Tuesday, September 14, 2010

1974 Topps Stamps

I've never understood the stamp craze with baseball and Topps. I understand the appeal of stamps. I had a collection for a very brief time in the late eighties. By brief, I mean probably two weeks. I understand the appeal of baseball players on ephemera. I collect that sort of thing, you know. Put the two together and I'm a bit lost.

Topps certainly has a thing for making test products. This set was available as a test run and came in five cent packs. Each pack contained a strip of twelve stamps and one of twenty-four team booklets to store your favorite team's collection.

Each stamp measured 1" x 1.5". There were 240 stamps in the complete set or essentially ten stamps per team, since there were only twenty-four teams at that point.

Coincidentally, there are ten stamps featuring White Sox players.

Dick Allen
Stan Bahnsen
Terry Forster
Ken Henderson
Ed Herrmann
Pat Kelly
Carlos May
Bill Melton
Jorge Orta
Wilbur Wood

This is a neat oddity. Like I mentioned earlier, I don't understand the attraction of putting these two separate hobbies together. Was there a big "collect stamps" movement going on in the sixties and seventies? Was card collecting still considered a kids hobby at that point? I suppose if it that were the case, then adding coins and stamps to baseball was a way of helping children graduate to a more adult "collecting" hobby.

Whatever the reasons for this test set, I'm happy to know it exists. The prices aren't totally outrageous on the secondary market. It's a team set to collect here and there, when there's a few extra dollars in the PayPal account burning a hole in your cyber pocket.

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