Saturday, July 26, 2014

Time For Three

It recently occurred to me that I have not managed to show a full cover run of the Topps Rookie Banquet Programs from 1959-66.  Given out at the annual awards banquets hosted by Topps brass every fall, the programs from these events are coveted collectibles.

I've covered all the past years but two: 1960 and 1965.  I only have a weird angle shot for the 1960 edition, which was the second banquet:



Not the best shot but it shows the trophy in great detail.

Our last missing piece is the 1965 version and it's a beauty, if slightly cut off in this scan I nicked from 4192cards.com.


The interior is fairly typical:



The venue was The Americana Hotel, which is now the Sheraton, just north of Times Square in NYC; a hotel where I have attended a few dinners myself over the years.

As noted in a previous post, these banquets turned into the Baseball Achievement Awards in 1967 and resulted in a much smaller (and cheaper) program being distributed. They still have the dinner every year from what I can tell and this will be the 55th year the rookie awards have been handed out.

Now the most famous banquet program in 1964's as Topps released a boxed card set that year.  36 oversized (3" x 5 1/4") cards came in a real snazzy foil enhanced slipcase and now go for quite impressive sums.  However, Topps also printed a program that year, it's just smaller than the other rookie banquet programs and fits in the slipcase that held the cards:


It is said the interior matches the card set with one exception - Luis Tiant, the Topps Minor League Player of the year (card 34A). I don't know if this is true or not so if anyone has the skinny, drop me a line.

Here is the slipcase for comparison:


I believe the '64 program is the toughest one of them all-it rarely seems to come with the card set and not too many have turned up over the years. The 1964 "program" is one of the great all-time Topps items IMHO.

1 comment:

Mark Hoyle said...

I'm always hoping one of these falls in my lap somehow