The 1967 Topps baseball set is one of the most popular post-war sets. The 609 card set has ultra-scarce high-numbers due to short printing, a unique Roger Maris card, a plethora of superstars (Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente), and is anchored by the Rod Carew and Tom Seaver rookie cards (both high numbers). But, somehow, this super appealing set that features large player images is absolutely chock full of errors, with both printing and quality assurance mistakes. These errors make completing a 1967 Topps Master set quite an achievement.
Here is a rundown of errors (Beckett has an excellent review as well w/ pictures):
#5 White Ford, 1953 stats as 1933
#26 Bob Priddy, no trade and with trade
#45 Roger Maris, Cards and Yankees
#58 Paul Schaal, bat green or natural
#62 Checklist, copyright symbol location
#72 Tigers Rookies, Korince photo is James Murray Brown
#86 Mick McCormick, with or without trade statement
#103 Checklist, line, or period after D
#128 Ed Spiezio, SPIE missing or not
#149 Joe Moeller, white streak or not
#164 Dwight Siebler, 1966 stats as 1960
#191 Checklist, Dick or Tom Kelley
#200 Willie Mays, Sna Fran for 1963 stat line
#223 Mike Ryan, dot or no dot in facsimile autograph
#250 Hank Aaron, 1961 season twice
#252 Bob Bolin, white streak or not
#254 Milt Pappas, no facsimile autograph
#282 Johnny Odom, born in 1046
#328 Clete Boyer, 1966 stats missing
#374 Mel Queen, full rule or not
#402 Phillies Rookies, complete or incomplete line
#417 Bob Bruce, RBAVES or correcte
#427 Ruben Gomez, full stats line or missing
#447 Bo Belinsky, stats line full or nearly gone
#454 Checklist, Marichal ear shows or no ear
#456 Phil Niekro, Uncorrected ERA
The question is, how were so many mistakes made? Here are three background points important in what I think happened:
- The flagship set increased from 598 cards in 1966 to 609 in 1967.
- Topps removed the nameplate (text box) on the front of the card that would show the player’s name and replace it with a facsimile autograph and team name on top of the image.
- The back was redesigned from a horizontal to vertical layout giving more room for statistics.
I think these combined changes were a lot to implement at once, and Topps wasn’t running a highly efficient quality assurance process as they can today with technology, so mistakes simply slipped through. As for the printing mistakes, again, to me, it’s just a technology issue. Today’s printers are more advanced with built-in error checking.
There is no denying the popularity of the 1967 Topps baseball cards. Completing the set, with or without all the variations, is a huge accomplishment. The frustration and hunt for errors aren’t relatable in modern card collecting as technology has improved printing consistency. Still, that inconsistency is part of what makes vintage appealing and exciting to me.
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