Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bazooka Billy

I've dipped my toes into the Bazooka pool.

This is the 1971 Bazooka card of Billy Williams, which was added to my Billy player collection.  The picture was taken at Shea in 1970.

Bazooka put baseball cards on the bottom of boxes of penny gum from 1959 through 1971.  For the most part, the cards were in 3 player panels.  The set sizes varied from 36 cards (12 panels) to 48 cards (16 panels).  The cards were smaller than the standard baseball card though their size varied over the years.

As a kid, I bought Bazooka gum all the time.  Made by Topps, Bazooka gum was so much better than the baseball card gum.  I even saved the comics and sent away for the prizes.  I got a pocket knife and an "exploding" battle ship from Bazooka.

These comics (Canadian versions...couldn't find any decent pictures of the American version) feature my wonderful prizes.  

But I never bothered to look on the bottom of the box the gum was sold in.  In fact, it never occurred to me to buy a whole box of gum.  It was always just a few cents worth.  So I never saw any of the baseball cards on the box.

Over the years I missed out on 26 different Cubs cards.  Billy was in six sets, Ron Santo made seven, and Ernie Banks showed up five times.  I haven't seen too many of these on ebay over the years, so I don't know how many I'll try to get.  I would like to add an Ernie Banks card to my player collection, but the ones on Ebay right now are way out of my price range.  I think these Bazooka cards will be long term projects.

Should I ever decide to go after all of the cards, here is what I'm looking for:

1959    3  Ernie Banks
1960       1  Ernie Banks
196024  Richie Ashburn
196032  Glen Hobbie
1961  3  Ron Santo
196119  Ernie Banks
196232  Ernie Banks
196234  Ron Santo
1963  3  Ernie Banks
196327  Ken Hubbs
196417  Billy Williams
196428  Dick Ellsworth
1965  2     Larry Jackson
196517  Billy Williams
196528  Ron Santo
196639  Ron Santo
196648  Billy Williams
196739  Ron Santo
196748  Billy Williams
196823  Ken Holtzman
196828  Fergie Jenkins
196850  Ron Santo
196851  Ron Santo
196858  Billy Williams
1971  Randy Hundley  
1971  Billy Williams

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