Mets Card of the Week: 1972 Tom Seaver


Seaver puzzle

The kids of 1972 piled their Topps cards high on the living-room floor.

Alone Again (Naturally)” segued into “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” on the hi-fi, and off in the distance of the kitchen Archie Bunker flickered silently in black and white.

The kids of 1972 flipped over their 6th series In Action cards and saw pieces of a picture– half a face, a corner of cap against a blue sky. Then they lined up six specific card backs (Curt Blefary, Alan Gallagher, Rod Carew, Bobby Murcer, Pat Corrales, and Jim Kaat) to create the towering image shown above. Of course, the shag carpet was not a perfect canvas, so there were always gaps and misalignments, but it was clear that the image was of The Franchise—George Thomas Seaver.

If the kids had been paying attention to the backs of the first-series In Action cards they would have seen this coming. Topps used cards like this Rick Wise to preview various features of the late-series sets.


It’s interesting to note that these crudely drawn preview images indicate a 16-card puzzle, rather than the six-card puzzles that made it into production.

Even more intriguing is the rendering of the card illustrating the 1971 award winners, which appears to picture a member of the Orioles. Unfortunately, by the time the 5th series rolled around, these cards had devolved into simple depictions of the relevant trophies, thus depriving posterity of the following additional 1972 player cards:

Commissioner’s Award: Brooks Robinson (1972 winner, as noted on card back)
MVP: Vida Blue/Joe Torre
Cy Young: Vida Blue/Fergie Jenkins
Minor League Player of the Year: Bob Grich
Rookie of the Year: Chris Chambliss/Earl Williams
Babe Ruth Award: Roberto Clemente

4 comments for “Mets Card of the Week: 1972 Tom Seaver

  1. April 30, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I suppose it’s near impossible to have a good photo when it’s sliced into a bunch of smaller parts. However, it would have been nice to have used one where Seaver looked like his pants were buckled.

  2. Patrick Albanesius
    April 30, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Haha, a little Dazed and Confused there.

  3. Doug
    April 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm
  4. Jim OMalley
    April 30, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Fascinating…..good article.

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