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Thursday, March 18, 2010

1957 Topps Baseball Card Set

The 1957 Topps Baseball Card set remains a favorite among collectors for its color photographs and its use the vintage ballparks as backdrops.  Critics often fuss that the photos have a greenish tint, but I personally think that this adds to the charm of the set. Beginning with the 1957 Topps Baseball Card set, the size of the card was reduced to the standard that we are still using today.

Topps packed the 1st series with a lot of star power, as the set contains 7 Hall of Famers in the first 20 cards and 23 HOFers in the first 100 cards.  With 407 cards, the 1957 Topps Baseball Card set was the largest set that Topps produced up until that time.  That said, that number would be bested the following year and again in 1959.

There is still no Stan Musial card in the set. Stan had a $100,000 a year salary and felt that he was worth more than the $125 that Topps paid each of the players.  Stan would finally consent to having his images put back on cards in 1958.

Dean’s Cards builds over 100 vintage sets each year and the1957 Topps Baseball Card set is definitely one of the tougher sets to put together.  Not only does the 1957 Topps set have eight great rookie cards, but also the 4th series is so scarce that it is tough to complete – especially in higher conditions.

The 1957 Topps set contained two multi-player cards of the Dodgers Sluggers #400 and Yankees Power Hitters #407.  Topps would continue the trend of the Multi-player star cards for another dozen years.  It is was great way to get the stars of the day on one more card.

Topps also inserted 4 contest cards, an ad card and 4 contest cards into the set.  The checklist cards are near impossible to find in nice condition, as many were either marked up or discarded by the kids.  Because of the cost of the checklists and ad cards, most collectors consider the set complete without any of these special cards or the Baker Error Card.

The 1957 Topps Baseball card set facts:
  • 407 cards, issued in 5 series
  • Card Size: 2 ½” x 3 1/2”
  • Innovations: Color photographs, smaller card size, complete player stats on back of the card & largest # of cards in a set to date.
  • Rookie Cards: 18 (including Rocky Colavito & Bobby Richardson)
  • 7 Hall-of-Famer Rookie cards: #338 Jim Bunning, #18 Don Drysdale, #29Whitey Herzog, #312 Tony Kubek, #24 Bill Mazeroski, #328 Brooks Robinson & #35 Frank Robinson.
  • Toughest Series: The 4th Series (Cards #265-352)
  • 33 Cards of Hall-of-Famer Players
  • Coolest Card:  #165 Ted Kluzewski
  • Most Expensive Card: #95 Mickey Mantle
  • Rare Error Card: #176 Gene Baker (spelled Bakep on back)
  • Hardest to card find: The checklist cards in nice condition
  • Most Interesting card:  #20 Hank Aaron with the reversed image
  • HOF Player’s Best Card: #210 Roy Campanella
  • Missing in Action: Stan Musial



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