Topps Made A Mistake
When you produce thousands of baseball cards over many decades you’re going to make some mistakes. Eagle-eyed baseball card collectors usually catch the errors. They would then write in to Topps baseball card company and sometimes the cards would get corrected. Some mistakes were pretty obvious and could have been caught and corrected.
None of these were.
For a couple of these cards, if you are an old time baseball fan, you might recognize what the mistake is. For the others it takes a sharp eye. See if you can spot the mistake on each of these cards.
First our lead photo of the 1957 Topps Hank Aaron card. The mistake is not that his proper name is Henry, not Hank. Look closely.
So what are the errors that Topps didn’t catch and never bothered to correct?
The first card of Hank Aaron is probably the easiest error to spot. The print is reversed. Look at Aaron’s uniform number 44. Most people know the great slugger batted right handed, not left.
Next, you probably wouldn’t pay much attention to Larry Haney’s card. It shows the catcher posed ready to catch a ball. Ardent students of the game know that almost no left handed catchers have ever played major league baseball. No, Haney is not the exception, once again, Topps reversed the negative. It is the same photo Topps used of Haney for his 1968 card except they got that one right.
With Lew Burdette’s card, one mistake is right in print and it is not a big deal. It is “Lew,” not “Lou.” But that is not the big error. Lew Burdette had a sense of humor. He asked his teammate and future Hall-of-Fame pitcher Warren Spahn if he could borrow his glove. That would be fine except that Spahn was a lefty and Burdette was a righty. Many children wrote to Topps in 1959 informing them of the “mistake.”
Tommy John surgery is now commonplace to repair pitcher’s arms. But when the surgery was first performed on John in 1974 by Dr. Frank Jobe it was revolutionary. In this baseball card Tommy John makes like he has just delivered a pitch. Look at the position of his hand. But now look into his glove. The ball is there. Was John just demonstrating the hidden ball trick?
Claude Raymond was nicknamed Frenchy because he was born in Canada. In a 12 year pitching career he pitched for four teams and compiled a 46-53 record. While he is looking up in the 1966 baseball card, he should have looked down. Why? His fly was unzipped. It was probably that he just forget to zip up you may be thinking. Tat has happened to everyone. Uh, probably not. Raymond pulled the exact same stunt the following year on his 1967 Topps card.
We saved the hardest “error” to spot for last. Billy Martin the fiery ball player and manager could be ornery at times. Maybe that was the case on the day this photo for Martin’s 1972 card was taken. He had a bad night’s sleep. He didn’t want to be at spring training. So maybe Martin isn’t giving the photographer the finger, but knowing Billy Martin, most card collectors believe he knew where he placed his middle finger over the bat.