Thursday, May 26, 2011


I ain’t ashamed of this card.

Yes, it’s ugly. A lowly PSA 1.

But I love it, the same way people might love a Shar Pei or the Hold Steady.

Some of these Venezuelan Topps sets are easy to distinguish from their US counterparts.

The ’62 set has Spanish-language backs. The ’64 set has black backs, as opposed to the US orange. And ’67? That one’s a dream, with narrower borders on the obverse and totally reconfigured reverses.

This ’66 set, though, hews pretty close to standard Topps in terms of design. Hell, it even carries a US copyright line.

The Venezuelan Topps cards typically show signs of having been glued into albums, and this one is no exception. There’s a bit of tell-tale paper loss on the back, but it’s nothing too extreme.

And anyway, these signs of wear indicate to me that the card lived a good card’s life before it came to rest in this slab.

Someone cared enough about it to paste it in an album, and they even added a bit of tape to the corners to make sure it would stick. Maybe they built the whole set of 370 cards, and maybe this Swoboda was that last elusive card they needed for weeks. Maybe 45 years ago this card brought someone simple and immeasurable joy.

Nope, I ain’t ashamed of this card at all…

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