Thursday, October 14, 2010
Card back countdown: #29 - 1967 Topps
The 1967 Topps set is one of my two favorites of the 1960s (1965 is the other). I go back and forth over which one I like better.
Although the '67 set is haunted by the usual '60s problem of hatless ballplayers, the design is before its time. It's a clean look with little obscuring the photo, something that you would see in today's sets. I like the team name anchor at the the bottom, and the simplicity of the player name and position at the top. It's just a simple, great-looking set. Some would say it's boring. I think it's a classic.
I'm not as fascinated by the backs. Don't get me wrong, they're pretty good. They're not at No. 29 for nothing. I do like an avocado green 1960s back, as noted with the '63 Fleer set. But I have this thing about vertical card backs. I much prefer the horizontal card back. I don't know why. I guess I just feel like I'm getting cheated out of information with the vertical back.
For the statistics, Topps couldn't even squeeze in "games" for the pitchers because of the vertical orientation. But it did supply winning percentage, which is something Topps scrapped in the 1970s.
The selling point of the 1967 backs is two cartoons per card. For me, it was the first time I ever saw a card that featured more than one cartoon per back. Of course, that had been going on for a long time (1954, 1956, 1958, 1961, etc.) and would continue later on (1981). But it was unique for me at the time.
However, I quickly grew disinterested in the cartoons because they were so small. You practically had to squint to read them. Looking at the few '67 cards that I have, I can tell the cartoonist even had trouble producing anything interesting in such a relatively small space.
Is that spit sailing off of Drysdale's pitch in the left cartoon? Is Topps trying to imply something?
Anyway, like many of the card backs near the halfway point of this countdown, this one has its good and less-than-good points. The good is the traditional use of cartoons, info and stats with the '60s coloring and the added bonus of an extra cartoon. The drawbacks are the small size of the cartoons, the limited stats and the vertical backs.
We'll stay in the '60s for the next few spots in the countdown before getting to some of the more interesting backs.
Best of the set:
I'm not going to select one as the vast majority of cards I have are Dodgers. But I have very few others.
(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