According to an article that made its way to various newspapers in the spring of 1961, Topps estimated that 250 million cards were produced that season. The company often shared details of its business back then, with the baby boomer generation fully engrossed in the annual series, accompanied by pink bubble gum.
The writers of the day, no doubt familiar with the Goudey or Play Ball cards of their own youth, were intrigued by what was in the 1950s and 60s, an obsession for most youngsters.
- It was Warren Spahn who encouraged Lew Burdette to pose as a lefty on his 1959 Topps card (the story says 1960)
- The value of the T206 Honus Wagner was estimated at $250 at the time, a king’s ransom for one baseball card. The story also reveals there were only six known at the time, although avid adult collectors may have disagreed with that statistic at the time.
- There were at least 5,000 adult collectors in 1961. Not sure where that number came from but likely a Topps estimate.
- Topps had 10 million basketball cards leftover from its inaugural 1957-58 series. What became of those cards would be a fascinating tale. Did they also get dumped into the ocean like the 1952 Topps high numbers? Whatever the case, it’s no wonder Topps begged off basketball for another 11 years.
You can read the entire story below.