Sunday, December 3, 2023

1974 Deckle Dating: Darrell Evans

Recently I came across a set I'd not been familiar with before, the 1974 Topps Deckle set. Unlike the common 1969 set, this set was a small test issue and the cards are pretty rare. I don't own any myself. However there is something about this set that is very unusual for Topps cards of any era, let alone this time period, and I thought it might be a fun, if fairly brief, blog series.

Here is card #2, Darrell Evans. (Using TCDB scans for these.)

At first glance it looks like the photo was taken in a hotel lobby, but it's actually in front of a building at spring training, maybe the locker room or an equipment shed. 

However, it is the backs that make these cards unique:

You have the date and location the photo was taken! This is very rare for any card set. The only other one that comes to mind is Upper Deck in 1997 and some cards from 1998.

I thought it would be fun to match up cards from the Deckle set with other cards that might have had the photo taken at the same time. #1 Amos Otis has a spring training photo in the deckle set but all his other cards that year (and checking '73 and '75 as well) seem to be from the regular season, so I am starting with #2, Darrell Evans. His '74 Topps Stamp appears to be at Shea Stadium, but his base Topps card is in spring training, also in his home uniform and seemingly in a location well off the main diamond.

Perhaps this too could have been taken on March 12, 1973. The Braves hosted the Yankees that day and lost, 10-8. The big news was that it was Fritz Peterson's first appearance since swapping wives with teammate Mike Kekich, which was big national news. Kekich had pitched two days before and was hearing remarks from the fans; Peterson, who allowed two runs over three innings, said he heard nothing. In other baseball news, Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch died at the age of 74, from injuries sustained in a car accident the previous month.


  1. I was unaware of the 74' Deckle like cards.

  2. I've known about this set for some time but have never seen them in the wild. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one if I see it.

  3. Yeah I've know about these but not once ever saw one, I didn't think I've seen one online until now.

  4. I too never knew that there was such a set.

  5. I'm part of the "never seen or heard about these before" club. I wish more cards featured the date and location information of the card photo. I know Topps Now does it... but they're not distributed in packs.