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1959 Bazooka Baseball Uncut Sheet (Featuring All 14 Rare Cards in Set)
Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $11,258
1959 Bazooka Baseball uncut sheet of 14 cards. The King of all Bazooka sheets! 1959 Bazooka has always been revered as one of the rarest and most difficult to collect of all Topps-related sets. Issued just one card per box of Topps Bazooka-brand bubble gum, the cards were intended to be hand-cut by youngsters from the bottom of Bazooka boxes. The problem, of course, was that you had to buy an entire box of gum to get just one card. This was an elite set to collect even in 1959. The cards on this sheet represent all fourteen of the rarer cards in the 22-card 1959 Bazooka set. The eight far more common cards, which include many of the biggest names in the set such as Mantle, Aaron, and Mays, were printed separately, and were the first 1959 Bazookas to be issued. The 1959 Bazooka set was so successful in helping to sell entire boxes of Bazooka Bubble Gum that the set was soon expanded to include 14 additional players. With such a small set, all 22 players featured were, of course, significant players of the day. The fourteen players on the sheet are Nellie Fox (HOF), Rocco Colavito, Roy Sievers, Richie Ashburn (HOF), Billy Pierce, Ken Boyer, Harvey Kueen, Bob Cerv, Vic Wertz, Jackie Jensen, Duke Snider (HOF), Don Drysdale (HOF), Ernie Banks (HOF), and Gus Triandos. This is one of exactly two uncut sheets of 1959 Bazooka that we know to exist. The other known uncut 1959 Bazooka sheet has dozens of printer notations in ink which relate to the colors of the cards and affect each card on the sheet. Thus, while the other sheet is still a prize, the offered sheet is by far the finer of the two known examples. This sheet was once part of the famed collection of Don Steinbach, one of the hobby's great pioneers. The sheet is a proof sheet by definition, as opposed to a production sheet, in that it features only the cards, and not the entire boxes as would a production sheet. A 1959 Bazooka box package design is included, also for proofing, in the upper left, adding to the sheet's ideal-for-display design and impressive visual appeal. While PSA grades 1959 Bazookas, because they were package-design cards which were intended to be hand-cut, high-grade examples are almost impossible to get because the quality of the cut is one major factor taken into consideration. If the dotted line has been compromised anywhere on the card, which is almost always the case, the grade is seriously affected. The cards on this sheet have very large spaces between them. They could easily be cut with perfection. Theoretically, if they were cut from the sheet into individual cards and graded, most would by far represent the finest cut examples in the world. We would never recommend cutting up the sheet. It is a hobby treasure. But we would not be doing our job for our consignor if we did not at least point out this fact, and properly communicate all of its subtle potential, as well as its very obvious positive attributes. Remember, the sheet can always be cut up; it can never be put back together again! The sheet is bright, crisp, and with magnificent colors. Minor imperfections, visible only upon extremely close examination, include some light "snow," a very light surface crease on Boyer, and a surface crease on Fox. Of greater significance, is a single very clean three-inch tear which runs from the edge of the sheet, from left of the Bazooka box sample to the top border of the upper left corner of Nellie Fox. There is no paper loss, no cards are seriously affected, and it does not significantly call attention to itself. A few proofing marks on the sheet by the printer do not touch any of the cards. Technically, without reference to the tear, the sheet is in Excellent condition, but from a few feet away on the wall it looks Mint. This is an extraordinary sheet, one which has always been a favorite of ours, even more than twenty years ago when we first saw it and were amazed by it in Don Steinbach's collection. 1959 Bazooka is one of the few issues of the late 1950s which is rare and has always had a mystique. This is a standout sheet of the era and, in our opinion, one of the most spectacular, exciting, and unique uncut sheets in the hobby. The sheet measures approximately 17.75 x 28.25 inches. Framed and matted to dimensions of 25 x 36 inches. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000++. SOLD FOR $11,258
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