Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Visual Checklist of Sandy Koufax Baseball Cards - 1955 to 1959

With the silly season (i.e. Baseball hotstove) in full swing I thought I would take some time this winter to put together comprehensive checklists of cards for select Dodger players (both retired and current).  In the past I did this for Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw and Vin Scully.  Today, I share with you Part 1 of a checklist for Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax.  This listing include all known cards from the 1950's - 1955 to 1959.  Click on any pic to embiggen.  BTW, if I am missing any card issues please let me know.

UPDATE:  You can view Part II here.  This covers 1960 to 1962.  Part III can be viewed here.  It covers from 1963 to 1964.  Part IV can be viewed here - covers 1965 to 1967.

All Dodger collectors know this card, and certainly most want it in their collection.  It's a must have for any vintage collector.  The very first card in this Koufax checklist is his 1955 Topps rookie card.  See it directly below. 

Hilariously, the cartoon on the reverse is obviously wrong.  It is a "True of False" quiz that ask where Baseball was first played.  It states incorrectly that Cooperstown is the birthplace of the game.  As we know now, that story was just an elaborate marketing ploy.  The games origins is far more complex than a simple birthplace.  Instead, I think it's fair to say that it grew organically over a period of decades prior to the Civil War.

#123 - 1955 Topps
#NNO - 1955 Golden Stamp Book - Blank/Stamp Back

This next item isn't a card at all.  It's actually an stamp that is found in a book originally published by Simon & Schuster in 1955.  Above is the Koufax stamp.  Below are pics of the front cover of the stamp book and the perforated complete page that includes Koufax on the bottom right.

#79 - 1956 Topps

#NNO - 1956 Jay Publishing World Series - Blank Back

Do not confuse this set with the normal Jay Publishing picture pack of Dodger players that includes only 12 photos (not including Koufax) from 1956.  This particular Koufax photo (measuring 4.25" x 6.25") is part of an 25 player picture pack created for the upcoming World Series.   

#302 - 1957 Topps

#NNO - 1957 Borden's Dodgers Ticket Promotion

This next item might just be the rarest of all Koufax items.  In fact, I've never actually seen one.  It is called the Borden's Dodger Ticket Promotion photo and is known to have a checklist of at least four: Gino Cimoli, Don Newcombe, Don Zimmer and Sandy Koufax.  It is likely that this is an incomplete checklist.  Via a description by Bob Lemke:
In their final season in Brooklyn, the Dodgers partnered with Borden's to offer grandstand seat tickets to those redeeming five wrappers from various Elsie-branded dairy treats. The offer was promoted on the back of what appear to be contemporary team-issued picture pack photos. On the backs of the 5" x 7" black-and-white pictures is an illustrated advertisement providing details of the offer. This checklist is very likely incomplete.
Below is a pic of the reverse.  As I said above, I do not have a pic of the Koufax photo.  If you happen to have a photo please pass it along. I want to extend a big shout-out to Justin for passing along a photo of this Koufax item.

#187 - 1958 Topps

#NNO - 1958 Bell Brand

The Bell Brand cards were originally packaged in bags of potato chips and sold throughout Southern California.  They measure 3" x 4".

#163 - 1959 Topps
#6 - 1959 Bell Brand

Following up on the success of the 1958 set, Bell Brand released a full color set of Dodger players featuring the LA Coliseum in the background.

#LAD906 - 1959 LA Dodgers Postcard

A postcard version of the Bell Brand card was also available for sale at concession stands.
1959 LA Postcard Photo Booklet

Also, a postcard photo booklet was created using the exact same image as the Bell Brand cards.  A pic of the actual booklet is shown below.

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  1. Whoops! I don't know how that happened

  2. Hi, what does #NNO mean? I assume it has something to do with the card not having a number. Thanks.

    1. you are correct. #NNO means there is no numbering on that card


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