When Roger Maris, Whitey Herzog and Harry Chiti of the Kansas City Athletics made appearances on behalf of Armour Meats during the 1959 season, they were handed tablets of black and white photo cards to sign for customers who stopped by to meetthem. Today, Maris signed 1959 Armour cards are worth hundreds of dollars or more. Now, the first image of Maris putting pen to cardboard during one of those signing sessions has been uncovered.
Our Photo of the Day from RMY Auctions is an 8×10 Associated Press wirephoto of the 24-year-old Maris signing for a fan at one of those grocery store appearances.
Two years later, the quiet kid with the crew cut would be far removed from those quiet days in the Midwest, playing on the grand stage of Yankee Stadium while chasing Babe Ruth’s longstanding home run record.
The 1959 Armour cards are usually found autographed since that was their intended purpose but a few of the tablets with unused and unsigned cards do exist. They measured about 5 ½” wide and are blank backed. Armour was big into baseball promotions in the 1950s and early 60s, producing sets of baseball coins for distribution with its hot dog packages.
The Maris photo is one of more than 400 vintage sports, historic and entertainment photos in RMY’s October auction, which closes October 29.