Under The Tree: 1970 Chemtoy Major League Baseball Player Bouncing Balls

Toy manufacturer Chemtoy decided to combine two popular toys at the time – bouncy balls and baseball cards.  The result is a set of bouncy balls with pictures of baseball players inside them.  On the reverse side of the picture you’ll find a red or blue background, name, position, team, and a 4-digit number.  Each team has around (12) balls.  It can be quite difficult to see the player’s picture since the material Chemtoy used is very foggy.  Its not uncommon for them to yellow with age.  Many of them contain bubbles.

Chemtoy distributed them a few different ways.  Full boxes contain (144) balls.  Boxes can be team-oriented.  They can also be a mix of teams from the National or American League.  Blister packs were another delivery method.  Vending machines too.

About (285) balls make up the entire set.  Although when it comes to a product like this a newly discovered addition could popup one day.  Sometimes the most obscure players can be the hardest to find.  Stars like Pete Rose, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Reggie Jackson, Hank Aaron, Tom Seaver, Roberto Clemente, and Ted Williams each have balls.  Roberto Clemente can actually be found with two different colored backgrounds.

Collectors can’t get enough of these.  You rarely see them sell for under $10 per ball.  I’ve seen set/player collectors spend hundreds on a single ball they needed.

In 1969, Chemtoy made a football set of bouncy balls.  You almost never see these.  They’re a lot rarer than the 1970 baseball follow-up.

Even though this product might be presented as a “Super Ball” by a lot of collectors, they’re really considered to be more of a bouncy ball.  Wham-O has the distinct honor of being the creator of the Super Ball, and continues to make use of that name today.  Similar products made by other manufacturers are considered to be bouncy balls.  This is due to the different materials used to make their products.  In short, all “Super Balls” are bouncy balls, but not all bouncy balls are “Super Balls”.

FYI – Kansas City Chiefs owner and American Football League founder Lamar Hunt came up with the name “Super Bowl” after watching his kids play with a “Super Ball”.

One Response

  1. Wow, cool product! If I were a kid back then I’m sure I would have begged my mom for a quarter whenever I saw those vending machines.

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