When Baseball Was Still Topps

Portraits of the Game in 1959, Card by Card


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SKU: 9781476693941 Categories: ,

About the Book

Card by card—all 572 of the ‘59 Topps set—this book contemplates the lives and times of mid-20th century baseball. That season was in the heart of a period of turmoil: milestones in integration, franchise shifts to the West Coast, a potential rival league, the major leagues’ expansion, and labor issues that included paying young prospects not to play.
The cards help tell the players’ stories, too. The slugger who had a date with Marilyn Monroe (no, not Joe DiMaggio), and the minor leaguer better known than Marilyn. The nephew of a Black Sox player, and the target of a bribery attempt. The lefty catcher. The pitcher from Mayberry. The only player to pinch-hit for Ted Williams. Strikeout kings and wildmen. Religious stalwarts and hell raisers. The stripper’s husband. The coolest socks in baseball. Ballplayers who were also basketball players—including the NBA’s No. 1 pick one year. Satchel’s Six Rules and Twig’s Six Rules. Coot, Rip, Turk, Puddin’ Head, Whammy, The Rope and Captain Midnight. Pick any card, and you’ll find another engaging tale about baseball.

About the Author(s)

Phil Coffin is a longtime editor at The New York Times and has been a member of the Society for American Baseball Research since 1994. He lives at the Jersey Shore.

Bibliographic Details

Phil Coffin
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 243
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos, glossary, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9394-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5173-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction  1
Glossary  3
The 1959 Cards and Their Stories  5
Extra Innings  217
Bibliography  219
Index  221

Book Reviews & Awards

• “A gold mine for baseball fans.”—The Media Tourist

• “Sometimes a book catches you at just the right time. For me, picking up When Baseball Was Still Topps in the dead of winter got me energized for the new season (and, indirectly, two weeks of player rankings). It’s a fun read at any time of year.”—Joe Sheehan Newsletter