Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Team colors: Orioles

I have this card in my Million Card Giveaway portfolio. Someone just offered a 1969 Leon Wagner card for it. Normally, I'd make a deal for "Daddy Wags" in a second. But I have the '69 Wagner already.

I've heard that the Million Card Giveaway site will be disappearing after a year of operation. I'm not surprised by that. I didn't think Topps would be giving away cards forever, although I hoped it would. But I do hope they keep the site functional as a database. I have used it already hundreds of times while researching posts. Taking away a resource like this would be counterproductive, in my opinion.

One area where it's been valuable to me already is in these team colors posts. This is only the second one I've done so far and it would have taken me a lot longer to look up all the colors used with a particular team if the MCG site didn't exist.

Tonight, I'm examining the colors Topps used with the Orioles next because of a comment O's fan Kevin left. He said the Orioles had a lot better luck with the color schemes used on Topps cards than the Dodgers.

I don't doubt that, just based on my memory of Orioles cards of the past. But I needed to get it down in writing ... er, virtual writing anyway.

So, did Topps use the proper team colors with the Orioles -- orange and black -- over the years? Or did they prefer to use the sickly green color it used with 1969 Orioles cards?

Again, I'm only citing the years for which Topps attributed certain colors to specific teams. Here is the rundown:

1964: light blue
1965: gray and orange
1966: light green and black
1967: yellow
1968: light green and black
1969: light green and black
1971: light blue and orange
1972: blue, light blue and yellow
1974: black and orange
1976: green, orange and yellow
1977: yellow and green
1978: red and purple
1979: yellow and green
1980: orange, black and red
1981: blue, black, orange and red
1982: orange and red
1983: orange, brown and yellow
1984: orange and light blue
1985: orange and black
1986: orange
1987: orange and black
1988: orange and brown
1989: orange and black
1991: orange, black and yellow
1992: black, orange and red
1993: orange and gray
1994: gray and orange
1998: black and orange
2000: orange
2002: black and orange
2003: orange
2004: orange and black
2005: orange and gray
2006: orange and brown
2007: orange and gray
2008: orange and gray
2009: orange
2010: blue, black and orange

A couple of notes:

-- After almost completely ignoring orange through the 1960s and '70s, Topps dedicated the color to the Orioles for 25 straight years between 1980 and 2010 (although only the O's logo on the 2010 set keeps the orange color streak alive).
-- I sort of identify the color yellow with the Orioles, mostly because Topps used it so often with the team in the late 1970s.

OK, time for the verdict:

Orioles team colors: Orange and black.
What Topps thinks are the Orioles team colors: Orange and black!

Smile, Eddie! Topps is right again!

(The tally: Orange-29, Black-15, Yellow-7, Gray-6, Red-5, Light Blue-4, Light Green-3, Blue-3, Green-3, Brown-3, Purple-1)


  1. The 1974 set was the first one I collected. To this day I keep thinking of the colors used in the 1974 set as the "right" colors for the teams.

  2. I like the color posts. Is Eddie getting any consideration for the "badass" club. He looks like a "badass" on that card.