1971 TOPPS SLICK PROOF GARY GENTRY #741 BVG 4.5
Adventures in grading, part 2.
To see the grade, you'd think I really spit the bit on this one. But as far as I can tell, there are no obvious issues with the card. The centering is good, the corners are acceptable, and I don't see any apparent creases.
I suspect that what knocked this card down was its surface. The good folks at Beckett probably didn't know what to make of all that slickness...
I bought this Gentry several years ago in a Topps Vault auction, where it was classified as a “slick proof.” It was one of a run of 1971 high numbers to which Topps had applied a layer of some sort of varnish. I imagine that this was an early test for the type of coating that would enter commercial production with later issues such as the 1983 all-star glossy send-in set and the 1984 “tiffany.”
The card has a complete back, which leads me to wonder exactly how Topps executed the test. Did they coat a finished sheet of cards and then cut them as well? Or was it a piece-based process, where they just pulled some individual cards from the high-number series and brushed on a layer of gloss?
It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a Beckett 4.5 slab, and I love this card for all that...
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