Card of the Day: 1968 Bazooka Bob Veale

Today’s Card of the Day comes from the 1968 Bazooka set, and it’s the first card that we have featured from that set. Today’s Pittsburgh Pirates player choice is Bob Veale, who has been included in this series once for his 1972 Topps card. That article was posted exactly one year ago today, and I picked that particular card because the Pirates sold Veale to the Boston Red Sox on September 2, 1972, ending his 11-year stint in Pittsburgh. He’s overdue to appear here again, so I scrolled through Ebay and picked the first card that caught my eye. The 1968 Bazooka set is definitely different as you will see below. Also, with Veale’s fastball, it just seems like Bazooka Bob Veale should have been his nickname.

Here’s the front of the card (the back is blank):

You’re probably looking at that card and saying “Why did he crop out the right side of the card?”. How dare you question my cropping skills! This is the entire card, and as you’ll see in the price section below, there’s good proof that this is the entire card. These cards came on the side panel of a box that had 25 pieces of Bazooka bubble gum, which individually sold for one cent each. There were three cards per box, two that looked like the one above and a third that was part of the back, where Bazooka gave coaching tips to kids in a set of cartoon drawings. The tips were supposed to be coming from the player shown on the back, and those cards had yellow borders. So that means that all of the cards from this set had to be hand-cut from the boxes. However, the real money comes from the people who just decided to leave the boxes whole. That rarely happened, so the ones that still exist are very collectible. I didn’t see one during my search, but I’d imagine that an unopened box would be worth a lot of money, especially if it came with a highly desirable player (or players).

If you collect Topps cards from 1969, then this photo might look familiar to you. Topps issued cards that year that featured league leaders in some specific categories for pitchers and hitters, putting the top three finishers in each category from the 1968 season on the card. Veale finished third in the National League with a 2.05 ERA that season. That photo is a cropped photo similar to this one, but you can still tell that Bazooka and Topps used the same exact photo for the card above and the 1969 ERA leaders. This 1968 Bazooka set was a joint venture by the two companies, and the word “Topps” is mentioned in a pun form on the back of the cards, where they wrote “Tips from the Topps on Coaching”.

This card does something that I’ve noticed so many times on cards, where it doesn’t make sense. They abbreviated Pittsburgh as “Pitts”, even though there is clearly enough room at the bottom to add the other five letters.

There is only one active auction on Ebay for this card and it’s the scan you see above. As I said above, the proof that the scan above shows the entire card is that it is graded PSA 8. You wouldn’t get a number grade on a card if it was trimmed, even with cards that were meant to be hand-cut. These cards are rare, but I don’t know if the $190 price tag on it is good or outrageous without anything else to compare it to here. There are no sales for PSA 8 cards on Ebay from this set, and most of the cards are Hall of Famers in the sold category, so that’s no good for comparison. I’ll note that there are only eight cards of Veale listed for more than this card on Ebay, and that group includes cards graded PSA 10, two that are “1 of 1”, and his rookie card in high grade.