Composed of 494 cards, the 1958 Topps set assumes a more modern and alternative design. These cards display a brilliantly-colored background with a posed player profile image. At the top of each card, there is player’s name in large lettering, while the bottom features text of the player’s team and position. On the backs of these cards, condensed chart of the preceding year’s stats. The back also displays a write-up, biographical information, and a cartoon.
Series One: cards 1-110
Series Two: cards 111-195
Series Three: cards 196-283
Series Four: cards 284-370
Series Five: cards 371-440
Series Six: cards 441-495
The 1958 Topps set contains the highly popular cards of rookies Roger Maris and Orlando Cepeda, along with veterans Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, and Al Kaline. The card of Stan Musial is particularly valuable as it was his first feature on a Topps card. This set also includes All-Star subset cards (475-495), distinct cards specifically produced for those players named to the All-Star game. Multi-player cards also make a major appearance in the 1958 set with Mickey Mantle paired with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays paired with Duke Snider.
On the back of team cards are checklists, a first-ever for Topps. This, however, poses a problem for collectors in finding clean, unchecked cards. This set also features many variations, with the majority being found in the first series where the player’s name is displayed in yellow rather than white text. Such yellow variations are highly valuable, particularly when it comes to major stars such as Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, and Al Kaline. Other variations exist in background colors, where a blue background for Hank Aaron maintains a major premium. It is also to be noted that the 1958 Topps set contains many errors related to blurry imaging, discoloration, and card stock quality. Because of this, 1958 Topps is perceived to be one of the more difficult to obtain in high grade. Another odd feature of this set is that there are only 494 cards, despite the numbering being 1-495. This resulted from the fact that the card of Ed Bouchee (145) was taken out due to being convicted of revealing himself to minors. Another variation of high value is the error card of Pancho Herrera, where the “a” in his name is barely visible. The 1958 set also contains many team checklists (Milwaukee Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and Cincinnati Reds) which order the players either alphabetically or numerically. In value, the numerical order is greater.
POPULARITY AND SIGNIFICANCE
Filled with many Hall of Famers, rookie cards, and an exciting design, the 1958 Topps set is a highly favored collection. Despite this, finding cards high in number or with variations, has proven to be difficult, making this set even more valuable.