I just couldn't stay away from 1969!
Actually, I wasn't finished yet. I'm not completely done with the 1969 set until I go through the deckle edge cards.
These are the inserts I was familiar with. No game used jerseys or autographs here, just slightly smaller, glossy black and white cards with a funky edge!
The insert set in numbered 1-33 though there are 35 cards in all. Number 11 and 22 has two different cards. Why two cards with the same number?
Topps planned to have at least one player from each of the 24 teams. The original #11 was Hoyt Wilhelm, who would be the Royals' one player, while the original #22 was Rusty Staub, the Astros' representative in the set. But in December Wilhelm was sent to the Angels and a month later Staub was traded to the Expos. That left Topps with two Angels, two Expos, and no Astros or Royals.
To fill the gaps, a new #11 was issued, Jim Wynn of the Astros. The new #22 was Joe Foy of the Royals. So now every team was again represented.
The cards are arranged alphabetically by city and league, starting with the American League and Baltimore and ending with the NL and San Francisco.
The backs are very plain, just listing the players name and card number. This is what the back of Ron Santo's card looks like.
A couple things about the pictures. Many are old, some very old. Topps really dug deep in the archives for some of them. Since these are the superstars, it seemed odd that Topps wouldn't have current photos to use. Many photos have airbrushing, like in the base set. But on a few, not only was the old hat logo airbrushed out, but a new logo was painted on. That is the first time I saw that. I'm guessing they did it on these since they are black and white and you didn't have to worry about matching colors like on the regular cards. When Topps did start adding logos to cards in 1973, some of the results were really bad looking.
For me, the best feature on the card was the autograph. It was in blue, like the player had actually signed the card with a blue pen (no Sharpies back then!). I thought that was a nice touch by Topps. It also had to add to the costs, since the cards were not strictly black and white.
Because of the deckled edge, it is not easy to find cards in mint condition. My set is OK, but then, condition wasn't a prime concern of mine.
Here are the nine cards from page one:
#1 Brooks Robinson The uniform that Brooks is wearing was last worn by the Orioles in 1965
#2 Boog Powell Boog's uniform could be even older than Brooks'. The patch on Powell's left sleeve disappeared after the 1963 season.
#3 Ken Harrelson Here is our first airbrushed card. Harrelson is obviously wearing an A's uniform, but a "B" was painted on his hat to make us believe that he is wearing a Red Sox uniform. I didn't quite believe it!
#4 Carl Yastzremski Finally, card with an accurate photo!
#5 Jim Fregosi A nice head shot of the Angels third baseman
#6 Luis Aparicio The Sox shortstop is shown in an Orioles uniform. Topps added the S-O-X to his helmet, but left the bill of the helmet the Orioles' orange.
#7 Luis Tiant
#8 Denny McLain MLB's last 30 game winner is shown at Yankee Stadium.
#9 Willie Horton pretending to take a cut at spring training, just like he did on the base card