The next set I’ll look at with ties to 2011 Topps Lineage is from the 1970’s – specifically the 1972 Topps cloth sticker set.
After doing a little research, I’m surprised they singled out the 1972 set – as Topps has had a number of test sets called Topps cloth stickers. Here’s a list of the sets – I’ll do 1972 last because that’s what Topps says they modeled the Lineage set after:
1970 Cloth Stickers Test
These are apparently very rare, and appear to have been material tests that Topps intended to send to the scrap heap. Every sticker that’s been found (less than 44, including some that are only partials) corresponds to the 2nd series of Topps cards from t(#133-263). Here’s a couple of posts on this issue from the blog “Topps Archives”.
1976 Cloth Stickers Prototype
Another materials test – there were only 2 cards printed for this test issue – Duff Dyer (Pirates) and Bob Apodaca (Mets). Topps was likely testing for the full-blown set they would release in 1977 – these cloth stickers can be found in a couple of different versions. I’ve seen a couple of lots for these on eBay from time to time.
1977 Cloth Stickers
This set consisted of 55 players and was issued in packs along with 18 other cards that formed 2 9-piece puzzles. When you put the puzzles together, they form a photo of each All-Star squad. Here’s a write-up of this set on sports collector’s daily.
1972 Cloth Stickers Test
- Subsets: As the sticker set is essentially a sheet of cards from the ’72 set in sticker form, some of the same subsets are represented that are in the 1972 Topps flagship set. There are 3 “In Action” cards, a “Boyhood Photo” card of Jim Fregosi, the Red Sox team card, and even a checklist.
- Set Design: Exactly the same as the recognizable arch design from 1972, these was one of the more unique designs in Topps history. Like all the other sets above, these cards have blank, stickered backs. If you see a single card – that means it was hand-cut.
- Hall of Fame: There are 4 Hall of Famers in this set.
- Hank Aaron, Luis Aparicio (IA), Roberto Clemente (IA), Willie McCovey
- Last Active player: Dave Concepcion, who played his final game in September of 1988.