Mets Card of the Week: 1971 Topps Coins


From 1961 through 1971, Topps issued at least a single one-per-pack insert each year. Here’s a complete list, for those of you keeping score at home:

1961 Magic Rub-Offs
1961 Stamps
1962 Stamps
1963 Peel-Offs
1964 Coins
1965 Embossed
1965 Transfers
1966 Rub-Offs
1967 Pin-Ups
1968 Game
1969 Decals
1969 Deckle Edge
1970 Posters
1970 Scratch-Offs
1970 Booklets
1971 Coins
1971 Scratch-Offs

I had firsthand little-kid experience with the 1970 and 1971 products, and I have to say that the 1970 issues were by and large a nuisance. The booklets and posters were fairly crude, and I don’t think my five-year-old brain ever fully grasped that enigmatic scratch-off game.

The 1971 coins, however, were another matter. I loved these things, and I had a large selection of them clanging around in the pockets of my husky Toughskins for that entire summer.

The fronts of these thin metal discs contain a player name and photo, along with the team name. The backs consist of an arched exhortation to “Collect the Entire Set of 153 Coins,” along with the coin number, player name/vitals, copyright line, and a single-sentence player bio.

The coin backs are either gold (1-51), silver (52-102), or blue (103-153)– I remember needing to tilt the blue ones at a very specific angle in order to read the text.

In addition to the nicks and scrapes endemic to all that pocket clanging, these coins were particularly vulnerable to oxidation, and you will find many today with rusted edges. The best-kept coins have spent long years nestled in numismatic cardboard holders…

The full run of Mets in the set is as follows:

Jerry Koosman
Art Shamsky
Bud Harrelson
Tommie Agee
Cleon Jones
Tom Seaver
Donn Clendenon

2 comments for “Mets Card of the Week: 1971 Topps Coins

  1. January 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Hands down – my favorite insert ever! I played all kinds of games with these coins and I used to keep them in an old taffy tub I got from some place on the AC Boardwalk. I never got the Seaver coin, though. You don’t happen to have doubles of that one, do you?

  2. Doug Parker
    January 9, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Sorry, Brian– no dubs.

    I actually picked up this team set a couple of months ago on eBay. None of my originals survived childhood…

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