There's a bit of an update to last year's NYE post regarding the 1960 Venezuelan Baseball Tattoo issue, thanks to Josh Alpert, who is the foremost collector and chronicler of the 1959-68 efforts Topps made in that country. He's offered his take on the set, as it's comprised so far at least, and his comments are illuminating. He's also provided scans of the other eight known players, which I will show below his comments.
As to the roster of US players, Josh says: "I would imagine they originally produced all the stars - Mantle, Mays, Koufax, but my guess is they are all long gone.
The timing of the issue is probably 1960, with this as part of his reasoning: "Colavito was traded to Detroit April 17, 1960. If they were a 1961 issue, I would think he’d have been drawn in Detroit colors, not Cleveland’s."
Josh also had a very interesting observation as to the scarcity and packaging: "In the US, the tattoos were sold as a stand alone product with a piece of gum. The Venezuelans almost certainly didn't have the machinery to mechanically package the tattoo around a piece of gum. I think this explains the smaller size of the tattoo, it corresponded with the size of a piece of gum, and they were packaged with a piece of gum (as they advertise), probably wrapped in cello and sold individually. This seems more plausible to me and helps explain the extreme scarcity. Almost no one would have kept them if they came with a piece of gum. Someone buying a single piece of gum would have likely opened the gum on the spot and either thrown away the wrapper and tattoo, applied the tattoo, or used the tattoo for the spent gum. They don't have nearly the collectability as the cards, it's likely no one even gave it a thought to collect them- except at least one person, clearly, who collected them intentionally and saved a small handful that we know of."
And now, the new/old scans:
Drysdale made his first MLB All star team in 1959, so was a solid choice. The staining and unique paper loss along the bottom right edge match up almost exactly to the Allison example above.
Fox was another well known player who had a fabulous 1959 season that led to the AL MVP award. Total no brainer.
Ruben Amaro (Venezuelan only)
Luis Arroyo (Venezuelan only)
Juan Marichal (Venezuelan only)
Early Wynn (photo seen, not the tatoo)
You can take this link with a heaping amount of salt as it's from Wikipedia, but it details MLB players who have appeared in the Caribbean World Series, although far more played in the various Winter Leagues. There's a lot more to be uncovered regarding the Venezuelan Tattoo sets but it's just part of a larger history that's still revealing itself.
I'll keep updating as more information comes in.
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