Tuesday, November 30, 2010

1969-70 Bazooka Baseball #5, Lou Gehrig Hits 4 Homers

As you might guess by the name, Topps kicked off Bazooka brand gum following World War II. News coverage and Hollywood movies of that era featured all kinds of military hardware, with jeeps, guns, and ships proving especially popular with kids, so advertisers took advantage. Their parent company first cross-promoted its gum by printing baseball players on box panels in 1959 (here's one uncut panel) and Bazooka continues to the present day as an element of Allen and Ginter cards.

Card front (box panel, blank back)

This blog recently profiled Bobby Lowe as the first to hit 4 homers in one game (1970 SCFC #5 profile), but that happened in 1894, before baseball's "modern" cutoff of 1901. Several matched Lou's feat since; as a Seattle fan, my favorite's Mike Cameron in 2002.

Bazooka's printed 12 panels of black-and-white photos and achievements from the pre-WWII era.
  1. No-Hit Duel by Toney and Vaughn
  2. Alexander Conquers Yankees
  3. Lazzeri Sets AL Record
  4. Home Run Almost Out of Stadium
  5. Four Consecutive Homers by Gehrig
  6. No-Hit Game by Walter Johnson
  7. Twelve RBIs by Bottomley
  8. Ty Ties Record
  9. Babe Ruth Hits Three Homers in Game
  10. Calls Shot in Series Game
  11. Ruth's 60th Homer Sets New Record
  12. Double Shutout by Ed Reulbach

Full boxes include 4 more "All Time Greats" on its side panels, 2 visible in this scan (Frank Chance and Mickey Cochrane).

Full box #5

Value: Full boxes get pretty expensive, but I snagged this ragged-edge panel for $10 on eBay.

Fakes / reprints: Haven't seen any in the marketplace and I doubt modern collectors would buy an oversized, black-and-white set if Topps tried reprints.