NEED # 2 (Lemon) 5 (Mays) 19 (Giants team) 21 88 (Snider) 92 94 106 123 132 144 150 (Mantle) 168 199 213 221 224 225 227 236 240 250 251 262 288 (Killebrew) 315 316 320 Ford 326 331 345 354 362 365 371 394 415 430 438 465 475 481 485 (Williams All-Star)
1958 marks a point of significant transition for modern set design. Here are five things that distinguish this one for baseball fans and collectors.
1. California adds first MLB franchises at New York's expense
|Brooklyn Dodgers in LA...|
|...and New York Giants in SF|
2. A little too much yellow ink
Thirty-three of the first 108 cards have yellow player or team names, giving variation fans some extra work. Best-known is #30, Hank Aaron.
3. First All-Star cards (#474-495) & the return of Stan Musial
This Topps set debuted All-Star Game lineups (from 1958's game in Baltimore) and its late-season series featured the first mass-produced Stan Musial card since Bowman's 1953 photo set.
TRIVIA: Given the All-Star Game's proximity to Washington, D.C., MLB invited Vice President Richard Nixon to throw out the first pitch, a task he repeated many times as President.
4. Ed Bouchee, You're Outta Here (no #145)
Major League Baseball suspended Ed Bouchee for most of 1958, so Topps did the same.
While Ed appears on this checklist at #145, no card of Bouchee exists outside of hobby creations like the one by SCD editor Bob Lemke.
5. Team Card are Checklists and Checklists are Team Cards
#44 above is also the Washington Senators team card, as Topps first integrated set tracking into the "regular" series.
Topps left 1956 & 1957 checklists unnumbered, assuming kids would discard them after filling all the boxes. Customers might've requested this change, or at least responded well to it, because Topps made it a part of numbered sets going forward.
The Hall of Thanks
OldBaseball.com friends Wes Shepard, Mark Zentkovich, Lynn Miller, Sal Domino, and Don Rice have all aided my upgrade quest. Don sent this six-pack of cards on Jan 5, 2014, including Warren Spahn.
Jan 22: four-pack of upgrades from Mr. Haverkamp!
For posterity, here's the Walt "Moron" card he upgraded. Ouch.