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1975 Topps Baseball Cello Pack Collation

I wrote about 1975 Topps Baseball Rack Pack Card Placement in February 2020. Now it’s time to talk about the collation of 1975 Topps Baseball Cello Packs.

As a reminder, for 1975 Topps, there were five different sheets of 132 cards printed. The first three sheets have a single asterisk (*), and the last two sheets have two asterisks (**) on the bottom of each card, on the back, next to the copyright. You can see the George Brett single asterisk and Nolan Ryan double asterisk examples below.

1975 Topps George Brett – Single Asterisk (*) on Reverse
1975 Topps Nolan Ryan – Double Asterisk (**) on Reverse

1975 Topps Baseball Cello packs were built from cards cut from both single and double asterisk sheets. The first seven cards, on top of the gum, have two asterisks, and the 11 cards behind the gum have one asterisk.

It makes sense that the gum is inserted after the seven double asterisk cards (since there were only two double asterisk sheets) and that there are then eleven cards from the three single asterisk sheets. Mathematically, 7/2=3.5 cards from each double asterisk sheet, and 11/3=3.67 cars from each single asterisk sheet in a cello pack. I have no evidence that Topps pulled a certain number of cards from each sheet, the proportions simply compare well.

Therefore the top card is a ** card, and the bottom card is a * card. You won’t find George Brett or Robin Yount on the top of a legitimate 1975 Topps Cello pack just as you won’t find a Nolan Ryan on the bottom.

1975 Topps Cello Pack Al Downing #498 Front (**)
1975 Topps Cello Pack 1960 MVPs #198 Back (*)

It’s often a super-star card on top or bottom of a cello pack when people try to argue that their pack is legitimate (and that an aberration in collation exists), but rarely a common.

Be careful buying raw packs (and even some graded ones) out there in the marketplace. Even a correct common doesn’t mean it isn’t a reseal – collation is just the “low hanging fruit” of authentication. 

I’d also like to note that there are no absolutes here, no one has 100% proof from Topps on this topic. But if it looks too good to be true, it probably is – collation should be your first red flag.

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