I got out of work early yesterday in anticipation of the holiday weekend, and headed over to Bay State Coin on Bromfield Street in Downtown Crossing, a shopping district of Boston. I asked to go through their box of off-condition 1956's, and found this 1955 Topps card of Joe Frazier in there for $1.
Nothing special on the front, just a lot of creases, tears, and paper-loss goodness. As you can see in the scans, the back is the real star of the card. It's my first misprint from 1955 Topps. I say 'misprint' rather than 'miscut' because only the back of the card is wrong; the front's as it should be.
On the T ride home, I got to thinking: how hard would it be to figure out the other player from just his stats? So when I got home, I pulled my Baseball Encyclopedia (1990 edition) from the shelf and scanned the 1954 season stats. And lo and behold, I found a match: New York Yankees third baseman Andy Carey.
And wouldn't you know it, Carey's stat line on his 1955 Topps card matches the one I found on the misprinted Frazier, like this:
So I imagine that during the printing process of Series 1 of 1955 Topps, Carey appeared directly above Frazier on the sheet, and at least one sheet was misprinted.
Thinking about misprints and miscuts is funny to me. For the longest time I felt that Topps should've been more careful not to let screw-ups make it out of the factory. But the more cards shows I went to, the more I realized that printing errors have been around forever, and that nobody really cared too much to catch them. I think they provide insight to the printing process, but to a little kid in the Fifties, how crappy would it have been when one card in your pack of one card was screwed up? How are you supposed to trade that?