Some 1960 Style Sportlots
March 22nd, 2010 by slangon

Having recently decided to officially chase the 1960 Topps set, I made my first major step toward that goal. Up until now I had been randomly acquiring cards from this set in a kind of unsystematic manner, so I had a pile of maybe 25-30 of them. In one fell swoop I’ve managed to double that thanks to my good friend Sportlots. Granted, the majority of them were commons, but I was able to land 61 cards all from the same seller at an average price of 41¢ a card. Many of the cards were much cheaper than that, most being either 18¢, 24¢ or 36¢. What throws that average off is the fact that I ended up getting a handful of semi-stars and semi high number cards, which are obviously a little higher than the 18-36¢ range.

Before I get into the cards I got, since this is really the first in what will most likely end up being a series of post chronicling my quest to complete this set, I just want to give a quick overview of the 1960 set, for those of you who might not be familiar with it. It consists of 572 cards in total. It was the last Topps set to use an all horizontal design (with a few exceptions, which you will see). I believe it’s the first Topps set to include cards of team coaches, but I could be wrong about that. It also continues the inclusion of Manager, World Series Highlight and All-Star cards that Topps had been including for a few years. Some of the key rookie cards in this set are Jim Kaat, Willie McCovey and Carl Yastrzemski.

I will spare you talking about every one of the 61 cards, instead sticking to a few that I like a little more than the rest.

Here is a quartet of manager cards that I got, allowing me to cross off some cards from the 1960 checklist as well as the manager checklist. I think what really got me excited to collect the 1960 set as opposed to any of the other awesome Topps sets from the 50’s or 60’s is that fact that this set features not one, not two, but a whopping 5 separate and distinct card designs, any one of which would’ve made a beautiful looking set in and of itself. I particularly like the design of the manager cards and almost consider it a shame that Topps didn’t decide to just use the base design for the managers and save this one for their 1961 set, although it does seem like they saved aspects of it for their 1965 design.

Here’s a couple of more cards that performed double duty as far as doing damage on both the 1960 checklist and the old team card checklist. Again, all the team cards are done in a design that is completely different from any of the other designs featured in this set. Although I don’t think it would stand alone as well as the design from the manager cards, an entire set done with this design would still look a hundred times better than most of the cards being pumped out today, if you ask me.

I really love the concept of these cards. I think having one card for every coach would certainly be overkill, but one card for the entire coaching staff is really cool. These cards exemplify yet another separate design that I really think would’ve looked really nice as a set on its own. Obviously you wouldn’t put out an entire set with 3 or 4 guys per card, but even if you replaced the entire yellow field with just one photograph, I think it would make for a good looking set. Although thinking about it, I guess there’s nothing wrong with an entire set with 3 or 4 guys per card. As a side note, I’ve always loved the old Pittsburgh Pirates logo, but I never noticed how wacky the old Red Sox logo is.

Next we have a few semi-stars. I guess one of the drawbacks of collecting a vintage set is the fact that certain cards of certain players are just going to cost more. There’s just no way around that. Granted, Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio aren’t Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays, but they’re also not Barry Latman or Bobby Locke, either. The way I figure it, there’s tiers of stardom that I’ll be dealing with in trying to collect this set. Tier A would be guys like Mantle and Mays and Roger Maris who I fear will be impossible to track down at any sort of reasonable price, even if the card is close to disintegrating. What really hurts is the fact that Mantle and Mays both have 3 cards in this set. Tier B might be guys like Duke Snider and Gil Hodges and Ernie Banks, who won’t be as bad as Tier A, but are still going to cost more than I usually feel comfortable spending on a single card. Tier C would be guys like Fox and Aparicio and Bill Mazeroski and Robin Roberts and a host of others. After that I guess would be commons. Also, I was going to count the multi player cards, such as the above Nellie Fox / Harvey Kuenn card, as a separate design, but I guess they’re basically the same as the team cards, so I won’t.

Speaking of commons, heres Harry Chiti. I wasn’t really going to talk about any of the common cards I got in this batch, but I couldn’t resist throwing old Harry up here just so I could relate this story. In 1962 when the Mets came into existence, they acquired Chiti from The Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later. After playing just 15 games for the Mets, he was sent back to Cleveland as that player to be named later. That makes him the only player in history to ever be traded for himself. That’s got to be great for your ego. Apparently, though, Harry was known for his ability to catch the knuckleball, so at least he has that going for him.

So there we have it. My quest for the 1960 Topps set is a little more complete.

One Response to “Some 1960 Style Sportlots”

  1. that looks really cool. congrats.

    I love sportlots…

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