Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons 75
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/22/2018
“When the 1958 NFL Championship extended into Sudden Death Overtime,pro football suddenly catapulted itself into the living rooms of America and it never left.”
-Shelton Williams, Writer

In our many years in the hobby, all of us at Goodwin & Company have encountered cards and relics which presented mysteries, but until now, all of those mysteries had been solved. The case of the 1958 Topps NFL Football set with the “58” stamp on the front remains a mystery we cannot crack, despite some of the most exhaustive sleuthing we have ever done.

Presented at auction is a true one-of-a-kind, one-of-one mystery set that not even the CEO, historians or experts at Topps could identify. We have only a singular oral history of this star-studded 1958 Topps football set as a guide. A story passed down through the years, with no means of verification to set the stage for our mystery.

The Case Of The Mysterious Factory Stamped “58” Topps 1958 Football Set

If you look closely at every one of the 200 cards in this 1958 Topps football set, you will see something unique and unexplainable. The number “58” appears on the front of every card, as if it has been stamped. Interestingly enough, the “58” lies beneath the final gloss coating applied to each card upon completion of the printing process.

The meaning to this part of the mystery can only be that the “58” was intentional and had a genuine purpose. Sadly, no one, not a single person, from Topps, the printer or any other resource used in the creation of the set, anyone who could provide an answer, is still living today. So we have to start the mystery with the only story we have.

The Theory Of The Middleman Between Topps And The NFL

According to legend, one man, a private individual – a “go between”, associated with NFL trading card sets was responsible for getting approval from the NFL before the trading cards could be released for sale to the public. The gentleman would take a complete set of cards, a proof set, from Topps to the NFL, for final sign-off and approval. If the NFL disliked a player pose, the look on someone’s face or how a player was portrayed, the league could veto the card and ask for a revision. Based on this information, we believe this to be the only intact, complete, 1958 Topps football approval set. Every card in this set is the exact card used in the final printed version of the set. Why the set’s year was used as a stamp and placed on the front of the cards may never be known. Perhaps there was fear that a card might be leaked to the public or stolen or used for unknown purposes. We will never know.

What we do know is that you have the opportunity to own a one of a kind, mystery set from the most important year in NFL history.

The Year The NFL Came Of Age

The epic 1958 NFL Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants marked the first Sudden Death game in NFL history. By the game going into overtime, the contest spilled over into evening viewing hours as families across America sat down to watch their normal Sunday night TV programs. But instead of the expected, they witnessed John Unitas methodically picking apart the fabled Giant defense, with what is recognized as the first true two-minute offense ever deployed. The excitement was riveting, as the Colts drove to glory, culminating with Alan Ameche’s famous dive into the end zone for the winning score. The NFL, which has always played in the shadows of Major League Baseball instantly had a new audience, new fans and a new energy which would lead it to overtake baseball in the hearts of many Americans.

The significance of 1958 cannot be overlooked. Consequently, the importance of this supposed proof set cannot be discounted. You could own what we all to be the lone approval set of cards issued by Topps prior to printing. The story is glorious. The names are glorious. And the visuals on the cards themselves are glorious. Now, it’s only up to you to cement theory behind the mystery with fact. We invite you to take the challenge.
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1958 Topps Special NFL Complete Test Set

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,514.80
Number Bids: 5
Auction closed on Friday, June 22, 2018.
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