1950 Topps Felt Backs Football Cards

1950 Topps Felt Backs Football Cards

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Topps' first all-football issue is one of its least-known and understood sets. The date may not even be correct, since it's likely the cards first appeared late in 1949. However, since it was sold through 1950, that year has been given to the set.

Topps sold these cards along with pieces of Varsity gum. Rather than simply including a stick of gum in a card pack like other card makers did, these were included as extras with the gum. And they're really small as a result, measuring approximately 7/8 of an inch (yes, that's less than one inch) by 1 7/16 inches. During the process of cutting up the sheets, the dimensions were handled sloppily, so the cards are often found with slightly different sizes.

Every card shows a collegiate player. Fronts feature a player image with a black box below. The box contained a name, a position and a school. The player was set against a solid background. Backs are made of felt - hence the set's name - and feature a pennant for the player's college.

There are 100 cards in the base set. Originally, the cards came in four background colors with 25 cards each having a different background (Blue, green, red and brown). During the print run, an ink change substituted the brown backgrounds for yellow. As a result, 25 cards have either a brown or yellow background. The yellow backgrounds are the tougher variation, but some collectors have claimed the brown ones can be nearly as tough to find as well.

The key card in the set pictures legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who was then a quarterback at Brown University. Other first-time players include Heisman winner Leon Hart, Dan Towler and Ernie Stautner. Some players had been featured in the 1948 Leaf set, so not every card features a rookie on it.

Key 1950 Topps Felt Backs Football Cards:

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Chris Stufflestreet  |  E-Mail Author
Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

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