Monday, January 11, 2010

1966 Bazooka and 1967 Bazooka Baseball #5, Mel Stottlemyre

While most recently seen as pitching coach for Seattle, Mel's best-known for his time in pinstripes, averaging 16 wins across 11 seasons with a career 111 OPS+. He received MVP votes 4 times, placing as high as 10th in 1968. (Unfortunately for him, Denny McLain blew away the competition that year with 31 wins.) Also, for the ladies, ICY BLUE EYES!

Card front (blank back)

In both 1966 and 1967, Bazooka sold their gum in 25-piece boxes with a panel of 3 players on the back. The company got a little lazy with the design, publishing many of the same players with identical pictures and numbers, including Mr. Stottlemyre (1966 checklist and 1967 checklist). Unfortunately, that makes it impossible to tell which year he's from, so today's card covers both sets. Finding #5 on a full gum box would resolve things, as the 1966 lid shows Sandy Koufax (see a box at Clean Sweep Auctions), but 1967 used Mickey Mantle. (Koufax retired prior to the 1967 season.)

1967 Bazooka panel (Allen/Stottlemyre/Conigliaro)

Value: You can buy Bazooka cards several different ways, with rapidly escalating prices. This clean-cut #5 cost about $10, on the high end of single commons. Full, uncut panels cost several times that and complete boxes run $100 or more.

Fakes / Reprints: Unfortunately, someone faked the whole 1963 Bazooka set in the last several years, so it's entirely possible others got the same treatment. (I don't know of any legitimate reprints by Topps or their reincarnated Bazooka brand.)

No comments: