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  #1  
Old 04-10-2014, 02:41 PM
flkersn flkersn is offline
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Default 1952 topps house gray/yellow

As some of you probably know, last week EBay listed a gray-back, yellow-logo #146 1952 Topps Frank House. I am intrigued by the existence of this card since it combines two factors. I wonder what it says about the printing/production process.

The assumptions generally are that Topps ran out of cream card stock and substituted gray stock, or vice versa. Also that the yellow logo variation is the result of ink slowly fading from the printing. (There are many examples of logos with increasingly "fading" red color).

Does this mean that the stock was changed while the ink was running out? If so, why do most House gray backs have the regular logo? Were two presses running simultaneously, one with cream and one with gray, and both running out of ink?

Two different card stocks, each with the same range of variations. I can't figure it out. Does it shed any light on the "white border" gray backs?

It's probably obvious, but it goes right by me. I welcome any thoughts or speculations.

Bill
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2014, 02:59 PM
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Default House

Bill

I was not aware of the auction and would not have expected there to be a gray back/yellow. Any chance it was not a true gray back ? Do you by chance have a link to the auction ? How much did it go for ? Very interesting . Absent it, my thinking was the same as yours

Al
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  #3  
Old 04-10-2014, 03:07 PM
flkersn flkersn is offline
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It was graded by PSA as a gray back PSA 5. Topps does not designate yellow logo.

Went for over $3500.

Not sure how to put a link on here. If you look at CardTarget.com and search 1952 Topps house (past auction results) you will see it. Maybe someone else is more tech-savvy than me!
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  #4  
Old 04-10-2014, 05:40 PM
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Cliff Bowman Cliff Bowman is offline
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I saw the card on sold listings on eBay, and I believe it is a mistake by PSA (which isn't rare). It looks like a normal cream back to me. They probably meant to put yellow logo rather than gray back.
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Last edited by Cliff Bowman; 04-10-2014 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Added photo
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  #5  
Old 04-10-2014, 05:46 PM
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Photo of the front.
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  #6  
Old 04-10-2014, 06:10 PM
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Default House

I did finally find the auction and could not tell from the scan if back was gray for sure. The yellow House and the grays in general both go for large premiums but the amount paid on this one would seem to indicate some master set collector considered it both gray and yellow. Maybe someone who posts on 54 ?
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  #7  
Old 04-10-2014, 06:17 PM
flkersn flkersn is offline
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Sure does look like a cream back. I have heard of PSA mislabeling grays for creams, but not the other way around.
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  #8  
Old 04-10-2014, 07:50 PM
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The same seller sold another 1952 Topps gray back of #147 Bob Young at the same time and the back scan is similar to the 1952 Topps Frank House. I guess the jury is still out.
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Last edited by Cliff Bowman; 04-10-2014 at 08:31 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-10-2014, 07:54 PM
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That's a gray back, and was very interesting. I haven't formulated an opinion how it happened
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NEED THE FOLLOWING 1952 topps

G TO VG-EX

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322 jackson
328 borkowski
345 white
347 adcock
354 Hatfield
386 yuhas
399 fridley
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  #10  
Old 04-10-2014, 07:59 PM
flkersn flkersn is offline
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Maybe feeding alternating cream and gray stock into the same print mechanism with failing red ink?
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  #11  
Old 04-10-2014, 08:52 PM
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The top scan is the gray back 1952 Topps Frank House, the bottom scan is a normal 1952 Topps Frank House cream back. Either I am color blind or I am ignorant about 1952 Topps gray backs, I don't see a discernible difference. If anything the bottom scan looks darker to me.
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File Type: jpg Ryan14052.jpg (56.9 KB, 225 views)

Last edited by Cliff Bowman; 04-10-2014 at 09:12 PM. Reason: Correction
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  #12  
Old 04-10-2014, 09:29 PM
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Default Variants

I have seen graders really miss on variants. I don't think you can be sure just on the scans. Hopefully someone who posts on 54 won it and can verify. Maybe Ted Z can weigh in
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2014, 11:02 AM
Republicaninmass Republicaninmass is online now
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Sometimes the Gray backs scan as a lighter colored back, but there is a noticeable difference. Also, on at least the cream backs, the smudge or masking of the Tiger begins to drift up Frank's throat. I tried to make a close up of the area in question. This Tiger has some of the red, but you can see the red is beginning to splatter, as well as the streak of green often found with the Pale yellow near his throat. Some yellow tigers are much more pronounced than others, as is the green on the throat. Again notice the splattering of red going up the card, and the streak of "green", which is the lack of red, up on his throat just to the left of the adam's apple


Card


CU

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NEED THE FOLLOWING 1952 topps

G TO VG-EX

(TONS TO TRADE, HIGHS LOWS, VARIATIONS, ERRORS)


322 jackson
328 borkowski
345 white
347 adcock
354 Hatfield
386 yuhas
399 fridley

Last edited by Republicaninmass; 04-11-2014 at 11:11 AM.
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  #14  
Old 04-11-2014, 06:03 PM
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I really doubt the existence of a yellow gray back House, but I would be thrilled to know for sure that one exists. I truly hope the winner of this card is a member here. Stories say that the gray backs of that series were printed in Canada....I do know many came from the great white north. Also 52's were found in some 53 wax pack in Canada. I don't know about all that but I do doubt the existence of a gray back yellow House. Prove me wrong, please. Dave.

Last edited by Cardboard Junkie; 04-13-2014 at 01:04 AM. Reason: add
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  #15  
Old 04-11-2014, 07:35 PM
Republicaninmass Republicaninmass is online now
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I doubted it as well, until the one just sold.
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NEED THE FOLLOWING 1952 topps

G TO VG-EX

(TONS TO TRADE, HIGHS LOWS, VARIATIONS, ERRORS)


322 jackson
328 borkowski
345 white
347 adcock
354 Hatfield
386 yuhas
399 fridley
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  #16  
Old 04-11-2014, 08:24 PM
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Default House

Just looking to verify that Ted.
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  #17  
Old 04-12-2014, 06:48 AM
flkersn flkersn is offline
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We may have to face the fact that this card may disappear into a collection for a long time. I doubt the buyer made the purchase just to re-sell it.

That said, I think we have to accept the odds that this is a legitimate card. PSA often misidentifies grays as creams, but I have never seen them identify a cream as a gray. Someone earlier posted that PSA may have meant to type "yellow logo" on the label and typed "gray back" by mistake. To my knowledge, PSA does not recognize nor identify yellow logo as a variation (even with all Tom Killeen's prodding). So it is not likely that was what happened.

Further the seller had two or three other gray backs for auction at the same time. This SUGGESTS the seller knew what she/he was doing and what she/he had.

Another possibility is that the card is a fake and PSA missed it. Not likely but possible.

All this leads me to accept that the card PROBABLY is legit.

So I am back to my initial question--ASSUMING it is legit, does this mean that there was not a distinct transition from one stock to another, and that both card stocks were being fed into the printing presses during a period of transition from one to another. Only thing I can think of.

Bill
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  #18  
Old 04-12-2014, 08:23 AM
Republicaninmass Republicaninmass is online now
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I think most of us know who bought it. At least I do, and I can say with 100% fact it is a Gray. I had one collector tell me he had a great with yellow and I doubted him, until I saw this one.
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NEED THE FOLLOWING 1952 topps

G TO VG-EX

(TONS TO TRADE, HIGHS LOWS, VARIATIONS, ERRORS)


322 jackson
328 borkowski
345 white
347 adcock
354 Hatfield
386 yuhas
399 fridley
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  #19  
Old 04-12-2014, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
I have seen graders really miss on variants. I don't think you can be sure just on the scans. Hopefully someone who posts on 54 won it and can verify. Maybe Ted Z can weigh in
Hi Al

I'm seeing scans posted here that are confusing. There should be a clear distinction between a GRAY back vs. a WHITE back in these mid-series 1952 Topps cards (as
is evident here with my Billy Martin and Cass Michaels cards).

It's late now, I will look tomorrow thru my set and see if I have a gray back House card.





TED Z
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  #20  
Old 04-14-2014, 10:00 PM
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Default Ted's correct

100% certain this is a grey back. There are more. At least two more are known to exist. Look at the 2006 Mile High Auction (there's one from there). This has been known for years if you paid attention.

Doubtful that more than 3 exist as 3 would have appeared on a single printed sheet. Strangely all 3 that were originally printed still exist. That's amazing.

Shocked that the card went that cheap. $3,600?!?!?!? For a card that is alomst 700 times more rare than the high number Mickey Mantle rookie? I say to the new owner - What a steal! You stole this.

Think about this way folks. There are at a maximum of 3 potential master sets that exist for 1952 topps. If you do not own the grey back yellow tiger - you do not own the master set. And given who owns those three - if you don't have it now - you can't have it.

Cheers,
Patrick
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  #21  
Old 04-15-2014, 06:18 AM
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Smile Master set

I just hate it when I am not paying attention. I need to spend more time on this stuff .

Thanks for the info Patrick. I know there have been discussions in here in the past on what constitutes a Master 52 set ( which I am not pursuing), but I also know ( I was paying attention some of the time), that the list has been expanding ( often to include recurring print defects). What do you, or others, think now constitutes a complete 52 Master Set

And is the House yellow/gray a true variation resulting from an intentional change in the printing process, such as red and black or cream and gray backs, or just an accidental ( maybe one time) print defect ? I realize that examples of both kinds can be found in catalogs and in the registry master lists

Last edited by ALR-bishop; 04-15-2014 at 10:39 AM.
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  #22  
Old 04-16-2014, 11:01 AM
SMPEP SMPEP is offline
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Default My thoughts

Hi Al,

Well, in my opinion ... the grey back/yellow tiger House ends all debate about whether the grey backs are officially part of the 1952 topps set. You wouldn't have this exact variation on both white/cream and grey bakcs unless they were printed at the same time/place.

What is most interesting is that the House appears with both variations (I do not believe the third cream/white back variatuion will ever be found for the grey backs) in both grey and white/cream backs. Meaning ... that they ran at least one grey sheet (maybe 2 sheets - but I doubt more than that) with the all yellow tiger logo (presumably the very first or the last third series sheet printed) ... then changed to run it with a cream/white back set of sheets with the House yellow logo .... then noticed the logo error and corrected it ... and then ran several more grey back sheets (a minimum of 5 sheets - but more likely 10-15) ... and then switched AGAIN back to the house regular logo cream/white version. These last two steps could be reversed in order, and maybe make even more sense if reversed since the somewhere in this mix (presumably in the middle) is the partial yellow tigerlogo. Obviously the all yellow logo could have been the start or end of the third series run - but I think the start of the run makes more sense as you would correct that error, not cause that error.

So that makes this very obviously an error they caught and corrected.

It's interesting that they ran grey back sheets at two different times in the third series print run though. It made sense that the grey backs were a one time glitch/varaition cause because of paper shorttages ... but they ran the grey backs on two different occassions.

It's hard to come up with a logical reason why they would have created the grey back versions on both ends of this process - unless they did it intentionally. It's logical to think they started the run with grey paper because they had it from the second series run. It's logical to think they had it at the end because of the 4th series run. But it's a harder argument to believe that they used the two different paper versions at both the end AND beginning of the run, just by chance - rather than they did this intentionally so they could create this variation. That's the only story I can come up with that fits the facts.

Still much more to be discovered on this set. [And I'll share what I have learned about the printing process more fully once I get my grey back Reiser. If that ever happens!]

Cheers,
Patrick

Ps - Sorry if the "paying attention" comment was obnoxious! Wasn't my intent, but in retrospect, it's a poor phrase on my part. I just was saying there was a photographed card of it since the 2006 Mile High Auction, so I was surprised it has never gained the notoriety it should have until now.
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  #23  
Old 04-16-2014, 01:51 PM
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Default 1952

Thanks for all the great input Patrick
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  #24  
Old 02-12-2018, 12:55 PM
mckinneyj mckinneyj is offline
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Just waking up this old thread... a PSA-4 yellow tiger / gray back House was offered on ebay for a BIN of $25k and went unsold over the weekend. URL for completed auction is

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1952-TOPPS-...-/263486464136

Doesn't appear to be any doubt about the gray stock or yellow logo.
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  #25  
Old 02-13-2018, 08:56 AM
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The seller of that card is one of our board members.

In my opinion ... this should be the most expensive card in the 1952 Topps set. There are over 2,000 mantle rookies. There are 3 of these.

If you have money - you can buy the Mantle any day of the week.

Once this one is sold - you won't see it for a long time again most likely (as I doubt the other 2 owners are selling at anytime in the near future).

Cheers,
Patrick
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  #26  
Old 02-13-2018, 09:10 AM
mckinneyj mckinneyj is offline
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> The seller of that card is one of our board members.

Yep. And it's not me. Some might recognize the ebay id - he can identify if he wants to.

> this should be the most expensive card in the 1952 Topps set

I'd agree that it is likely the rarest - but it does have a considerably smaller interested audience than the Mantle. I'll be interested in learning a sale price when it is moved.
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  #27  
Old 02-13-2018, 09:43 AM
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If there were as many people wanting to build a super master 52 set as there are wanting a 52 Mantle it might be the most expensive 52 card
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  #28  
Old 02-14-2018, 08:04 AM
flkersn flkersn is offline
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Default Latye to the party

Quote:
Originally Posted by SMPEP View Post
Hi Al,

Well, in my opinion ... the grey back/yellow tiger House ends all debate about whether the grey backs are officially part of the 1952 topps set. You wouldn't have this exact variation on both white/cream and grey bakcs unless they were printed at the same time/place.

What is most interesting is that the House appears with both variations (I do not believe the third cream/white back variatuion will ever be found for the grey backs) in both grey and white/cream backs. Meaning ... that they ran at least one grey sheet (maybe 2 sheets - but I doubt more than that) with the all yellow tiger logo (presumably the very first or the last third series sheet printed) ... then changed to run it with a cream/white back set of sheets with the House yellow logo .... then noticed the logo error and corrected it ... and then ran several more grey back sheets (a minimum of 5 sheets - but more likely 10-15) ... and then switched AGAIN back to the house regular logo cream/white version. These last two steps could be reversed in order, and maybe make even more sense if reversed since the somewhere in this mix (presumably in the middle) is the partial yellow tigerlogo. Obviously the all yellow logo could have been the start or end of the third series run - but I think the start of the run makes more sense as you would correct that error, not cause that error.

So that makes this very obviously an error they caught and corrected.

It's interesting that they ran grey back sheets at two different times in the third series print run though. It made sense that the grey backs were a one time glitch/varaition cause because of paper shorttages ... but they ran the grey backs on two different occassions.

It's hard to come up with a logical reason why they would have created the grey back versions on both ends of this process - unless they did it intentionally. It's logical to think they started the run with grey paper because they had it from the second series run. It's logical to think they had it at the end because of the 4th series run. But it's a harder argument to believe that they used the two different paper versions at both the end AND beginning of the run, just by chance - rather than they did this intentionally so they could create this variation. That's the only story I can come up with that fits the facts.

Still much more to be discovered on this set. [And I'll share what I have learned about the printing process more fully once I get my grey back Reiser. If that ever happens!]

Cheers,
Patrick

Ps - Sorry if the "paying attention" comment was obnoxious! Wasn't my intent, but in retrospect, it's a poor phrase on my part. I just was saying there was a photographed card of it since the 2006 Mile High Auction, so I was surprised it has never gained the notoriety it should have until now.
I don't know why I did not pick up on this before now. If Patrick is correct and there were two "feeds" of gray back stock into the presses, might that not explain the two gray back/front variations? That is, the "white/glossy" front and the "gray/dull" front? Slightly different types of gray back stock introduced at different times.

Further, if Patrick is correct about introducing the gray at the beginning and at the end of the run, might the white front/gray front examples run over into the 2nd and 4th series? For example, a noticeable amount of white front/gray back in the 2nd or 4th series, and vice-versa. (Not sure I have explained this very well!)

Bill

Last edited by flkersn; 02-14-2018 at 08:05 AM.
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  #29  
Old 02-14-2018, 11:48 AM
mckinneyj mckinneyj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flkersn View Post
I don't know why I did not pick up on this before now. If Patrick is correct and there were two "feeds" of gray back stock into the presses, might that not explain the two gray back/front variations? That is, the "white/glossy" front and the "gray/dull" front? Slightly different types of gray back stock introduced at different times.
I had been considering that possibility of different gray stocks as well. A visual inspection of the two gray back variations doesn't reveal anything to me - but the glossy white front variation does seem to have a rougher feel to it (even though I can't see a difference in texture). fwiw - I only have a single glossy white front variation for comparison so the sample size is small :-).

Quote:
Originally Posted by flkersn View Post
Further, if Patrick is correct about introducing the gray at the beginning and at the end of the run, might the white front/gray front examples run over into the 2nd and 4th series? For example, a noticeable amount of white front/gray back in the 2nd or 4th series, and vice-versa. (Not sure I have explained this very well!)

Bill
Makes sense to me and seems possible...

- Jim
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  #30  
Old 02-15-2018, 03:28 PM
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1/23/15 SCD interview with Len Brown of Topps (1959 hire date). Take it with a grain of salt after almost 60 years but the two printer strategy is interesting in terms of white/gray stock, even if it's almost a decade later in terms of the discussion below. 1959-60 was probably the height of Topps card production to boot.

"Whitebacks and graybacks
I asked Brown about the whiteback and grayback variations in the 1960 set. He said that their principal printer was Lord Baltimore. However, Topps also used a second printer, Zabel Brothers of Philadelphia. The first series was printed and ready to go early in the season and was usually their best seller. Topps wanted to make sure their next few series were delivered on schedule, and they felt two printers would be timelier than just one. They didn’t want to get stuck again with those crummy, unsold high numbers – like the 1952 Topps high numbers from Berger’s debut year.

The Topps product development people (primarily Gelman) liked to have their printers use the good-looking, white-backed cardboard, but one printer couldn’t use the white board in their presses. Brown remembers art director Ben Solomon as being really dedicated to Topps and trying to save the company money whenever possible. The gray-backed cards were slightly cheaper to produce than the white-backed cards. Solomon would go with the graybacks, if he had a choice.

Consequently, there are print runs in the 1960 issue (as well as 1959) with either gray or white backs depending on which printer produced the cards. If you look at a master set of 1960 cards stacked in a box, you will have an idea of what went on. The first card numbers up to 110 are on white stock (the first printer). Cards 111-198 are on gray stock (the second printer). The next batch is on white stock followed by another batch on gray. Card numbers 375-440 are on both gray and white stock since both printers were needed to keep up with the shipments. Finally 441-572 are back on cheaper gray stock."

Last edited by toppcat; 02-15-2018 at 03:29 PM.
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  #31  
Old 02-15-2018, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckinneyj View Post
I had been considering that possibility of different gray stocks as well. A visual inspection of the two gray back variations doesn't reveal anything to me -

Look closer, they are two different gray stocks

I had cosidered moving the House card, along with a few other rarities, in anticipation of the heritage signed 52 topps auctions which ended Sunday . The House card will be returning to the annals for now, or until more signed 52s come out of the woodwork!
__________________
"Trolling Ebay right now"

NEED THE FOLLOWING 1952 topps

G TO VG-EX

(TONS TO TRADE, HIGHS LOWS, VARIATIONS, ERRORS)


322 jackson
328 borkowski
345 white
347 adcock
354 Hatfield
386 yuhas
399 fridley

Last edited by Republicaninmass; 02-15-2018 at 06:05 PM.
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  #32  
Old 02-17-2018, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Republicaninmass View Post
Look closer, they are two different gray stocks

I had cosidered moving the House card, along with a few other rarities, in anticipation of the heritage signed 52 topps auctions which ended Sunday . The House card will be returning to the annals for now, or until more signed 52s come out of the woodwork!
Beautiful card, Ted!
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