Uncut Sheet of 1957 Topps Football Cards
The picture below shows the configuration of part of an uncut sheet of 1957 Topps football cards. It is modeled after a real partial sheet that appeared in a Huggins and Scott auction. If you hold your cursor over a card in the virtual sheet, your browser should show you the number of the card and the name of the player. Clicking on a card will bring up the full-sized scan. (A real uncut sheet would not have lines between the cards--that's an effect of scanning them individually.)
The partial sheet below contains 7 of the 12 columns of cards that would have appeared on a 132-card half-sheet. The 132-card half-sheet would have been part of a 264-card full sheet. To get the idea, see this 264-card full sheet of 1966 Topps baseball cards.
The following table shows the numbers of the cards in the partial sheet above.
I have collected other bits and pieces of the 1957 Topps sheet, also, and eventually I hope to use them to assemble the entire sheet. Here's a picture of a six-card panel from my buddy Joe. The three cards on the left also appear in the rightmost column of the uncut partial sheet above. I believe that that column was repeated on the second half-sheet, so this six-card panel could have been part of either half-sheet.
This is how the panel looks with the lefthand column filled out:
This is a nine-card salesman's sample that appeared in a recent eBay auction. I presume that this sample matched another section of the full sheet.
The three cards in the rightmost column of the sample also appear in a column of the larger section of sheet above, so I assume that the two columns matched. Filling out the column gives us this additional section of the full sheet:
I have found a few smaller pieces to the puzzle, as well. First, here is a three-card panel from a 2008 auction:
Next, this Gino Marchetti card has a sliver of Clyde Conner's card on the right.
This is how the corresponding pieces of the uncut sheet looked:
This is how the pieces were numbered:
If you are familiar with the 1957 Topps set, you probably noticed that the partial sheet at the top contains both low- and high-numbered cards. From this I infer that the 1957 Topps set was released in one series, not two. Beckett says that the set was released in two series, cards 1-88 and cards 89-154, and that some of the second series cards are double prints. I have always been skeptical of this, because if the second series indeed contained 66 cards, it would have fit an even four times on a 264-card sheet, with no double prints.
Of the 154 cards in the 1957 set, I suspect that 110 appeared twice on the full 264-card sheet, and 44 appeared once. Those 44 cards are thus short prints.
The numbering of the cards on the partial sheets appears to be random, except that each 11-card column contains either low-numbered cards (88 and below) or high-numbered cards (89 and above). If the 1957 Topps sheet follows the pattern of later Topps sheets, some of the columns were repeated to fill the sheet. Judging by PSA's population report, my guess is that all eight of the columns of low-numbered cards appeared twice on the sheet, and two of the columns of high-numbered cards also appeared twice. Four columns of high-numbered cards appeared only once; these columns held the 44 short prints.
The 1957 Topps set also includes an unnumbered checklist. It is rare compared to the numbered cards in the set, so perhaps it was printed separately. If it was part of the sheet, perhaps it took the place of a card that would have appeared twice on the sheet.
For general information on uncut sheets of vintage football cards, see my blog article, U is for Uncut Sheets. Also see my other virtual uncut sheets, listed in the left column of this page.
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