The 1958 Topps baseball card set lives in the shadows of the more famous Topps issues of the 50s, but it is well worth a second look. Like the set of the year before, Topps chose to keep the 1958 set simple in design as well. The colorful set boasted a number of special cards including Sporting News All-Stars, Team Cards and the first cards of the newly relocated Giant and Dodger franchises. Many fans of the 1954 set find the 1958 issue to be equally appealing.
Number of Cards
Topps continued to have inconsistent card totals for 1958. This issue of 494 cards would be the last set under 500 cards for Topps until some 40 years later! The smaller size makes this an attractive set to many 50s collectors.
Size of Cards
Where Topps may have lacked focus on the number of cards, they did lock in to the size established in 1957 set as the new standard for sports cards. The 1958 baseball issue measures the now almost universally accepted measurement of 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".
The 1958 Topps baseball set design is clean and no-nonsense. The large portrait or full body shot is displayed against one of nine solid color backgrounds. The player's name is in large letters at the top in either yellow, white, black or red letters. The bottom of the card features a colored horizontal band with position and team name. Team logos were also used on the bottom front. The back of the cards keep the fun going with cartoons and biographical information. Single line career and year statistics flesh out the design.
The cards were issued in 1-cent, 5-cent packs with gum and also were issued in a cello pack. The set was again issued in separate series, but this time it is not the highest numbers that command a premium, but the lowest numbered series. The separate series are: 1-110, 111-195, 196-283, 284-370, 371-440, and 441-494.
Mickey Mantle remains a hot card in 1958 as is expected. Roger Maris' rookie card is an instant classic.Maris is shown as a rookie Cleveland Indian outfielder and has risen in value drastically in the last few decades as more fans appreciate this homerun giant in the wake of the steroids scandal.Young fans appreciated the first Topps appearance of Stan Musial as well in 1958.The multi-player cards are well sought after with the Mickey Mantle / Hank Aaron World Series Batting Foes being the hottest, but the Ted Kluszewski / Ted Williams and the Duke Snider / Walt Aston cards are also very popular.The rookie card of Orlando Cepeda garners a mention, too.Throw in the usual 50s future Hall of Famers like Ted Williams, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra and the like and you have a star-studded set!