Thursday, January 3, 2019

1968 Alt-Topps

Here's another in a series of rejected Topps designs ** (Now found in "The Brooklyn Collection". An exclusive "582 Montgomery Club" issue from Topps).**  As I stated in my previous post.  This mock-up features the photo of  Bubba Phillips and inexplicably bears the name of Angels pitcher Jim Weaver.
I'm not sure why they used the airbrushed photo from Phillips' 1964 card.A greater mystery is why the designer used Jim Weaver's name. He pitched just 53 innings at the major league level over 1967 and 1968.  Was it an inside joke? Was he related to someone at Topps? Why him? 
Well here is my cleaned up version of this card. I put the actual Jim Weaver in place of Bubba.

 I had to "borrow" the photo from his 1968 Topps Rookie Stars card.

Because Topps used Weaver as their subject, I am using this design for my Alt- Topps 1968 set. My usual method is to make base cards of that year's MVPs and Cy Young awards winners.  Since 1968 was the "Year of the Pitcher", Gibson and McLain won both MVP and Cy Young Awards. 

To round it out I added 2 more pitchers who had great 1968s.  Tiant led the A.L. with a 1.60 ERA.  Seaver was coming off his Rookie of the Year season in 1967. He had 16 win seasons in 1967 and 1968. Both of these pitchers were on the 1968 All Star teams.  Tiant was the A.L. starter and Seaver struck out 5 of the 8 batters he faced including Hall of Famers Mantle and Yaz.

If you haven't picked up on it already, there was something fishy about the National League pitchers.  Both Gibson and Seaver are posing as southpaws.  These two tried to pull a fast one on Topps and their poses even made it as far as the proof sheet. 

Here is a closer look at the Gibson and Seaver Proofs:

In 1968 the real Topps caught the pranks by these well-known pitchers before releasing the 1968 set.  The folks at Alt-Topps were more easily fooled.


  1. Great looking cards. Totally missed the pranks at first glance.

  2. Hi there CTNW...great post..really enjoy the ironic and self effacing humor in the comment on "proof checking". But "we" know that you know better!! Anyway, thanks for ID'ing this design as a 68 prospect. Although it lost out to the "burlap bag" competitor, Topps would have been well advised to have used this the next year (69)instead of the wholly unimaginative design that was chosen. Of course that one, which did use elements from both 67 & 68, (and was further saddled with overwhelmingly stale photography), remains one of Topps poorer efforts. Thanks again for not only more great "what ifs" but also your thorough research. "Buzz" (Bryant)