Sandy looks so sad on the 1966 Topps set.
I don't blame him, really. After Topps reached its 1960s peak with the '65 set, the following year was quite a drop-off in terms of design. A single name/position strip across the bottom, another strip for the team positioned diagonally along the left corner. That's all Topps was going to give you. It doesn't offer much.
The card back is a little better. Here is the back of Koufax's final solo card in all of its miscut glory:
Look at those lovely mid-1960s earned-run averages.
I know what you're saying: MORE PINK!
I guess you're right. But I always thought of the '66 card backgrounds as being red. (yes, I've just opened myself up for another round of "is it red" or "is it pink" comments).
That card back looks a little more red. Or if you want to get technical, in an aquatic sort of way, we can call it "salmon-colored."
But that DEFINITELY looks pink. Apparently Topps had color-tinting issues in the '60s.
But the reason I always liked the '66 card backs is because of the red-and-black (or pink-and-black) combination. The vital statistics area, with the name in bold red (or pink) on the back background, looks very cool. In terms of 1960s Topps backs, it's probably the most bad-ass cool card back of the decade. Red and black seems to have that effect.
But it's not necessarily the best '60s card back, as you'll soon see in the countdown.
The 1966 card back wins points for producing a cartoon with just about all of the player cards in the set. I could have missed a player or two, but it seems like in 1965 no one in baseball had been around for more than 15 years (careers were shorter then), so Topps didn't have to run a ton of stats that forced out the cartoon.
The cartoons are a little inconsistent for me. Some are quite awesome, like this one. But many others are rather mundane.
Some drawings just don't make sense with the write-up.
As far as overall "look" of the card back, this is probably my second-favorite of the '60s. It may not have some of the elements of some of the other '60s card backs that I'll show later, but it's definitely got the cool factor down.
Best of the set:
The front of the '66 set bores me, so I just have Dodgers in my collection. No best of the set for this post.
(previous card back countdown selections):
50. 1978 SSPC Yankee Yearbook
49. 1993 Score
48. 1999 Skybox Thunder
47. 2000 Upper Deck
46. 1999 Skybox Premium
45. 1953 Johnston Cookies Braves
44. 1995 Topps
43. 1997 Fleer
42. 1992 Pinnacle
41. 1989 Bowman
40. 1977 Kellogg's
39. 2004 Topps
38. 2004 Topps Total
37. 1992 Topps
36. 1992 Donruss
35. 2008 Upper Deck Documentary
34. 1963 Fleer
33. 1955 Bowman
32. 2006 Topps
31. 1961 Topps
30. 1955 Topps
29. 1967 Topps
28. 1970 Topps
27. 1969 Topps