Vintage Sports Report

From deep in the heart of spring training comes our Vintage Sports Report. This week, three collectibles to be on the look out for.

Hello again from Florida. It's another great day for baseball. I dropped in to see the Phillies game last Sunday and got a chance to meet a former Phillie, Fergie Jenkins; nice person. I was able to get a ball signed and had him sign his Hall of Fame post card. Bad day for the Phillies though; it was a split squad game and they were facing Johann Santana, who pitched five innings of a one-hit ball. He really makes it look easy. Santana was opposed by J.A. Happ, who was hurt by some weak fielding by the Phillies.

While we were there, I had something special; Bazooka Baseball gum. You remember that don't you? In fact, that's how I will start my article today, focusing on the 1959 Bazooka set.

The 1959 Bazooka set consisted of 23 full color cards printed on boxes of one-cent Topps bubble gum. The cards measure 2 13/16" X 4 15/16" when properly cut. Nine cards were initially issued with 14 added later. Whole boxes double the value. The only Phillie in the set was Richie Ashburn, whose card is valued at $450, and since it was added later, it was in short supply.

The next item is the 1956 Big League Stars Statues. The statues were virtually identical to the Dairy Queen statues of 1955. The big difference was that there was a card inserted, making them highly collectible. There is a price for the complete package - the statue and card - depending which version you have. The statues are three-inches tall and were sold in a 4" X 5" cardboard package with a blister pack of 19 cards inside. The Phillie in the set is Del Ennis. The complete package is valued at $125, the statue alone is $40 and the card is $50.

The last item today is one of those items that nobody knows where it came from; just speculation. If you look hard enough, they are out there. It's the 1976 California Pacific Bank set. Whether these were a legitimate promotion or made for collectors is unknown. About 3 5/8" X 5", although other sizes have been seen. The black and white blank-backed cards with a player photo on the front and a promo message describing the bank's services. This is a 7" card set with 2 Phillies, Steve Carlton, with two versions, valued at $15 and Mike Schmidt valued at $20.

As always, if you have any questions about these or other sets, please e-mail me at rrsports@swfla.rr.com. If you're in the Fort Myers, Florida area, stop by and see me at Fleamaster's and say hello.


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