Saturday, June 14, 2014

1968 Topps Game Inserts

I was holding off on typing up a post until I watched Saturday night's Stanley Cup Game Five. But the Rangers and Kings want to keep playing and keep playing (headed into overtime #2 at the moment) so I'll get to work.

These two 1968 Topps Game inserts are the rest of Jim from Downington's envelope. They sort of got overlooked as I endeavored to find out more about those Orioles stand-ups but they are pretty cool themselves.  They are certainly designed to mimic the 1951 Topps Red and Blue Backs although the front lacks the 'diamond' element of the originals. The backs are very much the same. The '68 set has a pretty good representation of the game's stars. They six pitchers included are not nearly up to the level of the 27 hitters. Take a look at that checklist. Many Hall of Fame types are here including 8 of the first 10 in the numerical checklist.
Here is Brooks wearing an Orioles cap that they had put in their rear-view about three or four years prior to the set's release.

Frank Robinson's card has a more up-to-date photo and he represents a 'triple' as opposed to Brooks designation as a HBP. Ouch.

(Damn, Rangers just lost. I will focus on the fun season just past and try not to bitch about the HORRENDOUS tripping call that was went down in the third and allowed the Kings to tie up the game. I won't bitch, I won't bitch.....)
Back to the post, here is the back of the '68, compare it to the '51 at the bottom. 

1968 Topps Game Inserts checklist with Hall of Famers bolded (Richie Allen's Hall credentials are a topic for another day):

  • 1  Matty Alou
  • 2  Mickey Mantle
  • 3  Carl Yastrzemski
  • 4  Henry Aaron
  • 5  Harmon Killebrew
  • 6  Roberto Clemente
  • 7  Frank Robinson
  • 8  Willie Mays
  • 9  Brooks Robinson
  • 10  Tommy Davis
  • 11  Bill Freehan
  • 12  Claude Osteen
  • 13  Gary Peters
  • 14  Jim Lonborg
  • 15  Steve Hargan
  • 16  Dean Chance
  • 17  Mike McCormick
  • 18  Tim McCarver
  • 19  Ron Santo
  • 20  Tony Gonzalez
  • 21  Frank Howard
  • 22  George Scott
  • 23  Rich Allen
  • 24  Jim Wynn
  • 25  Gene Alley
  • 26  Rick Monday
  • 27  Al Kaline
  • 28  Rusty Staub
  • 29  Rod Carew
  • 30  Pete Rose
  • 31  Joe Torre
  • 32  Orlando Cepeda
  • 33  Jim Fregosi

Every one of those cards can be had for less that $10, most far below that. The only exception might be the Mantle card. Below I've posted the images of my Billy Pierce Blue Back for comparison's sake.

Again, Jim, I thank you for the great group of cards you sent. I'm going to snag the rest of those Orioles Stand Ups and I may just have to put this '68 game set together as well.


  1. This set's been growing on me over the past couple of years. There's a dealer who has a lesser-condition box I never miss, and he's had a number of these cards for less than a buck. I'd pick up one here, two there... Until I realized I had 14 cards and started to think "Hm, maybe I should go for the full 33". The only thing that gives me pause is the fact that the only HOFer I have is Frank Robinson.

    Was it yesterday that I said that the 1964 Giant was the only Mantle I'd ever need? Maybe I was jumping the gun a bit...

    1. Prices for the Mantle are all over the map on eBay. COMC has some as well. I'm going to wait it out and make a few bids on some and see what happens.

    2. I've got 3 extra Mantles and a bunch of others (including EIGHT Gary Peters - for you White Sox fans) that I'll be featuring on a 1968 blog post soon. They are all available for trade - I'm looking to knock off some '66 and '70 Topps from my wantlist.

  2. I like these cards. Your right most can be had pretty cheap.

    1. Yup, you could put together nearly the whole set on COMC at less than a buck a card. I saw about 25 or so with 70 or 90 cent prices on them.