Eight years into its virtual monopoly, Topps had settled into its role as baseball’s lone bubble gum card maker. Not much changed from one year to the next. Kids–and the modest number of adult collectors–could count on stable prices and multiple series distributed every few weeks. The only major differences were the changes in the number of cards in the set–and even that didn’t really vary much–and the design of the product.
For collectors of unopened material, though, it’s a challenge to find any packs that somehow survived the decades.
This edition of Vintage Pack Facts from Vintage Breaks delves into the packaging elements of 1963 Topps Baseball.
- Topps would again produce seven series of cards from spring training through the late season, but the number of cards in the set dropped from 598 to 576, largely due to fewer specialty cards.
- Wax boxes contained a game action photo showing a batter, catcher and umpire. The hitter is almost certainly Philadelphia Phillies catcher Clay Dalrymple, who wore number 11 in 1962 when the image would likely have been taken.
- Topps produced 1-cent wax packs containing two cards and a piece of bubble gum and two types of nickel packs, one containing four cards and another with five. Traditional 5-cent wax boxes contained 24 packs.
- In 2014, Heritage Auctions sold a complete box of nickel packs for $23,900. It contained cards from the second and third series.
- More Vintage Pack Facts after the gallery….
- There were several different types of side panel advertising used throughout 5-cent pack production including a Stan Musial endorsement, an offer for a card album, another for 15-inch baseball pennants, one for Bazooka gum and another for the Bazooka “Magic Circle Club.” Musial proclaims “Topps Baseball is the finest series ever.” Wrappers are usually available on eBay starting at around $60.
- Topps did produce both cello and rack packs, but both are very rare today, especially the rack packs, which contained 36 cards for 29 cents. In 2018, Morphy Auctions sold the only known rack pack we’ve ever seen offered publicly for $9,600. It contained cards from the fifth and sixth series.
You can participate in a pack, box, or set break anytime at VintageBreaks.com which offers a variety of options across all years and sports.
Check out all of the articles in our Vintage Pack Facts series here.