Monday, January 5, 2015

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>mfc '68 Tom Seaver Alt

There was a very interesting article recently on the Mets 360 blog regarding Tom Seaver's 1968 Topps baseball card. In their Met Card Of The Week column they put up some info that I was never aware of.

The 1968 Topps Tom Seaver card that we all are well acquainted with was a rather blah portrait. They used the same photo for his 1969 card, and I was never happy when Topps did that kind of thing. Still, a great card, showing a boyish Tom under a clear blue sky (you'll notice I always will prefer nice blue skies in my custom cards, even if I have to create them).
Same photo on the 69t sticker!
Tom has had a few '68mfc cards made since the project started. The different early versions have been pulled in favor of the one below created for the '68 Opening Day Lineup page. This will be Seaver's official mfc card.

Doug Parker from Mets 360 brought to my attention that there was an earlier Topps Tom Seaver card printed in 1968 that was never issued. 

Because Tom posed as a lefty pitcher in an attempt to fool the Topps photographer. Or maybe the photographer knew and was going along with the prank. Who knows? Well, Tom does.
Mr. Seaver, were you in cahoots with the Man From Topps?

In any case the card went so far as to be printed on a proof sheet before the photo was noticed. Another Hall Of Fame pitcher, Bob Gibson, also posed as a lefty (see uncut sheet), and someone at the company finally picked up on the gag. Topps pulled the cards and came up with the head shot portrait that we all know today. 
Bob Gibson's card was also substituted with a chest & up portrait shot.

As soon as I saw this article I knew I was going to try and re-create the unreleased Seaver card. Tom pulled his shenanigans at the world famous Sadecki (RIP) Spot and the background is recreated here. This is as close as I could get to the original card.

Tom Seaver's 1968 mfc alternate Topps card recreation.

I hope Mr. Seaver is feeling better these days after his bout with with Lyme disease and Bell's palsy. We will always root for you Tom.


>Photos of the 1968 Alternate Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson and 1968 Topps uncut sheet courtesy of METS 360
> I'd like to thank My Man From Topps, batmagadanleadoff of the CPF, a great source for Topps information. 
The great batmagadanleadoff has found a beautiful copy of the original 1968 Topps Seaver prank card. Look at this!:

Thanks batmags, this is absolutely awesome.

> Alpineinc of Behind The Bag & Baseball Fever has been an invaluable source for Mets photographs. Thank you sir.


  1. Very cool. Too bad Topps didn't have much of a sense of humor about it. Or maybe they just didn't want to confuse the kiddies.

  2. Great work! I'll be posting something on Card of the Week tomorrow upon which you could no doubt improve!

  3. Credit where credit is due. The actual Seaver left-handed proof card image was posted to OOTP by a poster named Merkle (actually a famous New Yorker named Keith...I'll forego the last name to preserve whatever anonymity remains). Given the dates involved, batmagadanleadoff obviously found it there. Merkle has had a unique relationship with Topps through the years and own several proof sheets. Topps printed proof sheets precisely to catch such errors before final production. Corrections were made prior to actual production. So there were no "cards" to be pulled--just an error (or several) caught and corrected before the mass printing began.

    1. Hey Stubby :)

      Sorry for the delay in responding. I have to apologize for that. That's all on me. Batmags gave me a link right to the OOTP baseball page where he found it. And I saw so many awesome pictures there that I hadn't ever seen.

      I'm usually very careful to give proper credit whenever I can but I was so excited by those photos I wasn't thinking. I've taken to adding the poster or photographers name to the file name but I can see I didn't even do that this time. Merkle posted many. I'll go back and add posters names to the file cause those photos deserve cards and you guys deserve credit. Love the stuff you do. I have to thank you guys BIGtime.

    2. Oh, and Fat Jack, who must have an awesome Mets photo collection. :)

  4. That color image is the stuff of dreams! And thanks for sharing the info on the provenance, Stubby.