|The Boys of Summer featured on the 1957 Topps Dodgers Sluggers card from DeansCards.com|
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 DeansCards.com|
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.|
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.|
- 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 and Bobby Richardson)
- Hall-of-Famer Rookie cards: #338 Jim Bunning, #18 Don Drysdale, #29 Whitey Herzog, #24 Bill Mazeroski, #328 Brooks Robinson, and #35 Frank Robinson.
- Toughest Series: The 4th Series (Cards #265-352)
- 33 Cards of Hall-of-Fame Players
- Coolest Card: #165 Ted Kluszewski
- 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
Dean Hanley, founder and owner of DeansCards.com, 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.