Mets Card of the Week: 1972 Jerry Koosman


Throughout the ’60s, Topps licensed its baseball-card designs for use in Venezuelan sets.

The cards in those sets were generally of lower quality than their US counterparts: the low-def photos lacked any sort of gloss, and the paper stock was mealy and thin.

The Venezuelan card backs were often different from the US versions. In 1962, the biographical blurbs were presented in English and Spanish. The dominant color on the 1964 reverses was black, instead of the sickly salmon pink of the US original. And the 1967 cards contained no stats, only career highlights rendered en Espanol.

The Venezuelan Topps cards were last issued in 1968– the set differed little from its source material beyond a “Hecho en Venezuela C.A. Litoven” copyright line. A 300-card set was printed in 1970, but it bore no resemblance to that year’s Topps release.

Then in 1972, these baseball stamps appeared, utilizing the same photos found in the 1972 Topps set. You might well recall this shot of Jerry Koosman looking back at you while you take your lead from second, with Joe Pignatano hauling a ball bag in the background.

The blank-backed stamps were about half the size of regular cards, and are often found today with damage from having been pasted in albums. This particular stamp was purchased from a dealer in Venezuela, and it’s as sharp and clean as a Koosman curve…

2 comments for “Mets Card of the Week: 1972 Jerry Koosman

  1. October 17, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Very interesting – did not know Topps had a presence in Venezuela, too.

  2. Doug Parker
    October 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    The first Venezuelan Topps cards came out in 1959– no doubt the popularity of Luis Aparicio and the success of his Go-Go Sox had something to do with it…

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