Extremely rare and very likely unique red color progression proof card of Bob Gibson from the 1968 Topps set. These progressive proofs were intended for use by the printer to help check and correct colors prior to printing production quantities. Astute collectors will recognize that the card presented here differs greatly from the final-issue card of Gibson, which shows the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher in a portrait pose. On the offered card, Gibson is shown in a left-handed pitching follow-through pose, the result of a prank played by Gibson on the Topps photographer tasked with compiling images for use in the upcoming set. The prank was ultimately discovered by editors at Topps and corrected with the portrait image before the final run, but at least one set of proof cards, including this all-red version, survived the production process. The card presents as Near Mint overall, centered to the bottom right, with a blank reverse as is standard for proof cards. This is an extremely unusual and fascinating Topps rarity that would be very much at home in even the most advanced Topps or error-card collections. Reserve $200. Estimate (open).
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