After kicking off a three-part series with the 1955 Armour set last month, Armour expert Dr. Phil Garrou is back with a look at the meat company’s second issue, one which came four years later.
The summer of 1959 brought with it the second series of Armour Coins. By 1959 the Dodgers and Giants had moved to California and the Armour coins had only Ford and Turley , both Yankee pitchers, as NY players. I was not too happy about that. What about the hitters like Yogi and Moose, Hank Bauer and Tony Kubek and where, oh where , was the Mick who had hit 42 dingers in 1958?!
Whoever selected the players for this set should be entombed with Jimmy Hoffa. No Mantle and no Mays although on the plus side we do get the first Aaron and Banks coins, a Nellie Fox and Frank Robinson. The complete list of players in this set is shown below. None of them are really rare and no variations have been found so far.
The key to the 1959 set are the colors. How many colors exist for 1959 ? I’m not sure anyone knows. I have at least 25 distinct colors in my collection but again not all players come in every color.
Common colors include several shades of red / red orange in opaque to translucent variations, orange, navy blue, royal blue, medium green (nearly transparent)
Rare colors include: pale yellow, opaque dark green, opaque pale green, pale blue, grey/green, 3 shades of pink
Very rare colors include cream, 3 shades of blue with colored speckles, and a yellow that looks like the common 1960s yellow.
While it appears that all players are available in all colors in 1955, 1959 coins were divided into two groups. The Antonelli group (highlighted in yellow) are the only coins available in opaque light green and the two shades of pink . While the Aaron group are the only ones available in pale blue and grey/green and the speckled varieties.
Examples of these colors are shown below.
At the end of the year there were offers in the hot dog packs to order 10 free coins. All indications are that these free lots only contained the common colors, however.
So while the common colors are still plentiful and can be bought on eBay for $5-10 (except for Banks and Aaron) try finding any of these rare colors for sale.
PSA shows 1800+ of these 1959 coins have been graded with Aaron the greatest number at 207 and Vernon the least at 49. The SMR lists PSA 8 Aaron and Banks at $50 each.
You can see 1959 Armour coins on eBay here.