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Sports Then and Now




Remembering the 1956 Topps Baseball Cards

Posted on April 20, 2019 by Joe Juhasz

1956 Topps Baseball Cards
Checklist & Values


1956 Topps Wax Box 1956 Topps Wax Pack My fondness for 1956 Topps started way back in 1964 when I first started collecting as an 11 year old. My friends and I wandered nearby neighborhoods in search of “old cards”. Back then, the oldest cards we ever found in dealing with other kids were 1957 Topps.

Eventually I saw my first 1956 Topps card – I was hooked. It was larger, thicker, fluffier making it look much, much older compared to a 1-year old 1957. “Ancient” we thought.

I changed neighborhoods in 1966 leaving my childhood friends behind. Before I left, except for a small cigar box of my favorites, I “donated” all my cards to the neighborhood – and stopped collecting. I had a great 3 year run but sure wish I would have been collecting in 1966 and 1967 with those tough high numbers. I would have loved to have had a cigar box full of them in place of my hoard of 1964 Topps Felix Mantilla and Gary Peters cards.

The regular 1956 Topps baseball card set is one of my favorites. Topps again went with a slightly larger (3-3/4″ by 2 5/8″) horizontal card design, similar to their 1955 Topps cards. Several of the portraits are even the same used on 1955 Topps cards some even back to 1954 Topps. 1956 was Topps first issue to feature team cards and checklists. A much more boring addition was the addition of the 2 league presidents.

With Bowman gone, Topps could again make cards of Mickey Mantle missing from Topps issues since 1953. After Mickey Mantle, it is a fun and simple set to complete with no high numbers or extremely expensive rookies with Hall-of-Famer Luis Aparicio being the top rookie.

For the serious 1956 collector, there are over 200 variations, making things extremely difficult for master set collectors. Most the variations deal with card stock (gray or white backs).
Cards #1-100 gray backs scarcer with slight premium
Cards #101-180 white backs much scarcer with larger premium
… rumor has it gray outnumbers white about 9-to-1 in the above run.

There are also several cards with color line variations on front. For example: Ted Williams’ card has either no line over his name or a thin green, red, blue, or yellow line between the white border for a total of 5 variations. Whitey Ford and Early Wynn also have no line or a thin red or yellow lines. In addition, many team cards had 3 different variations with team name either on the Left, Center or Right.

1956 Topps Hank Aaron 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle
There are a few uncorrected errors, the most famous being card #31 Hank Aaron which actually pictures Willie Mays sliding home ! Card #135 Mickey Mantle is also an interesting card. Exciting card pictures Mantle leaping high into the stands trying to catch a home run ball. The artist did a great job and Mantle makes the catch !!! An awesome play to put on this great card – right ? Only problem is that on the real play, Mantle missed the ball. 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle Catch
And as always for vintage Topps sets, take a quick look at Don Mossi and his famous ears !

Collectors of 1956 Topps likely love Topps side issue ‘1956 Topps Pins’ which used the same portrait photos as the cards. Seems collectors preferred cards to pins and Topps cut the 1956 Topps Pin set from a planned 90 pins to just 60.
Click for complete 1956 Topps PINS Checklist and Prices

Click for complete 1956 Topps Baseball card checklist, values and prices.
Note: You may be on that page right now.

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