eBay Card of the Day: The Quirky Madness of the 1959 Topps Lew Burdette

Making mistakes are a part of life. There is not one of us who has not bought a card and later realized it was not in the condition we first thought or maybe we made a wrong investment choice when it came to prospects.  Just remember in the late 1980’s when we went out and purchased bulk lots of players such as the Milwaukee Brewers trio of Chris Bosio. Glenn Braggs and Joey Meyer. Bosio is especially interesting because Current Card Prices (CCP)  started out with the 1987 Fleer Bosio at a $1 book value. Meanwhile the Joey Meyer Donruss was an easy 50- cent card and even Glenn Braggs was trading well over what he should have been based on his background.

Burdette 1959 ToppsAlmost 30 years before that, another Milwaukee player was involved in a far different error on his 1959 Topps card. In fact, Lew Burdette’s card had several issues.

Interestingly at this time Burdette was really kind of a star.  The #2 pitcher (behind Warren Spahn) for the perennially contending Braves who had just come off their second straight National League pennant, Burdette would have been the ace of about half the other teams in the league.

With a roster featuring future Hall of Famers Spahn, Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews, Burdette gained fame for winning three games during the 1957 World Series.

Steady on the mound with a crew cut and old school look, he was not without a sense of humor as he displayed when the Topps photographer took his photo for inclusion in the 1959 Topps set but the first issue with the Burdette card is the spelling of his first name. While his name was Selva Lewis Burdette, Jr, somehow that became Lou as in famed comedian Lou Costello.

The second and more lasting issue is that the right-handed Burdette posted as a left handed pitcher and fooled not only the Topps photographer but also anyone else who may have looked at this card before it went to print. That’s correct, a well-known player 55 years ago  faked out everyone by putting his glove on the other hand.  This was one of the first times a player deliberately fooled a photographer and then anyone else at  Topps who may have proofed this card.

While some of the interest has faded a bit in recent years, this story of the wrong first name and the wrong pitching hand has kept this card popular among collectors.

The 1959 Topps Lew (or is it Lou?) Burdette is our eBay Card of the Day.  Click here to see a nice one available now for under $10.

Burdette has some hit and miss tough cards during his playing career and there are some great news and promotional photos of him on eBay right now which you can see here.