Last fall I did a short post on some 1967 Paper Baseball proofs that had come from the Woody Gelman collection. These were printed on high quality white paper and featured four low numbered 67's. There has since been an informative thread on Net54baseball.com that shows a few more of these style proofs and since I'm always happy to use the scans of others, it makes perfect fodder for Opening Day (sorry, I do not like opening night-as far as I am concerned the season opener should always be in Cincinnati).
The earliest proof shown across the way is from 1957. Other than a 1956 Topps Pin Proof of Gus Zernial, it is the earliest proof I am aware of from Topps, so it's a neat little item:
If you can link to the Net54 site above, you will see these came from a Richard Gelman ad in a 1979 issue of the Trader Speaks. This would have been just after his Dad Woody passed away so clearly a treasure trove existed. You will see as we go on that the Groth card also has a printed reverse, unseen among the paper proofs I have seen so far.
The Groth is from the collection of Mark Rios, who kindly granted permission for me to post the images here. All of the offered paper proofs in the TTS ad were from the 1957 high numbers. Of course, you could have purchased 1970 Cloth Sticker proofs from the same ad!
Next we get to annoy some Mantle completists with a '66 Mick (#50), from the collection of Steve B (thanks Steve!):
We may have some more cool proofs from Steve a little bit down the road. That Mantle is #50 and blank backed here.
Super Topps collector Al Richter has a '67 paper proof sheet that is a sibling of mine:
Once again, these, like mine, are from the first series sheet and blank backed.
I find the '67 set endlessly fascinating. The cards look great, the photography is outstanding and the graphics just kill me. Plus, there's the crazy high numbers that year. Without a doubt, 1967 is one of the top five classic Topps baseball sets in my mind.
Proofs are one of the final Topps frontiers-many are in ungraded form and salted away in older collections. There must be a ton more of them out there; if they show up we'll post 'em here in some update threads.