The Glorious Backs Of 1965 Topps Cards

1965 Topps is a set that grows on me more and more with each passing year.

When I was younger, I liked the set just fine, but nothing about it stood out from other 1960’s set. They were all cool, I liked them all.

I really got to appreciate 1965 Topps when Upper Deck ripped off – ah, ehrrr – paid tribute to them in 2003.  the more packs I bought, the more the appeal of the design grew on me.

However, I never really looked that much at the backs until earlier this year when I was inventorying my 1965 cards… and now they are among my favorite backs in baseball card history.

Or at least the top third of the cards are among my favorites…
1965 Topps Larry Miller  Back

One of the things that I like most about 1965 Topps cards is that a significant portion of the back is hand-drawn… No fonts here, baby. The player name, the cartoon, and the cartoon’s caption were all done by a staff artist.

I don’t have a lot of 1965 cards, and some of the longer-tenured players don’t have space for a cartoon, but here are a few favorite backs from my collection…
1965 Topps Al Weis back

1965 Topps Bill Virdon Back

1965 Topps Dave McNally back

1965 Topps Donn Clendenon  back

“Sally League” is a reference to the South Atlantic League (“SAL-ly”).  This is actually a different league than the current South Atlantic League;  that league changed to a AA clasification in 1964 and became the Southern League.

I’m curious to see how these backs get handled in 2014 Topps Heritage;  I’m expecting a “handwriting” font and non-original cartoons, but maybe they’ll surprise me.

Maybe we’ll even get to see “Sally”!

…and speaking of 1965 Topps, 2014 Heritage and 2003 Vintage, I’ve noticed that 2003 Vintage is starting to appear on the fronts of Fairfield repacks. I’ve got to admit, highlighting cards which look like the upcoming Heritage set is pretty astute.


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