Batman Turns 80 – Here’s His Rookie Card

Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Batman made his debut to the world in Detective Comics issue #27.  The date on the cover states “May 1939”, but it was actually released in March of that year.

2019 marks Batman’s 80th anniversary.  For the last 80 years Batman has been fighting one evil-doer after another in order to keep Gotham City safe.  Despite being introduced to fans in 1939, it took until 1966 for Batman to receive what I like to call his “rookie card”.

Thanks to the success of the Adam West and Burt Ward Batman television series, fans saw multiple card sets released in 1966.  Topps issued five different sets all based on the campy Batman show.  The first is the 1966 Topps Batman Black Bat set.  It consists of 55-cards, and the artwork is done by Norman Saunders.  Saunders is best known for working on the 1962 Topps Mars Attacks set.  Card #1 simply features “The Batman”.  They call it the Black Bat set because the picture’s caption is inside a black bat.  Other sets released that same year include the Blue BatRed BatThe Riddler Back, and The Bat Laffs.  Like most vintage cards, condition is everything.  The value of this card can range anywhere from hundreds of dollars to thousands based in it’s condition.

Batman will always remain one of my favorite superheros.  I was first introduced to him while watching reruns of the old show from the 1960’s.  Then I discovered Tim Burton’s Batman starring Michael Keaton.  That movie is ingrained into my mind.  I prefer my Batman to be much more serious than campy.  Growing up, I had tons of action figures.  The first one I remember getting was of Batman from the 1989 Toy Biz DC Heroes line.

Today’s fans know Batman as a very serious character.  Thanks to comics such as Batman: Year One, The Killing Joke, and The Dark Knight Returns, those days of camp are fairly over.  Tim Burton’s films also helped, along with Batman: The Animated Series.

I wish this card had a more serious tone to it.  This image reminds me of what I look like on the opening night of the National Sports Collectors Convention.  Batman just looks way too happy.

On a side note, wouldn’t it be neat to see Michael Keaton return as Batman?  It could be a follow-up to Batman Returns.  Even though Batman Returns had two sequels – Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, other than Michael Gough playing Alfred Pennyworth you don’t see a lot of connections to the original two films.  Going back like this worked for the Halloween franchise last year.  With all of the reboots and restarts DC Comics films are currently going through, its not that far of a stretch for it to happen.

In case you were wondering, Robin’s “rookie card” is #2 in the Black Bat set.  Lots of famous characters from Batman’s Rogues Gallery have rookie cards in here.

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One Complicated Pin

The 2010 Little League World Series may be over, but its pins are still on fire.  Many of these new and unique pieces are just finding their way onto eBay, and the one pictured below is a great example.  District pins are always highly desirable and this one from California District 80 is something all sports pin collectors would like to own.  It is made up of 19 smaller pins, and the wheels actually spin and tilt.  Your not going to find a lot of these floating around, but I saw this one up for sale and just thought it was amazing.  It recently was purchased for $125.00 (not by me).

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