Mistaken Identities in 1962 Topps Inset Photos

August 17th, 2009  |  Published in error cards  |  7 Comments

A few months ago I created a page called Mistaken Identities: Vintage Football Cards Picturing the Wrong Player. The page shows numerous cards that show the wrong player in the main photo. I learned from my Beckett catalog, though, that there are also a bunch of 1962 Topps cards that picture the wrong player in the black-and-white inset photo. What’s more, it appears that Topps faked a couple of these photos intentionally, altering the impostor’s jersey number to match the player on the card.

Here is one of the altered jersey numbers: the inset photo on Zeke Bratkowski’s 1962 Topps card actually shows John Unitas, with his number changed from 19 to 12. Topps apparently couldn’t find a good game photo of Bratkowski, though he had been in the league for eight years. It’s too bad, because Bratkowski took great action shots. On his his 1962 Post Cereal card, he’s throwing while going down, and on his 1958 Topps card, he’s leaping over palm trees!
1962 Topps Zeke Bratkowski football card
The second altered jersey is on Fran Tarkenton’s rookie card. Beckett says that it’s Sonny Jurgensen in the inset photo, with his number changed from 9 to 10. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but did Topps leave the Eagle wings on Jurgensen’s helmet?
1962 Topps Fran Tarkenton rookie football card
The third impostor is on Roman Gabriel’s rookie card. On this card, the player in the inset photo is clearly Y.A. Tittle. It is understandable that Topps didn’t have an NFL game shot of Gabriel, since 1962 was his first year in the league. This time they didn’t try to fool us: they just picked out a nice quarterback photo and called it good.
1962 Topps Roman Gabriel rookie football card
Last, we have a couple of Redskins. That’s Don Bosseler pictured in the inset photo of Dick James’s card. Bosseler didn’t appear in the 1962 Topps set on a card of his own, so it’s nice that they gave him a cameo. (He did, however, appear on a 1962 Post Cereal card.)
1962 Topps Dick James football card

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  1. A Faked Fake Autograph | Nearmint's Vintage Football Card Blog says:

    April 13th, 2010 at 12:43 PM (#)

    […] images, even before the 1970s airbrushing era. (For an example, see my article on the inset photos on 1962 Topps cards.) It’s not much of a stretch to go from altering images to faking simulated […]

  2. Football Cards of Members of the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor | Nearmint's Vintage Football Card Blog says:

    September 11th, 2010 at 2:48 PM (#)

    […] Pictured here is one member of the Ring, Don Perkins, on his 1962 Topps rookie card. He’s wearing the Cowboys’ first home jersey, my all-time favorite over all the NFL teams. He doesn’t appear to be wearing it in the black-and-white inset photo, though, so I wonder if that is a college photo. Or maybe it’s not even him: on some 1962 cards, Topps pictured a different player in the inset photo, sometimes altering the image to look like the player on the card. For examples of that, see my earlier blog article on the subject. […]

  3. Jim from Downingtown says:

    February 8th, 2011 at 9:10 PM (#)

    Here’s another for your mistaken identiry page:

    The 1971 Adrian Young card is actually Rick Duncan, who briefly punted for the Eagles a few years earlier.

    Pictures of both Duncan and Young can be found in the Eagles 1971 yearbook/media guide.


  4. nearmint says:

    February 13th, 2011 at 6:51 AM (#)

    Thanks, Jim, I’ll try to dig up that yearbook.

  5. Joe G. says:

    June 9th, 2011 at 11:50 PM (#)

    I met Adrian Young a few years ago. I have that 1971 card and I was shocked he looked nothing like the photo. That’s when he told me that it wasa pic of someone else. lol!

  6. Adrian Young's 1971 Topps Football Card Pictures Rick Duncan | Nearmint's Vintage Football Card Blog says:

    October 26th, 2011 at 1:50 PM (#)

    […] For more vintage football cards that picture the wrong player, see my Mistaken Identities page and my blog article about errors in the inset photos on 1962 Topps football cards. […]

  7. Reused Images on 1969 Topps Mini-Card Albums | Nearmint's Vintage Football Card Blog says:

    December 1st, 2011 at 8:29 AM (#)

    […] Unitas’s number 19 to Bratkowski’s number 12 on the 1962 Topps card, as I noted in an earlier article. The image on the Minnesota Vikings Mini-Card Album also appeared in the inset photo of Don […]