Tuesday, March 23, 2010

1971 Topps Baseball Tattoos #5, Al Kaline

Among the world's many schoolyard antics, spit-and-stick tattoos seemed so cool as a youngster. They made you instantly 10 years older, stayed in place for upwards of an hour or so, and used backwards text that reminded me of secret ciphers and decoder rings.

Tattoo strip (blank back)

Kaline's clearly the best player on this collection of floating heads, but let's not sell the other guys short.

  • Lee May hit 20+ homers in 11 consecutive seasons and totaled 354 for his career
  • Billy Grabarkewitz hit for a 134 OPS+ in 1970 and made the All-Star team, playing 156 games at 2B, SS, and 3B for the Dodgers
  • Manny Sanguillen played 12 great years in Pittsburgh, netting 3 All-Star appearances and 2 World Series rings
  • Vada Pinson did everything well and collected over 200 hits 4 times, en route to almost 2800 for his career

The other tattoo panels show team pennants and generic players. I like that they combined "guy signing autographs" with Kaline's autograph. (It's a faithful representation, too--check this "sweet spot" example.)

UPDATE: Tattoos are still with us! A Pack To Be Named Later busted a 2009 Fan Pak and it includes modern versions of the same stick-on stuff. Check it out at APTBNL.

Value: This high-grade strip cost $12 on eBay, about right for a scarce but unpopular Topps test issue.

Fake / Reprints: Another tough issue to fake, since you need perforated pages and ink that transfers when wet. Haven't seen any reprints on the market.

1 comment:

Alli XT said...

This post has nothing to do with baseball cards. It is just a thank you for the great, informative, comment left on my thrifting post.
To make it pseudo relevant I will tell you this: while we were in Austin Aaron bought me some Cyndi Lauper cards. I will never open them b/c the packaging is THAT great. Yeah.