Friday, December 2, 2011

1967-1968 Coca-Cola Boston Red Sox Baseball Caps #5, Darrell Brandon

The late 1960s Coke caps comprise several brands, all still sold today in one form or another: Coca-Cola, Fresca, Tab, Sprite, and Fanta. Most feature players with blacked-out team insignias, given the changing nature of player and team licensing in the mid-60s union upheaval, led by the stronger MLBPA and director Marvin Miller. Mr. Brandon's hat has an O or zero on it, which might've been scratched in by a young collector. Other team logos remain, including the LA on 1967 Coke Dodgers #5, Don Sutton.

Collectors differ over what to call these Coke toppers. The Sports Collectors Digest annual price guide calls them bottle caps, which I favor despite its ho-hum descriptiveness. Others call them crowns to separate them conversationally from baseball uniform caps and match the worldwide cap collectors market. (See for an extensive non-sports collection.)

Coke used Darrell "Bucky" Brandon as #5 for their 1967-68 sets. This checklist turned over nearly half of Boston's 18 players between the two years (1967 / 1968 below).
  1. Lee Stange
  2. Carl Yastrzemski / Gary Waslewski
  3. Don Demeter / Gary Bell
  4. Jose Santiago / John Wyatt
  5. Darrell Brandon
  6. Joe Foy
  7. Don McMahon / Ray Culp
  8. Dalton Jones
  9. Mike Ryan / Gene Oliver
  10. Bob Tillman / Jose Santiago
  11. Rico Petrocelli
  12. George Scott
  13. George Smith / Mike Andrews
  14. Dennis Bennett / Dick Ellsworth
  15. Hank Fischer / Norm Siebern
  16. Jim Longborg
  17. Jose Tartabull / Jerry Adair
  18. George Thomas / Elston Howard

If you've seen Jose Santiago caps with different numbers (4 vs. 10), now you know why!

Value: Nipped this scan from an eBay auction, where Mr. Brandon sits at the asking price of $3.

Fakes / reprints: I doubt it's economical to fake a Coke cap.

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