The 1961 baseball season was marked by the Yankees duo of Mantle and Maris chasing Babe Ruth’s home run record. Maris ultimately accomplished the feat on the final day of the regular season. It’s an easy record to recall: 61 in ’61. The following year saw the Yankees repeat as World Series champions while the National League expanded to match the two new teams the American League added in 1962. Two seasons; one champion, but the two baseball sets that Topps issued were drastically different. The minimalist design of the ’61 set contrasts with the condition-sensitive wood-grained borders of the ’62 set. The key cards, though, are much the same, led by the M&M boys.
BurlsSports.com’s Set Break of the Week is another double feature with complete 1961 and ’62 sets being offered at one time.
Overall, both sets are are mostly in the VG-EX to EX-MT range, with key star cards mostly falling in the same range. The key cards ’61 Topps set include: #2 Roger Maris VG-EX, #150 Willie Mays EX-MT, #300 Mickey Mantle PSA 5 EX, #475 Mantle MVP EX, #578 Mantle All-Star VG, #579 Willie Mays VG-EX.
The condition for the ’62 Topps key cards is as follows: #1 Maris VG-EX, #10 Roberto Clemente VG-EX, #18 Managers Dream SGC 80/6 EX-MT #200 MMantle SGC 70/5.5 EX+, #300 Willie Mays SGC 70/5.5 EX+, #471 Mickey Mantle AS SGC 60/5 EX.
If you’re new to vintage set breaks, the concept is simple. A slot for each card in the set is sold for a fixed price. Once all slots are sold, a computer generated random draw divides the cards among the participants.
Later next month, Burl’s Sports will host a 1933 Goudey set break. The company has recently acquired an impressive run of complete vintage sets that are being broken, including a complete run of Topps sets from 1952-72, Goudey sets from 1933-36, 1939-1941 Play Ball and 1941 Double Play.