If you were a youngster setting out to collect the 1959 Topps baseball set, you faced a huge task. While you may not have realized it until much later in the year, the company had just created its largest set ever at 572 cards spread across seven series. Unless you were able to save a lot of money and buy boxes–one series at a time–it was quite an undertaking.
Some of those 60-year-old packs survive today and one of them is about to be opened.
- Multi-player cards, team photo cards with checklists, All-Star cards, Baseball Thrills and Rookie Stars helped account for the increase in the set’s size. While there aren’t a ton of great rookie cards in ’59, Bob Gibson’s rookie card was placed into the last series and next to Mickey Mantle, it’s usually the most expensive player in the set.
- As usual during this era, Topps produced both penny and nickel wax packs. Not many survive in unopened form today. PSA has graded only 51 in all with the 5-cent packs in much shorter supply.
- 1-cent packs contained one card and a stick of gum while 5-cent packs usually held five cards.
- Unopened boxes of either are virtually unheard of. A GAI 8 nickel pack sold for $8,460 last year.
- Penny boxes contained 120 packs while nickel packs came in boxes of 24. The penny boxes, even empty ones, are very hard to find today.
- Wrappers contained an offer for a baseball team pennant with a different style ad on the back of each type of pack.
- Topps also produced 36-count cello boxes that had no text on the front. Each pack held 12 cards so if you could round up ten cents, they were the best deal. (Story continues below photo gallery).
- Two 1959 Topps cello boxes with a pretty good story behind them were consigned to Heritage Auctions. One sold in the fall of 2018 for $57,600 while the second box sold in February for $52,800.
- Vintage Breaks is offering a 5th series 1959 Topps cello pack break right now. There are only 65 cards in the series, which includes Hank Aaron. Once all 12 spots are sold, the pack will be broken live on the company’s regular twice-weekly internet show.