Tuesday, August 8, 2017

From My Collection: 1953 Topps Bill Bruton

When I collected cards starting in 1987, the card shop we went to in Newark, DE was called Stale Gum.  At Stale Gum, one thing I frequently purchased was a Grab Bag -- I think it was about $1, and you would get a few random cards, not all bad.  I think that's how I came upon this card, my 1953 Topps Bill Bruton.  If I didn't have this card, I would never have heard of Bruton.  This is one of my favorite cards, for three reasons: it was the first card I got from the 1950s (right now, my collection of about 30,000 cards contains only 12 cards from the 1950s), Bruton was one of MLB's early black players, and he was (like me) a Delawarean.  From what I've read about Bruton, he was a leadoff hitter and a base stealer, something like the 1950s version of Vince Coleman.  A good article about Bruton is available from SABR.

1953 Topps #214 Bill Bruton


  1. Stale Gum was owned by a guy named Bob Welch, who was and still is a good friend of my dad's. Glad you enjoyed going there. I remember his shop only vaguely.

    Kevin Lagowski

    1. Man, I loved that place. I don't remember when it closed, but it was there at least when I started collecting seriously in 1987. After that for a while my main card shop was Collector's Depot, in Peddler's Village in Christiana, and there were shops in Peoples Plaza and one on Chestnut Hill Road that I went to sometimes. Another shop opened up on Main Street later, Partners (the name is because it was originally a consignment shop, then the owner realized people were coming in for the cards so she just went all in on cards). I think Partners was the last shop I went to when I stopped collecting, when I was home after my freshman year of college in 1994. But Stale Gum was where it all started for me and it was awesome.