Saturday, March 3, 2012

'64 Topps is becoming more than a curiosity for me

Good Friday night/Saturday morning to you all, hope that you are getting ready for a great weekend.

I don't know what it is about '64 Topps.  It was released 3 years before I was born, so there is no connection as far as my timeline in life is concerned.  Yes, I know a lot of the big names in the set, the Mantles, the Roses, the Clementes to name a few.

Outside of the star players, there are likely to be only a few players that I will recognize, largely because they went on to coaching or managerial careers later on in life.

There are no Blue Jays in the set, because the set was released 13 years before the Blue Jays came into existence.  As the days pass, I grow more and more curious about the set.  So what is it about the 1964 Topps set that has me intrigued?

I only have 8 cards so far for this set, which contains 587 cards in total (a number that I found odd...pardon the pun).  The front of the cards have no intricate design, the team name is at the top of the card in bold letters.  7 of the 8 cards I own feature pictures of the players in an outdoor setting. Only Milt Pappas of the Orioles has a different background, which just happens to be a plain blue one.  The player's name and position are found at the bottom of the card.

Maybe it's the backs that have my attention. 

The couple of handfuls of cards that I have employ varying shades of orange/red on the backs.  This Bob Buhl scans more towards the red as you can see.  The orange cards remind me of a creamsicle, since the backgrounds are white with orange text.  (Ya, I always loved creamsicles as a kid)  Buhl's card doesn't feature it, but the majority of the cards I do own have a scratch off portion which exposes a cartoon if rubbed with a coin.  I'm sure that the cards that are rubbed are considered a slightly lower grade, but for me that does not matter as well. 

I've dabbled in older sets in the past.  I started collecting the 1972 set, but as I gained more cards there was something lost on me.  I just didn't care for the set for some reason.  I could never put my finger on why, but none the less I got about 100 cards into the set and abandoned trying to finish the set (most have been traded away).

Lately, however, the '64 Topps set has become very interesting to me.  Maybe it's the simplicity of the design that has me interested.  I've done eBay searches for this set, and there is more out there than I thought there would be.  I also actually won a 4 card lot of '64T for a whopping 50 cents plus shipping on Sportlots this week. 

What's going to hinder me from completing this set?  The price tag of course.  There are 8 cards in the set listed in the magazine for $100+, including big names such as Koufax, Clemente, Rose (his 2nd year card), and the Mantle which in NRMT lists for $500.  Ouch.  Those will likely be the last 8 I pickup while trying to complete the set.  Those cards likely will be "well loved" condition.

Something else to look forward to while traveling along my collecting journey.

Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. I'm not that crazy about a lot of sets in the '60s -- 1964 included. ('65 and '67 are my favorites). But 1972? Love that set.

    To me, '72 is the set that, as a kid, was the template for a baseball card. It was a set that arrived before I started collecting, but older kids had some of the cards and because of that, '72 seemed like what a card was "supposed to look like."

    Now that I'm collecting it, every time I open the binder and see all the wild colors together, I get giddy. I love it.

  2. I get exactly what you're saying. I'm in the same boat but with the 1973 set. No connection growing up (it was out 9 years before I was born) but its the mystery and intrigue of a set you've probably never seen complete in front of you. For me its the unique photography and how the 1973 set seems to capture 1970's baseball perfectly. It has a great mix of stars and legends rounding down their careers. The final set to be issued in series, an all around winner in my book. The '64 set for me doesn't go beyond the few cards I have which includes a really beat and miscut Roger Maris.

  3. The 64 set is just before my time. I have very few of them. I inherited a Koufax. I know I have the main Cubs (excepting Banks). I probably have a handful of others. I've never been a set builder but they're not bad looking cards. Best of luck with your quest.