Saturday, July 17, 2010

A color coordination crisis

This particular "crisis" has to do with my other blog, "1975 Topps (it's far out, man)." But I don't want to post it there because I like to pretend everything is happy and blissful and, well, 1975ish, on that blog. Why muck it up with confusion and disappointment?

As you may know, 1975 Topps is my favorite set. There are a host of reasons for this, including it being the first set I ever collected, but two other reasons are the various colored borders and the mini set.

Well, those two factors recently conspired to throw me for a bit of a loop.

The other day I received an awesomely thoughtful package from Greg at Lake Effect Baseball Cards, who is much more active as "grogg" on Twitter. I'm not going to show all the cards he sent right now as I'd like to save it for a post that can be solely about that great assortment.

Instead I'm showing just one of the cards here, the Dave Lopes '75 mini card.

As you know, it's hard to show just how mini these cards are with scans unless you put it next to a regular-sized 1975 card. So, that's what I did with the Lopes card.

Here they are. Do you see what I see?

The border color at the bottom of each card is different. The mini is orange-looking and the regular-sized card is a beige, peach-like color. I call it "tan" on the '75 blog.

This blew my mind.

I have just one '75 Lopes regular-sized card, which is pictured at right. I've had it since I was a teenager. I've never obtained a second card (one of 2 remaining '75 Dodgers that I need for the team set). In my mind, the color combo on the Lopes card has always been "brown-tan."

So what is the deal with the brown-orange mini card?

I decided to try to find another Lopes '75 card online and went straight to gcrl's blog. Here's the '75 Lopes card he displayed.

(*Gasp*). It's "brown-orange," too!

So were all of the '75 Lopes cards listed on COMC.

Now, normally, that would cause me to believe that I merely own a Lopes card in which the bottom border is faded. That's a logical enough conclusion.

But if you've read my '75 blog, you know that I have come up with 18 separate color combinations in the '75 set. And two of them are brown-tan (the "chocolate and vanilla design") and brown-orange (it's the only combo that doesn't have a name yet).

Did this mean that all of the brown-tan cards were actually brown-orange cards with faded bottom borders?

Well, I had my doubts because that would leave just 17 color combinations, and 17 doesn't seem like a number that's too printer friendly. You don't see very many 17-card sheets.

But just to be sure, I grouped together all of the brown-orange cards featured on my '75 blog so far, as well as all the brown-tan cards. We'll have a look at them together.

Here are the brown-orange ones first:

And here are all the brown-tan ones:

After looking at these, I don't think there is a question that there are still 18 different combinations with one being "brown-orange" and one being "brown-tan."

In fact, if I stare at the Lopes card long enough, the bottom border appears to be slightly more "orange" than the other tan borders in the group.

So, I guess it's not much of a crisis after all. My only remaining questions are: should I make the Lopes card "brown-orange" instead of "brown-tan," and does anyone have any '75 Topps cards that I've grouped under "brown-tan" that appear "brown-orange" in your set?

Stop snickering. This is very important stuff here. I need answers.


  1. Sorry I don't have an answer for you, but It was an interesting read. I do like the brown-orange cards better. They just standout more. Good luck on your quest for baseball card knowledge!!!

  2. your Lopes is a Brown orange.

    I bought a small lot of about 50 cards (all 75's) and there is some colour variation in them. I'm not sure if it's a printing issue, or they were left out in the sun...

    but I think your Lopes is like the ones I got.

  3. My Lopes is like yours too, brown/orange. And I checked my set and all of the colors match yours...deep, cleansing breath; all is well with the world!

  4. ...And what's up with comment #2? Kosuke, it that you??

  5. I deleted comment #2. If I don't understand it, it goes bye-bye.

  6. I think brown-orange is the intentional color for the card. My Topps coffee-table book 75 Lopes shows brown-orange, not brown-tan. My actual 75 lopes cards are not readily accessable for me to check.

    I bet it was a printing issue - not the right color registration on the sheet(s) that your Lopes was contained on. It doesn't seem like it's faded or other nearby colors would be, too, IMHO.

    My question for you - why is Bill Buckner Orange/Brown and Don Sutton Blue/Green instead of both being Brown/orange? They are Dodgers in the set so I thought it'd follow the same color scheme as Lopes and some other Dodgers.

  7. Hi greg, well my email has been giving me RTS and I have been trying to email you for about 2 days now, I wanted to say, I got the check thank you! And that the cards will be out this week, thanks again!