Thursday, November 8, 2012

Topps Chewing Gum Contract

This is the contract signed by Tim Wallach with Topps extending a previous agreement for granting Topps permission to use his likeness on cards from 1988-90, for one year until 1991.  In return Topps gave Wallach $75 that was to be used towards a "gift" from the Topps catalog.  Sounds like Topps gave the players the option of candy, cards, or maybe a t-shirt.  Obviously Topps was playing the players associaition and god knows who else in more than credits for Bazooka Joe and Garbage Pail Kids, but in 1987, being the best third baseman in the National League earned you $75 per season in Topps credits.  I imagine Fleer and Donruss had similar arrangements. 

I picked this up on ebay.  It was sold by "The Topps Vault" which occasionally list some pretty neat stuff.  I find the Sy Berger autograph even more exciting than the Wallach.  Sy Berger is a legend in card collecting.  He was in with Topps from day one and designed the 1952 set.  He was also the guy who loaded cases of 1952 Topps onto a barge and had them dumped in the East River. In the early 50's he was the primary foot solider for Topps in their battle with Bowman to sign players to exclusive contracts for the purpose of making cards.  I like the idea that the same guy who sat down in a locker room and signed the likes of Mantle, Mays, Aaron and Clemente to contracts, also did so with Wallach (and just about anyone else to appear on a Topps card during the second half of the 20th century.

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