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

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.


Mark Hoyle said...

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

The Collector Connection said...

We actually have the set complete WITH the program in our January auction.

Tiant IS in the prgoram on page 35. In the set, for some reason he is numbered 34A.