Card Rankings

10 Best Baseball Cards From 1956 Topps Baseball

The 1956 Topps Baseball cards set is one of the greatest sets of all time! So as we continue our “10 Best Series” of articles and videos, just know that this set not only ranks among the best from the vintage era, but it’s definitely one of the most sought-after sets ever produced.

We’ve already hit many other Topps sets in this series, including 1960, 1978, 1984 and 2001 – so check out my article on the Top 10 from the 1960 Topps set, and this video playlist!

You’ll also want to bookmark this article which lists the best Topps rookie cards from every year dating back to 1952!

I list these 1956 Topps baseball cards in order of the most valuable graded cards (looking at PSA 6 grades) from this set, based off of PSA’s Price Guide. As far as this landmark 1956 Topps Baseball set goes, I’m also going to cite a lot of information I gleaned from a 2007 article by Jim Churilla on PSA’s website. Thanks for your research Jim!

Let’s Talk 1956 Topps Baseball!

In 1955, there were just 16 Major League Baseball teams – SIXTEEN! Eight in both leagues! Dem Bums, the Brooklyn Dodgers finally won a World Series, beating the Yankees in seven games. This was the sixth time in 14 years the Dodgers faced the Yankees in the World Series, and this was the ONLY time the Dodgers won in Brooklyn! The Dodgers would lose to the Yankees in the 1956 World Series again, and then 1957 was the last season in Brooklyn before they moved to Los Angeles.

In 1956, there was 154-game schedule still, and the Philadelphia Athletics just moved to Kansas City – which made the third consecutive year a franchise changed cities. The Athletics would eventually move to Oakland in 1967.

Churilla said that there were over 120,000 cards from this set that were on PSA’s 2007 Pop Report – making it, at that time, the most graded Topps product of all time! Here we are, 16 years later, and there are now 352,000 cards from the 1956 Topps Baseball set that have been graded through PSA! That’s nearly a 200% increase!

By comparison, the 2020 Topps Baseball set already has over 120,000 cards graded – and it has been just three years since its release!

Just before this 1956 Topps baseball set was produced, Topps had bought out their biggest rival – Bowman. But they would then have to sign many Bowman-exclusive players to Topps contracts, which they couldn’t do in time before production. It would actually be two more years before Stan Musial would get his first Topps card.

Frank Robinson didn’t get a card in this set either, and he’d eventually be named the 1956 National League Rookie of the Year. Another player without a 1956 Topps baseball card was Sal Maglie, who was the runner-up for both the Cy Young Award and the NL MVP in 1956 behind teammate Don Newcombe.

Uncut factory sheets of cards were 10 x 11, so 110 cards per page. That made the 1956 Topps baseball cards of Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron and Jackie Robinson get double-printed on that first sheet of 1 through 100 numbered cards.

Just think, in 1956, you could buy 1-card packs for 1 penny – or 6-card packs for a nickel!

Also, there were two versions of many of the cards numbered from 1 through 180 – gray backs and white backs. Reportedly, the first 100 cards had more white backs, and the 101 through 180 cards had more gray backs.

10 Best Baseball Cards From 1956 Topps Baseball

For our card value rankings, we’re only talking about PSA 6 slabs of the 1956 Topps Baseball gray back cards. The card images are provided by

1. Mickey Mantle, N.Y. Yankees #135 (HOF) – $3,200

This card was momentous for a few reasons – it was Mantle’s first Topps card since 1953, which means there were no 1954 and 1955 Topps cards for Mantle! Also, this was the last year Topps would use artwork for their cards, going to true photography starting in the 1957 set, so this card was Mantle’s last artwork card.

With close to 8,800 gray-back Mickey Mantle cards, this is the most graded card with PSA of this entire set. The 1956 season would end up being one of Mantle’s best years ever, as he won the AL MVP Award and he hit for the Triple Crown.

View 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle cards on eBay!

1956 Topps Baseball

2. Willie Mays, N.Y. Giants #130 (HOF) – $1,265

Willie was often considered second best compared to Mickey, on the second-best team in New York, second-best card in the set – always second! For collectors, though, many might place him first on their list of favorites!

This is the third-most graded card with PSA from this set.

View 1956 Topps Willie Mays cards on eBay!

1956 Topps Baseball

3. Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers #30 (HOF) – $1,200

This is my favorite card in my collection – he’s stealing home! And it’s the last card of Jackie Robinson’s career, as he retired after the 1956 season. This card came back ungradable from PSA in 2021, so I sent it to SGC – and they agreed. They said it was Authentic, but PSA said it was undersized, so my guess is it might have been trimmed.

View 1956 Topps Jackie Robinson cards on eBay!

1956 Topps Baseball

4. Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirates #33 (HOF) – $1,200

Same profile picture as his 1955 Topps rookie card, Clemente would become who many consider the greatest Latin baseball player ever. I like his 1956 card better because the action shot is him catching a ball against the wall, as opposed to the 1955 version, where he’s just in a batter’s stance.

View 1956 Topps Roberto Clemente cards on eBay!

1956 Topps Baseball

5. Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox #5 (HOF) – $825

Many of Ted Williams’ 1956 Topps cards have color variations on the front, which are the lines over his name. I thought this was originally just a printing line problem on the card I have, but there are many cards that have a blue, green, red or yellow line over his name, and some have no lines at all. There doesn’t seem to be any of them that are more valued or less valued by collectors. There were just six Topps base cards of Ted Williams during his playing days, and this is one of my favorite.

TED WILLIAMS TRIVIA: While everyone talks about Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak as an unbeatable record, I submit Williams has a similar number. In 1949, Williams would reach base safely in 84 consecutive games, from July 1 to Sept. 27, 1949. Many consider this record the second-most unbreakable record in baseball, after Joe D’s hit streak. Teddy Ballgame hit .343 that year, with 159 RBI!

One of my all-time favorite sports books was “Summer of ’49,” by David Halberstam, which is a great story about the rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees – and specifically about the rivalry between DiMaggio and Williams. Great book!

View 1956 Topps Ted Williams cards on eBay!

1956 Topps Baseball

6. Hank Aaron, Milwaukee Braves #31 (HOF) – $800

Churilla’s article on PSA says this is an uncorrected error card, with Willie Mays sliding into home plate, rather than Hank Aaron! It’s artwork, though, and he’s wearing a Milwaukee hat.

In the 2002 Topps set, Albert Pujols is on the front, but the back of the card has an image of Placido Polanco. Can you imagine how awesome that uncorrected error card was like this one, and the back image was of Ichiro Suzuki instead of Polanco! That would be cool.

This is the second-most graded card with PSA from this set.

View 1956 Topps Hank Aaron cards on eBay!

7. Sandy Koufax, Brooklyn Dodgers #79 (HOF) – $675

Pitchers are generally less collectible than their hitting counterparts, but Koufax is among the exceptions to the rule. While many cards in this 1956 Topps set used the same headshot from the 1955 set, but not Sandy! And no one knows why.

View 1956 Topps Sandy Koufax cards on eBay!

8. Yogi Berra, N.Y. Yankees # #110 (HOF) – $390

Both MVPs from 1955 were catchers – Yogi Berra and Roy Campanella! Yogi is a legend, both behind the plate and in front of the microphone, with his famous Yogi-isms. (Google for a giggle).

View 1956 Topps Yogi Berra cards on eBay!

9. 1956 Topps Baseball Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs #15 (HOF) – $300

Banks was juuuuuust starting his awesome career in the mid-‘50s, and in 1958 and 1959, he’d win back-to-back MVP awards!

View 1956 Topps Ernie Banks cards on eBay!

10. 1956 Topps Baseball Al Kaline, Detroit Tigers #20 (HOF) – $225

Did you know that Kaline came to the majors directly from high school in 1953!?! He never spent one day in the minors. This 1956 Topps card comes on the heels of him becoming the youngest player to win a battling title, which he did in 1955, when he hit .340, in just his third major-league season! It was his one-and-only 200-hit season!

View 1956 Topps Al Kaline cards on eBay!

Other great 1956 Topps Baseball Cards to Consider:

This Aparicio card was actually the best rookie card of this amazing set! Aparicio won the 1956 American League Rookie of the Year award, and it was rare back then for players to debut in the majors in the same year as their first Topps card, like Aparicio did!

1956 Topps Baseball “Cards That Never Were”

Also, at the 2006 National Sports Collectors Convention, Topps produced a four-card pack of “Cards That Never Were,” handed out to VIPs. Five cards were produced with the same specs as the 1955 and 1956 Topps sets – the numbering picked up after the 340-card 1956 Topps set:

View 1956 Topps Baseball “Cards That Never Were” on eBay!

  1. 1956 Topps Frank Robinson RC, #341
  2. 1956 Topps Duke Snider, NL HR Champ #342
  3. 1956 Topps Brooks Robinson RC, #343  
  4. 1956 Topps Mickey Mantle, Triple Crown, #344.
  5. 1955 Topps Mickey Mantle #211

I found a PROMO pack of 4 cards available on eBay for $60, with Mantle on the front and Brooks Robinson on the back! I didn’t buy it, but it’s cool!

Don’t forget to check out our other great “Top 10 Rankings” Videos from these other Topps Baseball sets:

And bookmark this article which lists the best Topps rookie cards from every year dating back to 1952!

We’ll continue to bounce around the long history of Topps sets, as our next one will be from the iconic 1972 Topps Baseball set!

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