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Friday, November 13, 2009

1956 Topps Football

Set size: 120 cards plus one checklist and 5 contest cards
Short printed High Series: None, but Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins cards are short printed
Card Size: 2 5/8" x 3 5/8"
Corrected Errors and Variations: none
Best card: Lenny Moore RC
Key Rookies: Moore, Joe Schmidt, Roosevelt Grier
Subsets: Team cards (1st appearance)
Gimmick: Trivia cartoon
Back ink colors: Red and black
League: NFL
Team Logos? Yes
Night Owl Style Nickname: The Big Set
Teams included in the set: Baltimore Colts, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins (Italics indicates first appearance for the team in a Topps set)
Why I chose this card: A 228 pound Tank (back when 228 lbs. meant something) rumbling ahead at full steam.

This is the very first NFL set put out by Topps and the only one in the 1952-1956 "large" card size of 2 5/8" x 3 5/8". The design is pretty simple. A photo of the player surrounded by a white border on top of a solid color background. The player's name, team and position in found in a small box at the bottom. In the upper corner, there is also a team logo. I'm not sure if these were official team logos or something Topps hashed together, but they're quirky and pretty neat looking.

The backs have large, very readable number on the top left corner inside a football. Get used to the number in a football motif, you'll be seeing it A LOT. The backs also feature the typical biographical info, a paragraph write up on the player, a bar of stats featuring the past year and career statistics and a trivia cartoon. I'm not sure a card back can get much better than this.

There is no scarce high series in this set, but Cardinals and Redskins cards are significantly harder to find than other teams. The toughest card in this set is the no-numbered checklist. Don't even think about finding one of these in any kind of decent shape for less than a Franklin. Also expect to pay a premium for team cards as many of them were probably chucked by frustrated kiddos who wanted individual player cards back in the day. There are no variation cards in the set, but there is one uncorrected error. Even though the Cleveland Browns were NFL champions in 1955, the Rams (who were pounded in the championship game 38-14) were credited as NFL champs on their team card. Cleveland fans just can't catch a break, can they?


night owl said...

I had a few of these at one time. Sold them to a dealer. No, I don't regret it. Really. Although I wish I knew what I spent with the money I got for them.

Captain Canuck said...

beautiful card. beautiful set.
I'm really gonna enjoy this series. When you finish it (and you will!) you'll need to release it out on cd-rom or memory stick, or whatever the kids are using nowadays...

Scott said...

nice recap!

nearmint said...

Here's the whole set: 1956 Topps football cards

CaptKirk42 said...

Very nice card. Cool set. I'm not sure but I might have the Team Card of the Redskins, or I tried to win the card in an auction and lost it.

dayf said...

Canuck: I have scanned and uploaded images from 1956-1980 already and have picked out cards from 1981-1993. Since half the post is just filling out a form, I can safely say that you will be getting sets at least through 1980.