Did you ever wonder about the force that drove apart the “Tom” and “Reynolds” at the top of this Tommie Reynolds card?
The 1967 Topps set is in general a clean, well-designed issue, and this odd gap seems out of character. So what strange, supernal powers were at work here?
A few years back, Keith Olbermann published a great series of articles in Sports Collectors Digest concerning the history of Topps proof cards, which solved the Reynolds mystery.
Olbermann related that he had seen an uncut 1967 proof sheet for sale at the famed Topps Guernsey’s auction back in 1989, and that the sheet contained a version of this card with the name rendered as “Tommy Reynolds.”
Well, if you flip this card over, you’ll see that Reynolds’ preferred spelling of his first name was “Tommie.” So someone made the executive decision at proof stage to mask out the “MY” on the card front– lost to time is the logic that argued “Tom” is better than “Tommy” to a “Tommie”…
You can still see residue of the second “M” on my copy of the card here, and I’d suggest that you can spot a bit of the raised arm of the “Y” as well.
Among the wide range of proof variations that Olbermann discussed, a few other Mets-related items stood out:
• A 1962 Don Zimmer that lists his team as the Mets, instead of the Reds as issued.
• A 1968 Tom Seaver that pictures him as a practical-joking lefty.
• A 1971 Ron Swoboda Mets card, which utilizes the same pose as the published card, minus the garish Expos airbrushing.