Monday, November 21, 2011

1971 Topps Baseball Coins #5, Felix Millan

Various baseball makers tried out metal and plastic baseball coins during the 60s and 70s, such as Topps' debut issue in 1964 (#5 Dick Groat). Similar efforts include Coca-Cola's cap liners and the Salada/Shirriff plastic coins.

Topps punched these coins from a metal sheet and then rounded the edges to keep kids from cutting themselves. My scanner got hung up on Millan's knurled lip, so here's a clearer scan of one of his more famous teammates.

Topps packaged these coins in wax packs of their "regular" 2nd series and even printed a separate checklist as 1971 Topps #161, the first time they'd made such an overlap.

Find just about everything there is to know about 1971's coin color-coding and other set peccadilloes at The Topps Archives' coin posts. (Checklist scan borrowed from its feature article, Post Pattern.)

As the tag line says, Topps minted a set of 153 coins, which itself divided into three sheets of 51 players (3 rows of 17); uncut proofs pop up occasionally in auctions.

Value: Single coins are common; Felix cost 25 cents at a show several years ago.

Fakes / reprints: It'd be quite a feat to fake one of these coins and I haven't seen any in the marketplace.

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