Skip to main content

Card back countdown: #26 - 1966 Topps

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


Popular posts from this blog

The pop culture tax

This isn't really a complaint, just something interesting that I've been noticing.

I'm working on wrapping up a couple of '70s-centric sets right now, getting down to those last 10-20-30 cards, and the usual candidates are being evasive.

I wish I could pick up all the stars early in my set-building quests so the end of the build isn't quite so painful but it never ends up that way. The best of the best usually take the most effort. But I expect that.

What always surprises me is some of the other players that end up being the final few.

Take, for instance, the 1977 Kellogg's set that I'm now trying to complete. I picked up three more cards from that set from Sportlots. The Jose "Cheo" Cruz card was one of them.

The other two were Dodgers, already in my Dodger binders but that doesn't help me complete the set now, does it?

I would've liked to add more with this most recent order but most of the other wants simply weren't available. Here…

Vehicles in the background

The 2020 Heritage team set for the Dodgers has been a milestone moment in terms of cars in the background on baseball cards.

If there was a timeline for chronicling cars on cards -- or should I say "vehicles on cards," very few drive a mere car these days -- it would include the 1964 Philadelphia Jim Brown card, the 1973 Topps Luis Alvarado card, another card I'll show in just a moment, and several others.

The latest stop on the timeline would be the Dodgers in 2020 Heritage.

Those are just a few examples. Most of the Dodgers Heritage cards this year feature a vehicle in the background if you look close enough. It has to be the most vehicle-infiltrated baseball team set ever. Even the two short-printed cards that I don't own yet -- Walker Buehler and A.J. Pollock -- each show cars.

I love this and I've documented the reasons why a few times. I am a recovered Matchbox cars addict and vehicles were my obsession as a kid before baseball came along. It also reminds …

The last card

I swear I was already in the middle of constructing this post when Fuji's post about looking for the last card in a set popped up in my reader.

"Crap," I said. "Well, everything's scanned and cropped, no going back."

Besides, this post is more for me than anyone else.

I've long wanted to put together a post highlighting the final card I needed from sets I have completed. It seems that some of those cards are burned in my brain while others are completely forgotten. If I have a post for these cards, then I won't ever forget about these elusive birds. I will simply consult the post!

So that's what I'll do here. Much like this post, I will update it as I complete sets. But this time it will be a much less orderly exercise.

Searching for that last card is what all set collectors have in common. It is what bonds us together. Sure, team collectors must find a "last card," too, but the sets are smaller and therefore the final card isn…