It was the last year of nickel wax packs, spread out over a season in which we the Cubs’ dreams of glory were swiped away by a scrappy bunch of New York Mets. There was turmoil everywhere you turned but for youngsters, escape from the noise was just one piece of bubble gum away.
While most of those first 1969 Topps packs to roll off the production line have long since been ripped open, some remain. This month, Heritage Auctions is offering an entire box of 24 packs in its Spring Sports Card Catalog. What cost $1.20 at retail in 1969 will fetch a much bigger price in 2018. With the buyer’s premium, bidding has nearly reached the pre-sale estimate of $20,000 with two weeks remaining in the auction.
If you were to pick a series of cards to open, even with Mickey Mantle’s last card hiding in a later run, it would be Series 1. Possibly hiding inside the box are cards of Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Johnny Bench (second year), Joe Morgan, Lou Brock and Graig Nettles’ rookie card. The Brock is exceptionally hard to find centered and without other issues. Mint, graded examples sell for thousands of dollars. In all, though, the rarity of the box and eventual price will likely mean the buyer will avoid the temptation to rip it open.
The box, which shows some buckling and tears at the right and left tabs is wrapped with BBCE authentication.
The auction continues through April 19 at HA.com.