Monday, January 17, 2022

Art on the back: 1965

In 1965 Topps went for a very kid-friendly look for the card backs. Most players got a cartoon on the back, unless they were a veteran who needed a lot of space for their career statistics. In both cases the names were hand-lettered comic-book style, as can be clearly seen on the larger names for veteran players, like Nellie Fox whose name came out rather uneven.

The cartoons also have a very "childish" feel, in fact the ballplayers kind of look like children in a lot of cartoons. Most of it was pretty standard fare - players doing well on the field, changing teams, signing contracts, playing other sports in their baseball uniform (a lot of basketball this time around). Here are a few that stood out to me.

One unusually serious cartoon addressed Don Zimmer's famous beaning.

I noticed a couple of "error" cartoons. Ken Boyer's caption refers to this 1964 MVP win, but the cartoon shows him embracing a Yankee. Presumably the cartoon was originally going to be about Ken and his brother Clete, who both appeared in the '64 World Series, but at some point the caption was changed without changing the cartoon.

Bob Chance's caption talks about his high RBI total for the Indians. However, the leader of the line of ballplayers about to score is holding a sign saying "Chuck Sent Us". The text on the card mentions Chance getting traded for Chuck Hinton; the cartoonist appears to have confused Bob and Chuck.


  1. My favorite card back of the '60s. 1969 is second.

  2. Man, the cartoon on that Zimmer would never make it onto a card today!

  3. I wish I would have read this post earlier in the day and not before bedtime. It would have motivated me to sift through my 65's and check out the cartoons. I'd like to say I'll remember next weekend to do it, but I'll get distracted by something.

  4. I'm one of the few people who isn't overly fond of the '65 design. And my dislike for the set extends from the from to the back, as this is easily my least favorite cartoon design as well.