1973: All 660 Cards Now Available in One Series
Most vintage collectors are aware that Topps released all series packs in 1973 as a “test” release for their subsequent all series releases starting in 1974.
I’m not sure I understand the timing of this test though. The purpose of such a test would seemingly be to gauge how collectors would respond to the whole set being available at once, presumably at the beginning of the card season. What good would it do to release all series packs when the early series had already been released separately?
And yet, just like previous years, it does not seem like all the cards were prepared simultaneously in 1973. As an example, Ken Sanders is shown as a Philly in series 2, and Cesar Tovar (whom he was traded for on December 1, 1972) is also shown as a Philly in Series 4.
It seems the final series was already prepared by mid-January of 1973 (as evidenced by Orlando Cepeda still being in an A’s uniform despite being traded to the Red Sox in mid-January), so I guess there was still just enough time to prepare all-series test packs for pre-season release.
Does anyone know exactly when these 1973 all series packs were available?