July 03, 2010

Card Sleuth: 1955 Topps Misprint

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?


dayf said...

Aw man - that's like a stealth miscut. Sweet!

SJ said...

This is about all I collect now. I am always amazed how bad Topps was in 1982 and 1983.

deal said...

In the early days of cards producing something was probably as important as producing something correctly. sort of like windows vista.

PunkRockPaint said...

I got a 55 Joe Frazier in the Topps Million Card giveaway... I wish I would have seen this sooner. I might not have traded it away.

I did get 21 different cards from the 50s, 60s, and 70s for it.

Considering the outrageous shipping charges per card, I definitely lost out on that trade.

Anonymous said...

I've been going nuts looking for something on this! As I just came across the same thing with card #82 Chuck Harmon. It has Joseph Frazier's stats on the top of the card. Nice misprint. Hope I get alot of cash for it. lol