The name of this blog is dedicated to my mother. Back in little league, my mother used to stand back behind home plate and give me that one, simple batting instruction: "get the bat off of your shoulder!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

1969 Deckle Edge inserts, now and then

Topps cards have had inserts for as long as I can remember collecting.

As a kid, I don't recall coming across too many, but I had enough to make them special. There's the story booklets and posters from the '70 set, the scratch offs and metal coins from the '71 set. I have a few of each of these, but the oldest insert cards I have that I actually pulled myself from packs, are a pair of what is called "deckle edge" cards from the '69 set.

I have had them forever. For many years I didn't even keep them with my regular baseball card collection. They got to go in the special wooden chest full of odd trinkets such as a huge Bolivian coin that I was convinced was pirate treasure and a bright red plastic apple I stole from the Snow White ride at Disneyland on a dare. 

For many years, I really thought that the autographs were real. No one could convince me otherwise. I used to take the card out and stare at it and wonder where was Jim Fregosi sitting when he signed my card?
Did Don Kessinger know that it was *me* that had this one and only card that he signed?
Probably because of the blue ink, I was convinced they were real.
There have been many baseball card sets over the years that have had printed signature on them, but I am pretty sure they were all black and, to me at least, pretty obviously pre-printed.

Recently I bought a handful of 2012 Topps Archive. I pulled this Ichiro Suzuki deckle edged card from a pack and nearly dropped my shorts! A signed Ichiro Suzuki card! Wow! Look at that! It's right there in the blue ink! How did I get so lucky!.

It was a fun 10 minutes as I rushed over to look at eBay to see if this was really a signature, and how much these were going for. It didn't take long to realize that the printed ones had the blue ink signature too.
I cracked open the binder I have with all the odd-ball cards in it, and sure enough there were Jim Fregosi and Don Kessinger, signed names with blue ink, smiling at me, almost laughing, "You're still just a big kid, aren't you?"


  1. it's nice to still have moments like that as we get older. The Ichiro card is still nice even without the auto though.

  2. Great story!

    I think the packaging they had in 1969 for this made it sound like they were real signatures, so I'm sure that contributed to your being convinced!