Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Some Bills in Honor of "Tax Day"

Yesterday was "Tax Day," the deadline set by the IRS for American taxpayers to have their tax forms filed. While I hope everybody reading this post took care of that little issue -- or at least got an extension -- this blog will feature money of a different sort:

Willie Mays is part of a 96-piece set (they're heavy paper, and calling them "cards" would be incorrect) from 1962. It was a specialty set, issued in its own wrapper. While most of the players were issued as $1 "notes," several stars were assigned higher denominations. 24 of the players were given $5 denominations and ten of the biggest -- all of them Hall of Fame players except for Ken Boyer -- would get a $10 assessed value, including Willie Mays.

Here's the back of Willie's example:

As you can see, the design of these bills was team-specific. The fronts featured a drawing of the player's home stadium, and the backs features a team logo.

Topps must have liked the concept, since they inserted another series of the bills in with the regular wax packs of their football set later that year:

There were 48 bills in the football set, and all are found with a vertical crease since they were folded over to fit in the packs.

Another set of 24 bills was also inserted into the wax packs for 1962-63 Topps hockey. Since the cards were widely distributed in Canada, they were given the appropriate "look," including bilingual denominations: 

But Topps didn't limit these cards to their sports sets. In 1962, they also featured a set of cards marking the centennial of the U.S. Civil War. And guess what was tucked inside each wax pack?

Yep...a reproduced Confederate banknote.

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