In 1959, Topps chose to maintain the solid colored background, but broadened the player image, with a “porthole view” and the surrounding environment. The circular image covers the entire card width while the card itself is bordered in white. Player name is displayed above their image in small lettering with a tilted format. At the bottom of the card is team logo in the lower left corner, while team name and position is displayed in the bottom right corner. Additionally, each card includes a reproduced player signature on their photo. The backs of the cards maintain a conventional format, including player name, biographical information, statistics, and a Topps cartoon, all in red and green.
SET SERIES & SUBSETS
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
Provided the new card layout, subsets, and larger checklist, the 1959 Topps set contains a number of errors, and therefore, variations. In fact, there are three variants of Haywood Sullivan and Warren Spahn. These variations, however, do not hold much value in the eyes of collectors. Another odd feature of this set is that another edition was produced for Venezuela. This set, however, consists of the first 196 cards and was produced on low-grade stock paper. The two sets can be differentiated between according to the tiny printing on the card backs in the Venezuelan version.
With a grand total of 572 cards, the 1959 Topps set was considered to be the largest baseball card set of the time. The Topps baseball card sets continued to develop and expand due to the recent loss of competition with Bowman. Despite this, in 1959, the Fleer Gum Company moved in and gained exclusive rights with Ted Williams. The 1959 Topps set, however, with the card of rookie Bob Gibson and prime Hall of Fame cards, provides a major turn for collectors given the new design, bigger checklist and various subsets. As a result, 1959 Topps remains one of the most monumental sets.
In the 1959 Topps set, the higher numbered cards (507-572) are worth more than the lower numbers (1-110). This results from the fact that less of cards 507-572 were printed, while a large amount of cards 1-110 were produced. While cards 1-110 are simpler to find, they were released in smaller amounts during this time, placing a premium on big-name cards such as Ford Frick and Mickey Mantle. Frick, MLB Commissioner, has additional worth due to being the first card in the 1959 set.