My Sheet Is Better Than Night Owl’s Sheet

A couple of months ago, the Honorable Mr. M. Night Shyamalan Owlsford, Esq. – more commonly known as “Night Owl” – wrote a post about the disappointment he and his brother felt on receiving a “Set of 1975 Team Checklists” and receiving a sheet printed on paper rather than cardboard.

As with other similar writings I’ve found on the subject of 1970’s team checklist offers, my reaction was “Huh???”

Back in 1974, I sent 40 cents and a baseball wrapper to Topps for a complete set of team checklists.  I received mine in a manila envelope, all 24 checklists in a single sheet, 6 rows of 4 cards each, folded in half between the 3rd and 4th row.

1974 Checklist sheet

I didn’t notice anything about the sheet that made it think it was anything other than an uncut sheet of cards.

It wasn’t until many years later that I ran across mention of team checklists printed on paper.  The talk was so prevalent and the memories of my sheet foggy enough that I started to doubt my own checklist… Mine WAS on cardboard, right?

Once I managed to track down my checklist sheet, I saw that it was pretty much as I remembered it… It looks like cardboard, but might be a little bit flimsier than 1974 cards were… was that what they meant by “paper”?

1974 Checklist Sheet back

Then I saw Night Owl’s images, printed on a far whiter stock, and I said “OK, that’s something else entirely”.

My checklists were from 1974 while Night Owl’s were from 1975, so maybe 1975 was the first year they printed the team checklists for the offer on paper.

Here’s my guess as to what was going on… 1974’s team checklists were, essentially, inserts.  They weren’t part of the set and may have been printed on separate printing sheets, and perhaps they just cut those larger sheets into smaller sheets for this promotion.  1975 team checklists, however, were numbered as part of the set and would’ve been printed along with the other cards in the set.  To get all the “team checklist cards” on one sheet, they needed to set up a separate printing sheet… and since they had to set up a separate process, they figured they’d just save the money and print them on paper.

Again, just a guess.

Does anybody have any input into this?  Similar conjecture?  Facts?  Lies?  Bald-faced lies?

In the mean time, I’ll finish out this post with larger versions of the above images, just in case anybody’s curious…

1974 Checklist sheet

1974 Checklist Sheet back

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