#CardCorner: 1972 Topps Gene Michael
Each baseball card is completely different and made to stand out. Even a card you might think isn’t “that cool,” is in fact, cool.
The appreciation for these hidden gems becomes more evident when looking at a card like Gene Michael’s 1972 Topps card.
Topps, originally known for its chewing gum, started printing baseball cards in 1951, making them one of the only companies at the time that provided a product like baseball cards. With the love baseball grabbed from the hearts of many Americans, player cards were in high demand.
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Printing in batches of series, Topps would primarily focus on players’ headshots, batting and pitching stances and any pose that could show off the player’s uniform.
When dissecting Michael’s card from 1972, it can be quite the process to determine which player is Michael and who else is photographed. But stay with us, as we break it down.
Looking at the front of the card, there are three players pictured making a play on a stadium’s field. Two players are wearing New York Yankees uniforms, but it’s hard to tell what uniform the player sliding into second base is wearing.
Michael was playing for the Yankees by 1968. With this “In Action” set being released in 1972, this game had to have happened before then.
But when paying closer attention to the card, the score was kept on the side of the left side wall. In the corner of the photo, “MINN” and “YANKS” are labeled in white.
The play on the card is at second base, pulling Michael from his position at shortstop.
No one knew when the card was printed that it would feature a 2022 Hall of Fame inductee.
But wait, there’s more.
Each card in the 1972 "In Action" set has a puzzle piece on the reverse side.
No one can predict the future, but perhaps a baseball card can.
Larkin Richards is the 2022 social media intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development