Saturday, July 14, 2012

Topps Stamps from 1961 and 1962


The Topps Stamps were my favorite 'insert during my youthful collecting days. But nobody used that term in 1961. It was just 'things Topps put in packs'. Every time I see a '61 stamp like the Bob Boyd I associate it with riding home on the New Jersey Transit #13 Broad and getting off a block early to get a pack of cards. I liked the cards, but I was a couple of years from being a set collector and the stamps were my motivation for buying packs of the series they were included with.
The '61 stamps were much cooler than the '62s, at least to me. They were done in tones of green or brown and the '62s were in color but that was irrelevant. The scrolling design, the portrait designed to look like a real old timey postage stamp, that was the thing.
I posted the '59 Bob Boyd card on my other blog earlier this year but today I learned something new about him. He was the first African-American player to play alongside white player on any Houston sports team. It was 1954 and Boyd joined the Houston Buffs, a Cardinal farm club. He faced the struggles you'd expect in a southern city in that era. There is an interesting article right here about Boyd and the Buffs.
As I look at the '61 Boyd and the '62 panels below I think I know why I preferred the '61s. They were not chopped and cropped pics stuck on a colored background. Topps was so sloppy at that sort of thing.  Check out the Moon/Brooks Robinson panel as an example. The portraits on the '61s showed the player and the ballpark background generally. Much better.