, approved, and ready for print typically weeks in advance of their printing and packaging even now. With 1970s technology and communications, I'm sure it would be even longer.

So for me, that's enough to officially declare for project purposes that it's an impossible card.

For anyone who wants to see the set, it's at https://www.dfwgrapher.com/sets/1972-topps-baseball (best viewed via computer rather than phone).
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Last edited by DFWGrapher; 05-11-2022 at 03:30 PM.
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  #12  
Old 05-11-2022, 03:39 PM
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It's a big-time, long shot of a stretch to possibly get your hands on this information, but a great resource would be finding the old records of a stationery store or other business that sold baseball cards in 1972. They would have records/ledgers of when their outfit received the shipments from Topps.

So, find a very old person who used to run a store and ask to rummage around in the boxes in their basement. Simple.
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Old 05-13-2022, 10:02 AM
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This is in the June/July issue of Beckett Vintage Collector.

Mike

img20220513_11542137 (2).jpg
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  #14  
Old 05-14-2022, 09:58 AM
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Just a heads up, Topps printed the backs first and then shipped the fronts to Zabel or whatever printer they were using for each set (probably Zabel for 72 Baseball).
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