The 1963 Topps set employs one of its more popular designs, with vivid colors and clear images. With a total of 576 cards, this collection consists of cards with a colored banner that displays player name, team, and position to the bottom portion; as a result, the corners are easily destroyed, making it a harder task to find them in a high-grade state. The base cards also present a black and white picture at the bottom of the card with a colored backdrop, all in a circular shape. On the backs of these cards, there are full career and seasonal statistics. These were printed in gold and black ink, adding to their visual appeal. Along with this, the backs also feature a Topps cartoon.
Series One: cards 1-109
Series Two: cards 110-196
Series Three: cards 197-283
Series Four: cards 284-370
Series Five: cards 371-446
Series Six: cards 447-522
Series Seven: 523-576
Printed in seven series, many subsets can be found. Cards 1-10 present the best players from the preceding year in the subset, “League Leaders.” Documenting the World Series played between the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees are cards 142-148, entitled “World Series Highlights.” There are also several multi-player combo cards that are highly valued, including the popular ones of “Bombers’ Best” which includes Mickey Mantle and “Buc Blasters” which presents Roberto Clemente. There is also “Power Plus,” that showcases Hall of Famers, Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks. Very sought-after in this set are the Rookies Stars, particularly those including Pete Rose and Willie Stargell. These cards display player heads within a colorful circle, a different design from the base cards.
Within the 1963 collection, the cards in greatest demand include those in the sixth and seventh series (high-number) as these are the rarest cards of the entire set. Many of the best players can be found within these series; cards in low condition are even valued because of their rarity and the burden it is to find such cards in prime condition. While this set maintains a low number of errors, a few different versions do exist; they, however, have no additional value. For example, card number 29 and 54 (Rookies Stars) can be located with either a 1962 or 1963 displayed on the card front. There are also minor variations to be found on card number 371-446, which involve image placement and cropping details. Counterfeits also exist of the rookie, Pete Rose; the counterfeits can be distinguished between the real cards based on the card stock quality; these also display black line around the baseball cap.
Because of its unique and beautiful design, combined with the sought-after cards of rookies, Pete Rose and Willie Stargell, along with last standard-issue card of Stan Musial, the 1963 Topps collection is considered to be one of the greatest baseball card sets to ever be created.