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1968 Roger Maris All-Pro Cereal Box
Starting Bid - $300.00 , Sold For - $1,057.50
Roger Maris holds two important distinctions in the world of sports. In 1961 he became the first player to break Ruth's long-standing single-season home-run record, when he hit 61 home runs with the New York Yankees. The second, lesser known, distinction is that Roger Maris was one of the first baseball players to be pictured on the front of a cereal box. (We believe that Tommy Tresh, in 1964, was the first). Maris is pictured here, in mid swing, on the front of a 1968 Ralston Purina's All-Pro High-Protein Cereal as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. The caption next to him makes note of his historic achievement, "Roger Maris - 61 homers in 1961. Most home runs in a single season." The reverse features four additional photos of Maris. The first pictures him seated at the breakfast table enjoying his All-Pro cereal. The other three smaller photos, all of which picture him batting, are part of an instructional series of "All Pro Tips" by Roger Maris. As noted at the bottom of the reverse of the box, this tip is "No. 2 in a series." One side-panel of the box has information about nutrition and a message for Mom, but the other side (not referring to the front or back of the box, but the side) has an essay entitled "Roger Maris' 61st home run" and recounts the details of the day of the legendary record-breaking homer. This particular box displays Maris' tip "on going with the pitch." We assume that this cereal brand, or style of box, was issued in the St. Louis area, just based on the rarity of the box and the fact that Maris was with the Cardinals at this time. In addition, All-Pro Cereal was a brand of The Ralston Purina Company and the company was (and still is) based in St. Louis. The box (6 x 2 x 9 inches) is in extraordinary condition, which is all the more amazing given the natural fragile nature of a cereal box. We could find cereal boxes in store aisles today that don't look this sharp! We're not sure how this box happened to survive in such perfect condition but we can only assume that this particular example went directly into the hands of a collector in 1968 who went to great efforts to ensure its protection. Aside from two minor hints of creases along the base of the front (barely detectable), the box is in Near Mint condition. It is not known how many of these boxes have survived, but they are very rare. We have seen only a few over the years and this is the first that we can recall offering. This is an outstanding Maris and cereal-box rarity, ideal for display, that fits well into many different kinds of collections. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,057.50
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