Topps 1959 Baseball Thrills
December 10, 2008
by William Szczepanek
How did kids find out about baseball history in the 1950s. There were many books written, but they were mostly about players from the ‘30s and ‘40s. There was TV, but television was more current news and live broadcasts than history lessons. That would change over time as recorded programs were vaulted and then found decades later. Some of the broadcasts were saved, most were lost to the elements. Remember that the instant replay had not yet been invented, so to see a baseball game on television was very much like being there. Go get something to eat and you missed something forever. The majority of baseball plays recorded in the 1950s are lost.
Kids learned much about baseball and baseball history by reading the backs of baseball cards. The backs contained interesting facts along with a short description of a highlight from a player’s career. Not many cards were action shots of notable plays. The Topps Baseball Thrills cards from 1959 were something different.
In general I didn’t care for specialty cards like those with more than one player or cards of managers or coaches since my interest was on specific player to complete my teams. But the Topps Baseball Thrill cards seemed like something special, not so much for the action shown on the card, but the history that surrounded the player.
Cards included the following:
History was recorded and delivered to kids in a way that was easy and fun to read. Baseball cards formed an encyclopedia of knowledge about the sport and the players.