The 587-card set was released over the course of the 1964 season, in seven different series. Series One was 1-109, two was 110-196, three was 197-283, four was 284-370, five was 371-446, six was 447-522, and the seventh series was 523-587, the latter being the most scarce from the set, but hardly impossible to find.
The original wax packs cost a whopping $0.05 and included five cards plus a stick of gum! Big spenders could grab a cello pack for $0.10 and get ten different cards, two coins, and a stick a gum!
There are roughly a dozen known error cards, including two that were fixed (making the set total 589 for those who collect all variations), card #4 with and without the apostrophe after the word pitching, and card #517, a checklist that started on the wrong number. Our favorite error, was the comment, “The 19-year old right handed curveballer is just 18 years old!”
The Pete Rose card, his second time on a Topps issue, is an All-Star Rookie card and in mint condition, can be found for sale in excess of $6000. It too has an error, listing his date of birth as 1942 (instead of 1941).
Another unique and collector favorite is card #550, where Topps removed the block lettering “Cubs” from the top of Ken Hubbs card and changed it to “In Memoriam” due to him dying in in a plane crash in February of 1964.
The 1964 Topps cards have a white background, with large block lettering on the front of each card, at the top, with the team name. player’s picture appears below the lettering with a title bar under the picture that includes the player’s name, and their respective position.
The backs of the 1964 Topps were bright orange and included a unique feature, a white back that was covered, until you used a coin to rub it down, revealing a trivia question! Finding a set without these boxes rubbed will be a real challenge, but worth the effort!