Roy Campanella's last playing days card is his 1957 Topps offering. We all know what followed and Topps made note of that with the '59 card of Roy in his wheelchair. There's also the '61 MVP card but unfortunately Campy's injury led to a shortage of cardboard in addition to everything else. Thankfully one card can serve to rectify that, and it's not even from the good old US of A.
The '67 Venezuelan set, as cursory internet research will reveal, was broken down into three subsets and retailed for six cents a pack (packs contained four cards and gum). Campy was found in the middle series which featured retired players, hence the bold RETIRADO across the front. I love everything about the card, from the action pose to the bright coloring to the simple yet aesthetically-pleasing design. I'd love to one day add the Jackie and Sandy cards from the same series.
The card is always strong as it's not easy to find and I haven't run across a lot of high-grade copies. Recently a PSA 5 sold for nearly $600; a PSA 3 for almost $360; and a raw copy in 2.5-VG range sold for an accepted Best Offer off of a $250 listing. There is also currently a PSA 4 up for auction that already has met its opening bid of $100. I was beyond happy to land my raw copy for a stellar price and send it in for slabbing through work. The front presents as a gorgeous VG-EX with no creases, obviously, and strong color.
So what could possibly downgrade the card into a PSA 2 GOOD holder? As you can see there's a small amount of paper loss on the back in a couple of spots. This matters not one iota to me and in fact is the only reason I could afford to splurge on the beautiful addition to my Campy PC.
For anyone who critiques Topps for recycling the same old poses, it's nothing new for any of the card companies as I assume it's a lot cheaper than licensing a new photo or outright purchasing it. This familiar Campy pose can also be found -- or a pose similar to it can be seen -- on his 1949 Eureka Stamps release; 1951 Bowman card; 1952 Berk Ross offering; and the Action Pose in 1952 Wheaties.
It's a truly tremendous pose, by the by. I love it.