...I-dentical to the 1969 cards.
Here are the '69 and '72 Williams cards, side by side.
The only difference between the cards is on the back, and its a very slight difference.
If you just glance at the backs, you won't notice the difference. The game statistics are different, but unless you had a listing of all the backs of all the cards, you can't really tell a '69 for a '72. I wouldn't have known about it if not for the Standard Catalog.
You have to find a red 1. If it has a bottom to it...
....the card is from 1972. If there is not bottom...
...then you've got a 1969 card.
Six months ago I bought a card listed as a Billy Williams 1972. The listing didn't show the back of the card, so I just had to trust that the seller knew what he was talking about.
He didn't. He was slow to ship (it took a reminder from me to get it sent) and when the card finally came, I checked the 1 and was a 1969 card. He was slow to respond to my request to return the card and he never acknowledged his mistake. Slow shipping, wrong card, slow response--he got one of the few neutrals that I've ever left.
It took several months for another '72 Billy to be listed. This time I knew that it was a '72 because...
....the card was graded by PSA. I was the only bidder and got the card.
As soon as the card came, I cracked it out of it's plastic prison and placed it in the player collection.