User Tag List

Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: [Featured Thread]Vintage Corner: The Hammer, Murph and Lou..or is it Lew? Reversed negative fun

  1. #1
    Featured Contributor
    Vintage Corner
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,806
    Mentioned
    36 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    [Featured Thread]Vintage Corner: The Hammer, Murph and Lou..or is it Lew? Reversed negative fun

    Sports card collecting is not an exact science and neither is the printing of these cardboard classics. Despite what many collectors think, a great deal of quality control goes into these printed products to ensure each player is properly identified and depicted in the manner in which he/she should be. Despite these controls put in place by the various card companies, glaring mistakes will continue to happen. Some of these mistakes have led some cards to become legendary in the hobby while others have fallen by the wayside as nothing more than a footnote in collecting history. Let’s take a look at a few of the more notable cards.

    In 1981, Fleer produced a number of reversed image cards in their set that reintroduced them to the card collecting world after an 18 year hiatus. Card number 423 of the Padres’ second baseman Tim Flannery and card number 382 of Pirates infielder Kurt Bevaqua are just a few of the cards that are found with their photo negatives flipped and then corrected. While these cards and the many other Fleer printing errors were the talk of the hobby when they were released, most collectors pay little attention to them today unless one is collecting a master set of this Fleer set.

    Possibly the most famous modern reverse negative card is from the inaugural 1989 Upper Deck set. In their rush to get the product to market, the quality control people at Upper Deck missed the fact the Dale Murphy card number 357 pictured the Braves slugger as a left handed hitter instead of the righty that he was. Because of the flipped photo negative, the Braves name and logo on Murphy’s jersey and hat were also backwards, leading many to wonder if this was not just an innocent error but a calculated attempt to generate more sales for this fledgling set.

    The book Card Sharks by author Pete Williams contends that the Murphy error was indeed a flipped negative error that was done on purpose by Upper Deck. Upper Deck corrected the error fairly early in the printing process but estimated that about 20,000 error cards were released to the hobby which, by today’s standards is an amount that should not cause it to be very valuable. The hobby then responded once again to the error craze and when the aftermarket prices for the Murphy error soared, the book’s author contends that UD President Richard McWilliams ordered the presses to run on this card alone. McWilliams was so upset that he was not getting a piece of the aftermarket pie and ordered another thirteen thousand Murphy cards to be printed and sold directly to hobby dealers. At its highest point, the Murphy card was fetching north of one hundred dollars each but with the addition of thousands more of these cards flooding the market the prices predictably dropped leaving many investors out in the cold and Upper Deck executives with fatter wallets. According to the book, this practice by Upper Deck executives worked so well that they would go on to manipulate the market in the same way with the Griffey rookie and the 1990/91 French Canadian hockey offerings, effectively reducing or killing the market for these products as well.

    One of the most known vintage reversed negative cards is found in the 1957 Topps baseball set where Topps’ quality control failed to realize that they flipped the photo negative on one of the game’s biggest sluggers, Henry Aaron. Card number twenty in the legendary 1957 Topps set features Hammerin’ Hank posing not in his traditional right handed stance but as a lefty. While not as blatant as the Upper Deck Murphy error, one can still see the reversed “44” peeking out from under Hank’s arm in the photo. Since Aaron was playing for the Milwaukee Braves at the time, the reversed negative was a good deal harder to spot as the “M” on his cap would be the same regardless of how the photo was used. The Topps quality control people needed to be either an eagle eye to spot the reversed 44 or be a baseball fan and know that Mr. Aaron was not a lefty to catch the error.

    Some say the fact that both Aaron and Murphy were depicted as Braves and the same type of pose was used in their respective cards only proves that Upper Deck was going for the reversed negative effect in their 1989 baseball offering. While nobody has come out and admitted the flip of the photo was done on purpose, the similarities are too hard to ignore. The one difference that remains is that, while Upper Deck flipped the Murphy photo and corrected it, the Topps Aaron was never corrected leaving the collecting community with an interesting “what if” to talk about.

    Lew Burdette was a journeyman right handed pitcher who played 18 years in the Major Leagues and posted a 203-144 win/loss record mainly for the Milwaukee Braves. While Burdette was an important piece of the Braves World Series teams from the late 1950’s, he was also known as a bit of a practical joker. Teammates, media members and others were never immune from his pranks and his willingness to have a laugh at others expense. A Topps photographer found himself to be the target of one of these pranks when Burdette posed for a photo that would turn out to be his 1959 bubble gum card.
    Legend has it that Burdette slipped his right handed glove on his throwing hand when the Topps photographer asked to take his photo. Burdette then faked his wind up and with his hands (and glove on the wrong hand) at the apex of his delivery; the Topps man snapped his needed photos. Thinking nothing of the photo he just took, the photographer thanked Burdette and walked away all the while Burdette surely was wearing a smile on his face. Fast forward to later in the 1959 season, card number 440 was issued featuring Mr. Burdette as a left handed pitcher, something most observant fans of the game knew to be false. Collectors all over the country would have to flip over their card and look at the vital stats to make sure Burdette had indeed not turned into the southpaw he was depicted as in the photo. While not a true flipped negative card, the “Lefty Lou” card has achieved a bit of legendary status in the collecting community. After all, one would think that a man that won three games in the 1957 World Series would have received a higher level of respect and have this error caught by the Topps quality control people.

    A side note about the 1959 Topps Burdette card, it appears that this card is a comedy of errors in that not only did Burdette pull the switch with his glove on the Topps photographer, but the card company spelled his name wrong on the front. Burdette spelled his first name with an unusual spelling as “Lew” but Topps gave his first name the normal spelling treatment by spelling it “Lou”. It appears that both Burdette and Topps got one over each other in 1959.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bevaqua1.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	20.1 KB 
ID:	57747Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bevaqua2.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	19.5 KB 
ID:	57748 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	flannery.jpg 
Views:	84 
Size:	19.8 KB 
ID:	57749
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	murphy.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	407.3 KB 
ID:	57750

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	aaron.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	28.1 KB 
ID:	57751

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	lou burdette.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	47.4 KB 
ID:	57752

  2. #2
    Senior Member fordman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,995
     JayBruceFan32
    Mentioned
    149 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Being a worker from the middle 80's in a print shop, when the negatives were cut for printing, it was hard to see things in reverse as everything printed is in reverse. Many times in catalogs we printed reverse negatives and the catalog companies didn't say a word. We wouldn't notice it until 500,000 catalog were already printed and the quality control people caught the error on a second or third QC check. Back then, the printing was done about 6 months out because of the printing and distribution processes wasn't even close to what they are today.

    Thanks for the read,

    Fordman

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brewer Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    9,521
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Vintage Corner: The Hammer, Murph and Lou....or is it Lew? Reversed negative fun

    Burdette seemed to have no qualms going by Lou or Lew. His autograph almost appears intentionally difficult to decipher whether it was one or the other. After his passing, his family said "Lou" actually was the preferred spelling, though his middle name was Lewis. Listed as Lou on his gravestone and I believe Topps spelled it Lou from '59 on


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    SCREW PHOTOBUCKET
    Jeff Cirillo Spread Sheet ||
    Hall of Unending Gratitude: dazed, magicpapa, uniquebaseballcards, and the vigilant eye of tonsofcommons

  4. #4
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,897
    Mentioned
    104 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No mention of the white whale of reverse negatives, John Littlefield? Still probably one of the most valuable errors of it's kind. I couldn't grasp why a common would be worth so much until I got older, but I still have no interest in that type of thing if the player wasn't significant himself. Not to say I wouldn't obtain a Littlefield at a great price, but I would most certainly flip it and not keep it for my collection if I had the chance.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 88-576aFr.jpg  

  5. #5
    Featured Contributor
    Vintage Corner
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,806
    Mentioned
    36 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mrmopar View Post
    No mention of the white whale of reverse negatives, John Littlefield? Still probably one of the most valuable errors of it's kind. I couldn't grasp why a common would be worth so much until I got older, but I still have no interest in that type of thing if the player wasn't significant himself. Not to say I wouldn't obtain a Littlefield at a great price, but I would most certainly flip it and not keep it for my collection if I had the chance.
    i meant to write about this one but totally forgot about it. Back in 1983 I was sorting the large stash of 82 Fleer cards we had accumulated and just happened to notice I had two Littlefields that had the flipped negative. It wasn't until a few years later when this card was on fire that I sold them for 200 bucks at the National.

    thanks for the reminder of this card.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Mark70Z's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    354
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Reversed

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write concerning reverse negatives on company produced cards. Very good read; I enjoyed it.

    Since you mentioned the Lew/Lou card while it was not reversed it got by with the lefty pose. There was a couple others that I know of that did the same thing and I figured I'd mention one of them. Bob Gibson did the same thing where he went lefty. I believe there were just a few that got by the proof process, but there's a few out there. Of course the one pictured is not mine just for disclosure sake...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bob Gibson Lefty.jpg  

  7. #7
    Junior Member Mark70Z's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    354
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Reversed

    Oh, forgot to mention another Topps Aaron. They not only messed up on his '57 Topps card, what about the Topps Batting Leaders card?

    Also, anyone have a scan of the Tom Seaver lefty?!?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hank Aaron reversed.jpg  

  8. #8
    Senior Member George_Calfas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Urbana
    Posts
    36,228
     rangercalfas
    Mentioned
    293 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    More great knowledge!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hawk8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    8,249
    Mentioned
    561 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Great read
    Want to buy anything Andre Dawson - Twitter @The8Hawk8
    159,911 Total Cards, 4,181 Different Cards, 1,098 Autographs, 355 1/1s, 174 RCs, 373 Graded, 187 Packs, 6 Buttons, 1,282 Mem Cards, 2,666 SN Cards
    28 Cameos, 206 Mentions, 337 Checklists
    Also collecting Drew Brees with my son

  10. #10
    Featured Contributor
    Vintage Corner
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,806
    Mentioned
    36 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark70Z View Post
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write concerning reverse negatives on company produced cards. Very good read; I enjoyed it.

    Since you mentioned the Lew/Lou card while it was not reversed it got by with the lefty pose. There was a couple others that I know of that did the same thing and I figured I'd mention one of them. Bob Gibson did the same thing where he went lefty. I believe there were just a few that got by the proof process, but there's a few out there. Of course the one pictured is not mine just for disclosure sake...
    Thanks Mark. Thanks for pointing this out.
    Last edited by mchenrycards; 12-28-2015 at 05:50 PM.

  11. #11
    Member mrmopar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,897
    Mentioned
    104 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I thought the same thing, but something didn't seem right. I had to google the image and realized that this was not the regular issue card that year. I think this will be a more recognized image of that card. I am guessing that only select company own that lefty version.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark70Z View Post
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write concerning reverse negatives on company produced cards. Very good read; I enjoyed it.

    Since you mentioned the Lew/Lou card while it was not reversed it got by with the lefty pose. There was a couple others that I know of that did the same thing and I figured I'd mention one of them. Bob Gibson did the same thing where he went lefty. I believe there were just a few that got by the proof process, but there's a few out there. Of course the one pictured is not mine just for disclosure sake...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BobGibson_1968_TBB1_100_Black_050914_2.jpg  

  12. #12
    Senior Member BBCgalaxee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    6,353
    Mentioned
    55 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    With a fantasy seaverClick image for larger version. 

Name:	1451280205089.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	54.0 KB 
ID:	57778Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1451280213359.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	77.0 KB 
ID:	57779

    Sent from my HTCONE using Freedom Card Board mobile app

  13. #13
    Senior Member Brewer Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    9,521
    Mentioned
    86 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Saw this today and got a kick out of it from this thread. From an early 60s Braves picture pack



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    SCREW PHOTOBUCKET
    Jeff Cirillo Spread Sheet ||
    Hall of Unending Gratitude: dazed, magicpapa, uniquebaseballcards, and the vigilant eye of tonsofcommons

  14. #14
    Junior Member Mark70Z's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    354
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BBCgalaxee View Post
    With a fantasy seaver
    I guess the first picture is a b&w photo of the proof? The second is an uncut proof sheet; was that in an auction? Looks like that's a full color proof of the Seaver lefty. I've never seen a full color version. I guess that sheet would be blank backed?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •