Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dean's Cards: 1957 Topps Baseball Cards Loaded With Stars

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The Boys of Summer featured on the 1957 Topps Dodgers Sluggers card from
By Dean Hanley
Founder and Owner of Dean's Cards

If you want a baseball card set loaded with Hall of Fame players, the 1957 Topps baseball card set would be a great choice for you. Topps packed the 1st series with a lot of star power, as the set contains seven Hall of Famers in the first 20 cards and 23 HOFers in the first 100 cards.

The 1957 Topps Baseball Card set remains a favorite among collectors for its full card front color photographs and its use of the vintage ballparks as backdrops for the photos. Critics often complain that the photos have a greenish tint, but I personally think that this adds to the charm of the set.

During the 1956 season Topps sent a photographer to take actual color photos of the players that would first appear on the 1957 Topps cards. That is the reason the 1957 Topps baseball card set contains so many great rookie cards, including future Hall of Famers  #338 Jim Bunning, #18 Don Drysdale, #29 Whitey Herzog, #24 Bill Mazeroski, #328 Brooks Robinson & #35 Frank Robinson.
The muscular Ted Kluszewski shows off his arms in this iconic 1957 Topps card from
Big Klu's Card is a 1950s Collectors Icon

The 1957 Topps set also includes one of the coolest cards ever produced and one that remains extremely popular for collectors: #165 Ted Kluszewski. Big Klu felt his arms were restrained by the undershirt in the Reds’ tunic uniform top so he refused to wear it – and his card shows his unique look in its full glory.

The 1957 Topps set is also well known for the reverse negative of the #20 Hank Aaron card, showing Aaron as a left-handed hitter, a mistake which was never corrected by Topps.

Beginning with the 1957 Topps Baseball Card set, the size of the card was reduced to the standard that we are still using today. 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.

Still No Stan the Man

Even with all the star cards in the 1957 Topps baseball card set, there is still no Stan Musial card in the set. Stan the Man had a $100,000 annual salary, and he 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 hundreds of vintage sets each year, and the 1957 Topps Baseball Card set is definitely one of the tougher sets to assemble. 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.
Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra on one of the first Topps multi-player cards.
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 was great way to get the stars of the day on one more card. (By the way did you know you can now search for Multi-Player cards on our website by using the specialty code “MP” in your search for a player card on our website? Click here to see a video and learn about specialty baseball card searches.)

Checklists and Contest Cards Nearly Impossible to Find

Topps also inserted four contest cards, an ad card and four contest cards into its 1957 baseball card set. The checklist cards are nearly impossible to find in nice condition, as many were either marked up or discarded by kids.  Due to the cost of the checklists and ad cards, most collectors consider the set complete without any of these special cards
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1957 Topps Hank Aaron reverse negative card showing him as a left handed hitter. Topps never issued a correction.
1957 Topps Baseball Card Set Facts:
Dean Hanley, founder and owner of, is considered one of the foremost experts on the subject of vintage baseball cards, other sports and non-sports cards and has a regular column in the Sports Collectors Digest and publishes articles on his blog. Dean has also written two books on vintage sports cards: The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955 and Before There Was Bubble Gum: Our Favorite Pre-World War I Baseball Cards.

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