Published Set: Josh Alpert - Tarjetas Imposibles '59
Beginning in 1952, Topps began shipping surplus US Topps high-numbered cards down to Venezuela. This continued each year through 1958 and proved successful enough for Topps to presumably license a parallel set to be produced in Venezuela in 1959. The cards were issued in two series. The first series, 1-110, are the easier cards to find. The second series, 111-198, are significantly scarcer; they are collectively one of the most elusive groups of cards in the entire hobby. Second series cards grading better than VG are condition rarities, as they are usually tattered when they do turn up. Every single card can be found on both gray and cream color card stock. The cream color cards are of significantly lower quality in both print and card stock. The cream back cards are also far more scarce, especially in the second series, although I do not know why for certain and haven't been able to find anyone who can with any certainty (and I've been trying). I suspect they were only issued outside of Caracas. In addition, the set used two different trademarks on the cards, with half of the set (at what seems like random) getting a Spanish trademark, the other half getting the US Topps trademark. The famed Mickey Mantle card suffers from 2 distinct factory problems, one of which applied hardly any ink on the lower right side of the back making the stats nearly illegible, and the other left a small scuff (on both sides of the cards, but more noticeable on the back) from a machine which fed the sheet at some point during the printing process. #85 Harry Anderson suffered this same fate. The 1959 Venezuela set is truly great, a heck of an accomplishment for their first local edition.
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