Topps continues a very popular tradition at the 30th National Sports Collectors Convention. Leaning on their long history, the 2009 Topps VIP Cards will be a 50th Anniversary version in the style of their 1959 issue. The cards in the set include “Cards That Never Were,” also continuing a trend.
Highlighting the issue are two different Mickey Mantle cards, one featuring The Mick batting left-handed, while the second shows him as a righty hitter. Mantle cards in any era are always in high demand and this set is no different featuring two great new never before seen poses. Also included is a 1959 Roger Maris card with Maris as a Yankee. Maris was traded to New York in 1959. Maris had a solid year playing for the Kansas City A’s in 1959. But the Yankees saw something in the young slugger and traded several of their bigger name players including Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern and “Marvelous” Marv Throneberry to acquire Maris. The rest is history as Maris joined the Yankees and won back-to-back MVP Titles and broke the most storied record in baseball hitting 61 homers in 1961.
Another of these cards will show Roy Campanella as an Honorary Coach of the Dodgers. Following the accident in 1958 which paralyzed him, Campanella was invited by Dodger brass to become a special coach at the club’s spring training site in Vero Beach, Fla., in 1959. Campy served in that post for many years. In 1969 Campanella was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, becoming only the second African-American (after Jackie Robinson) to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
The final card in the 30th National Topps VIP Set shows Jackie Robinson. The story is well known that Robinson retired after the 1956 season rather than accept a trade to the Dodgers arch-rival, the New York Giants. Jackie had made the decision to retire from baseball and accept a position with a major corporation. Jackie’s exploits on the playing field established him as an icon and his activities after his playing career ended only enhanced the story of one of the greatest Americans ever. We wondered what Jackie would have looked like in a Giants uniform and the 2009 National VIP card of Jackie Robinson answers that question