While the 1952 and 1953 card series’ from Topps include some truly historic rookie cards, the 1956 card set is still considered a vintage. There are key cards for the likes of Ted Williams and the legend that is Mickey Mantle.
Several new features were introduced which also make this a special release of baseball cards. Then there is the return of Mickey Mantle to the Topps brand to consider which is worth thinking about.
In this guide, we will detail the 1956 Topps baseball card set as a card series showcase (see also “Peter Resier: Card Showcase“).
We will also look at why the card set is so memorable, what the set contains, and what the most valuable cards are (see also “Best And Most Valuable Nolan Ryan Cards“).
What Makes The 1956 Topps Baseball Card Set Memorable
In 1955, Topps acquired Bowman so baseball card fans no longer had to decide between which manufacturers to get their cards from (see also “1988 Topps Baseball Cards & 1988 Topps Cards Checklist“).
This set also marked the start of Topps’ monopoly on the industry of baseball cards.
As a turning point in Topps’ fortunes, this was the start of their dominance over the industry which lasted up to 1981.
Topps brought out some great new features in their card set yet this was not a great year for rookie cards, certainly compared to 1952 and 1953.
There are a total of thirteen first-year cards yet only #92 for Luis Aparicio ended up being a Hall of Famer which is remarkable in itself.
What is even more strange is that the National League Rookie of the Year, Frank Robinson, is a noted omission. Despite the perceptible lack of rookie power, there are still plenty of remarkable players of the time and Hall of Famers.
Some of the card fronts will also have some quaint color line variations which are worth looking out for. Then there are several team cards that may have the team names centered, or to the left, or dated which comes with its own premium.
Various card sets may be easier to complete but with so many variations, the 1956 Topps baseball card set seems to be never-ending. You could even get a few cards found in gumball machines which is a nice feature to contemplate.
What The 1956 Topps Baseball Card Set Contains
There is a checklist detailing 340 base cards in the 1956 set from Topps. The horizontal cards measured three and three-quarter inches by two and five-eighth inches.
Topps also decided to up their game from the 1955 set of dual-image cards as the player was profiled in color in the foreground with a color action scene detailed in the background. That’s one reason why the set itself is so highly sought after.
That was the front covered but there was plenty of information contained on the back of each card. That included the player’s biographical information and their individual statistics.
Those statistics were from the 1955 season and included the specific player’s career totals.
The left-hand side had lots of room for a triple-picture cartoon graphic of that player which were created by some of the best comic-book artists of the day.
These cartoons were not only creatively designed but tended to be amusing too.
The checklist cards were also a new addition to the card set which was warmly received by baseball card fans.
Baseball cards for the National League and American League president also started off the checklist and team-specific cards also provided a useful look at each of the 16 Major League Baseball teams playing at the time.
There are more than 200 variations on the base set that comprises 342 cards. This includes card back colors which would have been printed in gray and white.
The initial 180 cards are available in either color with the last 160 card backs only being found in gray.
Which Cards Are The Most Valuable In The 1956 Topps Baseball Card Set?
Without much surprise, the card of Mickey Mantle (#135) is known to be the most valuable from the set (see also “Mickey Mantle 1952 #311: Card Showcase“).
This is closely followed by #33 for Roberto Clemente, #30 for Jackie Robinson, and #130 for Willie Mays.
What stands out for each of these cards is how renowned the player was at the time and what they would go on to achieve.
The #31 card for Hank Aaron is highly sought after as the action shot is not actually him. Then there is #5 for Ted Williams, #79 for Sandy Koufax, and #251 for the New York Yankees team.
Though the Topps baseball card sets of 1952 and 1953 are arguably more sought after, there is a lot to love about the 1956 set. For one, there are numerous variations of the cards that makes completing the set a lot more onerous.
Over half of the cards in the set are available in either gray or white and there are even some known error cards. Then there are the checklist cards, the team cards, and cards for the President of both the American League and the National League.
Frequently Asked Questions
Of course, a baseball card set from this era will feature Mickey Mantle and his card is #135. Then there is Ted Williams from the Boston Red Sox who is #5 and Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates is #33.
Ernie Banks from the Chicago Cubs is #15, Jackie Robinson from the Brooklyn Dodgers is #30, and #31 is worth looking out for as it’s Hank Aaron from the Milwaukee Braves.
Then there is Luis Aparicio for the Chicago White Sox as #292, the New York Yankees team is #251, and the President of the American League is Will Harridge and is #1.
Eagle-eyed fans of the Milwaukee Braves will know that the card of Hank Aaron is not actually Hank Aaron.
The action shot actually features Willie Mays, only with a Milwaukee cap airbrushed onto his head.
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