A collector in Venezuela says he has uncovered a previously unknown sticker and album set focused on late 1950s baseball.
Enrique Abreu Sojo says he recently acquired the 1960 Venezuela Beisbol Grandes Ligas Piratas Yankees Dodgers stickers and accompanying album from a man who collected them as a child.
Printed in Caracas, the checklist contains 220 stamps, most 3.15 x 2 inches in size, and is focused only on the three teams. Except for three color team logo stickers, the others are in black and white and appear to be reproductions from photos made at the time.
The original owner pasted the stickers inside the album. Included are images of Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, photos capturing moments from the 1958 World Series and even stickers of team executives including singer Bing Crosby, who had a small ownership stake in the Pirates at the time. Some of the Pirates stickers are identical in design to the 1959 Venezuelan Topps baseball cards.
Why only three teams were highlighted in the product isn’t known.
“I discovered them in a small town in Venezuela’s central coast,” Abreu Sojo told us of his discovery. “The original owner kept them for 62 years and got them back in 1960. He is now 72 years old. The man just said he got the cards and album in a grocery, (a) very common practice in the 60s. In fact, as a kid I bought Venezuela Topps in abastos (groceries). ”
The text written in Spanish inside the album confirm the dates of issue, referencing some of the players involved in a major deal between the Yankees and Kansas City Athletics that took place on December 11, 1959 including Don Larsen and Hank Bauer: “Larsen ha sido traspasado al Kansas en cambio de otros jugadores”(Larsen has been transferred to Kansas in trade of other players).
The maker of the stamps chose to use only shots of players wearing the uniform of the franchise they currently played for, which could be why Roger Maris–who was sent from the A’s to the Yankees– wasn’t included.
Bob Giollolombardo, who pitched in six games for the Dodgers during their first season in Los Angeles in 1958, is pictured on one sticker, warming up next to Sandy Koufax. Some of the stickers show player photos taken a few years earlier, when the franchise was still in Brooklyn.
Abreu Sojo says the design of the album pages is similar to the one produced to hold the 1964 Topps Venezuelan baseball cards that were printed on thin stock. Young collectors in that country often taped or glued the cards into the album. In all, 114 stickers were pasted into the album.
The checklist features numerous Hall of Famers including:
#3 Casey Stengel
#11 Bill Dickey
#14 Spahn and Whitey Ford
#28-29-30 Yogi Berra
#36-37 Mickey Mantle
#44-45 Enos Slaughter
#57 Nellie Fox with Tony Kubek
#83 Walter Alston
#84-85 Pee Wee Reese
#87 Roy Camapanella
#89 Stan Williams and Don Drysdale
#90 Koufax and Giollombardo
#91 Duke Snider
#92 Gil Hodges
#94 Snider in action (oversized sticker)
#114-115 Sandy Koufax
#130 Gentile and Hodges(no name on sticker)
#153 George Sisler
#186-187 Bill Mazeroski
#189-190 Roberto Clemente (sticker #189 R. Walker Clemente)
Abreu Sojo says he plans to keep the album and stickers in his collection.