1968 and 1969 Topps Blank-Back and Progressive-Color Proof-Card Collection (4) with Rare Unissued Variations

Sold For: $420

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1200

Item Year: 1968

Category: Postwar Baseball Cards (1948-present)

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Extremely rare and very likely unique collection of four blank-back and progressive-proof cards from the 1968 and 1969 Topps sets. Each of the offered cards possesses a subtle difference when compared to the final-issue card, which makes them particularly noteworthy and desirable among advanced collectors. 1) 1968 Topps #16 Indians Rookies with Lou Piniella: red-only progressive proof, intended for use by the printer to help check and correct colors prior to printing production quantities, with a blank back. The card title reads "1967 Rookie Stars" instead of 1968, which was corrected in the final printing. 2) 1968 Topps #131 Frank Bertaina: Blank-back proof with the Senators team name in white instead of yellow as in the final printing. Two players, Brinkman and Cox, were issued with this variation. Also included is a final-issue card of #131 with the yellow team name. 3-4) 1969 Topps #593 Don Nottebart: Two progressive proofs, black-only and red-only, with blank backs. These proof cards show Nottebart as a member of the New York Yankees, but he is shown as a member of the Cubs on his final issue card. The explanation for this is that he was acquired by New York from Cincinnati in early 1969 on a 30-day conditional trial until he was ultimately traded to Chicago on April 27, 1969. Each of the cards presents as Near Mint overall, with a blank reverse as is standard for proof cards. This is an extremely unusual and fascinating collection of Topps rarities that would be very much at home in even the most advanced Topps or error-card collections. Total: 5 cards. Reserve $200. Estimate (open).

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