Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Standard Catalog Update #27a : 1956 Schmidt variation

This is an update to the Standard Catalog Update #27 post of Sept. 20, concerning a missing "6" in the losses column of the previous year stat line on Willard Schmidt's 1956 Topps card #323.

I speculated that if additional copies of the variation pictured in that posting could be verified, the card could possible be listed as a legitimate variation in the 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards.

Based on new evidence shown here, that's not going to happen. The pictures here were provided by 707 Sportscards and show that rather than the "no losses" card being an error of typographical omission that was later corrected, it is, rather, just a stage in a progression of missing black ink that affected those cards.

The top image shows that besides missing the 1955 losses, this particular example is missing the wins in that row, most of the "AJOR" in the red bar above the stats, and much of the printed numerals in the losses, percentage and hits in the lifetime row.

The lower picture shows those elements are now completely blocked from the black ink flow.

That being the case, I'm thinking this is not a "catalogable" variation, since it is likely that there also exists several or many other itermediate stages of missing black ink in these areas, and that differentiating among them with a written description would be imprecise and too cosumptive of page space.

These printing errors likely resulted from some sort of obstruction that got between the card stock and the black-ink plate and then gradually wore or fell away. The errors are worth recording for the hobby record in this forum, but should probably not become part of the printed catalog due to the fact that such variations appeal to only a limited segment of the hobby.

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