Kids looking over their local candy counters in 1969 would have stumbled on something different. It was produced by Topps, came inside a nickel pack and featured Major League players but they weren’t your traditional cards. Those were sitting nearby. This was something different. The 1969 Topps baseball stamps were sort of a hybrid product that appealed to a generation of kids that often spent summers doing both: collecting stamps…and baseball cards.
Topps had put baseball stamps inside its 1961 and ’62 card packs with an offer to send in for an album to hold them, but not until ’69 did they create stamps as a special issue.
Open a pack of ’69 stamps and you’d find that slab of gum, a sheet of 12 stamps and one team album. There were spaces inside the album for ten stamps if you wanted to collect them that way—and in 1969, who didn’t? Interestingly, the back of the album cover included facsimile autographs. The concept would (sort of) repeat itself in the fall when Topps issued cardboard type stamps and albums inside its football card wax packs, again reverting to the insert style of distribution rather than creating a separate set.
There were 240 different 1969 Topps baseball stamps in a set and yes, Mickey Mantle is included, just as he was in the regular Topps card set, despite retiring before the season. Reggie Jackson, who has a rookie card in the regular set set, is missing from the Stamps but you will find most of the major established stars of the day, including Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente.
The stamps are unnumbered and measure 1 x 1 7/16 inches in size. The player’s name, team and position are inside a colored box at the bottom. Topps produced a second stand-along stamps set in 1974 and it’s the banner that allows you to tell them apart. While the 1969 set has a rectangular banner for the player’s name, position and team, the ’74 set uses an oval design.
You’ll find the uncut stamp panels in either horizontal or vertical style.
Complete sets of 1969 Topps baseball stamps are a little elusive but there’s also some collector indifference to them, which generally keeps prices within reason. Individual stamps of high-level Hall of Famers in high grade often command $75 and up but high-grade copies are hard to find, primarily because of centering issues. Albums partially or completely filled with stamps are quite common. Individual albums without stamps can often be found for around $1 each. You can see 1969 Topps Stamps for sale and auction on eBay by clicking here.