1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1965 Topps Rookie Banquet Programs (5)

Sold For: $480

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1098

Item Year: 1959

Category: Postwar Baseball Cards (1948-present)

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Collection of five rare programs, dating from 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1965, respectively, issued at the Topps' Annual Rookie All-Star Team Awards luncheon. In 1959, Sy Berger, one of the chief executives at Topps and the man known today as "The Father of the Bubble-Gum Card," came up with the idea of honoring the top rookie ballplayers in each league by establishing the Topps Rookie All-Star Team Award. Of course, Berger's main objective in selecting an all-star rookie team was to further promote Topps' annual card issues. Not only were the recipients featured in the following year's set with special "All-Star Rookie Team" cards, but the only way in which kids could vote for their favorite players was by filling in and returning a preprinted ballot card, which, conveniently, could only be found in packs of Topps trading cards. To Berger's delight, the concept was a huge success, both with baseball fans and card collectors, and Topps garnered even further publicity by honoring each year's recipients at a formal luncheon held in New York at season's end. Offered here are the programs issued at five of those annual affairs. These programs are rare today and much appreciated by advanced Topps collectors. Each program features mock-up Topps rookie cards and short biographies for each respective player. All programs are unmarked and measure 5.5 x 8.5 inches, with the exception of the 1965 program, which measures 5.5 x 5.5 inches. 1) 1959 program: Firmly attached by the spine staples, with two staple holes present at the upper left corner, affecting each page but not any printed areas. Tape residue is also visible on the front cover. The highlight of the 1959 program is the page devoted to Willie McCovey, featuring a mock-up of a 1959 Topps McCovey card. 2) 1961 program: Firmly attached by the spine staples, with a bit of erased writing visible on the front cover, and some extra paper glued to the spine on the reverse. 3) 1962 program: No longer attached at the spine due to staple degradation. A modest sized moisture stain has affected each page, but generally does not intrude upon the printed areas. 4) 1963 program: Lesser condition, with staple degradation that has caused some pages to become unattached and moisture damage that affects each page. Significantly, the 1963 program offers collectors a rare glimpse of what Pete Rose's rookie card would have looked like had he been issued his own card in 1963. Rose did appear in the 1963 Topps set, but his image was squeezed onto a single card (#537 "1963 Rookie Stars") with three other players. For each rookie selected that year, Topps created a 1963 mockup card to illustrate his respective biographical page. Therefore, the 1963 program offered here is particularly desirable both to baseball-card and Pete Rose collectors. 5) 1965 program: Excellent condition, firmly attached at the spine, and includes the delicate wax paper outer jacket cover (which displays light wrinkling and a couple very small tears). An outstanding collection of very rare Topps Rookie Banquet Programs. Total: 5 programs. Reserve $300. Estimate $500++.

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