Friday, June 5, 2009

Double Printed "DP" Cards

Double Printed Cards (1978-1981)

Yesterday, I received an email asking for clarification on what a double printed “DP” card is. In an effort to keep the 1980 Topps Baseball Universe happy (I am aware of, I think 10 or 12) I will do my best.

To be honest, when I began this blog, I had forgotten all about that designation and that several cards were double printed for a while. Here is some of the information I found about “DP” cards:

Topps had the double printed practice for four sets; 1978 through 1981. The previous total was 660 cards in a set and it was raised to 726 for the 1978 issue. At the time, a full printing sheet of cards would contain 132 cards, 11 across by 12 down. To make up the difference, 66 cards were “double printed” to make up the difference in printing. I am not aware of the selection criteria Topps used to determine which cards would be double printed, but two of the biggest names in baseball in 1978 were two of the double printed cards, Ron Guidry and Pete Rose.

Guidry was in the midst of one of the greatest seasons since the mound was lowered and Rose put together the longest hitting streak since DiMaggio. Even now, I have multiples of each of these cards and I can’t imagine any card collecting kid of the 1970s without one that season. Locally (read Detroit), this card was double printed:

While rookie cards were the rage in the 1980s, it seemed that everyone had one and they weren’t worth as much as others (say Trammell, Whitaker and Parrish). Over the next two seasons, several stars and future Hall of Famers had their cards double printed:

This practice continued before it was discontinued after the 1981 set. By then, the only “star” that had a double printed card was Mike Schmidt.

For the 1982 edition, Topps added 66 cards to the set, eliminating the double printing and bringing the total amount of cards to 792. The likely reason for this was due to the competition from the Fleer and Donruss companies who printed sets in 1981 ending a Topps monopoly on the player card industry.

Today, the overwhelming majority of double printed cards are commons, guys who are fondly remembered by card collectors of this era:

More on the 1980 Double Prints as the come along. Stay tuned……


  1. Pete Rose would show up in every other pack in 1978. I do remember getting a lot of Reggies in 1979, too.

  2. If Topps did that now, instead of having 66 Double Prints, they'd have 660 Short Printed cards.

  3. I have a card that was manufactored wrong, it has a double image print on the back, it is still readable however i can not find any information on such a thing. i also have a 1911 ed konetchy card that i can not find any information on either. any help would be great help. please reply via email :