The 1957 Topps Baseball card set was the sixth baseball card issue for Topps and one of the all-time classic baseball card sets.
In our ranking of the best Topps sets of all time, we listed the 1957 Topps set as the fifth-best Topps set overall.
The set blends the simplicity of design with excellent star power (Mantle, Mays, Aaron). A solid rookie class, highlighted by the Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson rookie cards make it a desired set for vintage collectors.
Follow along as I explore the 1957 Topps Baseball Card Set. As follows, I dive into scarcity, investment potential, and the most valuable cards in the set.
1957 Topps Baseball Card Facts
The 1957 Topps Baseball card set proved to be an important release in the history of baseball cards.
For one, the card size (2 1/2" x 3 1/2") represented a departure from the larger format of previous year's issues. A card size that become the norm for all baseball card issues from thereon out.
Second, the 407 card set design offered up full color size player photos, the first time for baseball cards since the 1953 Bowman Color release. Topps in previous years had used artist face rendering with in action photos in a horizontal card format.
The set was released in five separate series and it is commonly known that one of the middle series (cards #265 to #352) are a bit more challenging to locate. Cards were issued in 1 cent, 5 cent and cello packs.
Some uncut sheets are still circulating, such as the 54 card sheet. Any sheets in good condition will certainly demand a premium due to the overall scarcity.
The set is full of some of baseball biggest stars, including Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams and Willie Mays. Rookie cards of Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson round out what amounts to a very complete set filled with big time players.
Notably absent are cards of Jackie Robinson, who had finished out his last season in 1956 and Roger Maris, who was oddly omitted. Note that Maris has a card in the next year 1958 Topps set.
Card backs are stat heavy with a short player bio as shown on the back of the #1 Ted Williams card.
Set builders will find that the 1957 Topps set is ripe with many printing issues, most notably centering problems and many cases of 'print snow'; white marks on the front of the card. Gum stains are often common and given the age of the cards (now over 65 years old) finding cards in a high grade is a challenge.
The set has a few different subsets, including 16 team cards and several combo player cards, such as highly desirable Yankee Power Hitters card, featuring Mantle and Yogi Berra.
1957 Topps Baseball Most Valuable Cards
We've narrowed down the most valuable cards in the 1957 Topps Baseball set, sorting values from the PSA SMR Price guide, using PSA 7 (Near Mint) values.
Commons from the set (in lower grades) average $5-$10 per card.
1957 Topps Mickey Mantle #95
The Mick's first Topps card was his legendary 1952 Topps issue, yet his 1957 Topps card is only his fourth Topps card.
The reason? From 1954-to 1955, Mickey Mantle had an exclusive baseball card contract with Bowman. Thus, no Topps Mickey Mantle cards were issued during these two years.
The 1957 Topps #95 Mantle card is the most valuable in the set. Many collectors like the simplicity in design and the fact that is Mick's first regular-sized Topps card.
In 1957 Mantle was in the prime of his career, ready to post his second of back-to-back MVP seasons. In '57, Mantle hit an impressive .365 with 34 home runs.
In terms of scarcity, the 1957 Topps cards aren't what we would call scarce by any means. From a PSA grading standpoint, there are over 7,000 PSA-graded Mickey Mantle cards from the set.
Note there is only one PSA 10 1957 Topps Mickey Mantle cards in existenc-the last sale happened in 2006 at a little under $37K. In today's market, that number would likely eclipse the million dollar mark.
There is a lot more data to work with at the PSA 9 grade. There are 22 PSA graded copies; the last sold for $180K back in April 2022.
In lower grades, Mantle's 1957 Topps card is much more affordable. Ungraded copies in low grades or even graded copies at PSA 2 and under often sell for under $500.
1957 Topps Frank Robinson (RC) #35
Frank Robinson is arguably one of the more underrated Hall Of Fame baseball players. Over his career, Robinson slugged 586 home runs, was a 2x MVP and selected to fourteen all-star games.
Robinson's 1957 Topps #35 card is his true rookie card and one of the top rookies of all 1950's baseball card issues.
Thankfully, for collectors, the card is somewhat plentiful. Like the Mantle #95, PSA has graded over 4,000 copies. Low grade copies, graded or ungraded sell for under $200, a great deal, for such a key HOF rookie card.
1957 Topps Brooks Robinson (RC) #328
The other key Robinson rookie card in the set! The #328 rookie card of legendary Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson is another must have rookie card from the 1950's.
Robinson was a very good hitter, although his career average of .267 has some critiquing his place among the greatest 3B of all time.
Yet, his defensive abilities were far and above any third baseman of the era. Over the course of his career, Robinson won an amazing sixteen Gold Glove awards!
Only one PSA 10 Brooks rookie card exists, yet 35 PSA 9 (Mint) copies are in circulation. The latest PSA 9 sale was for $30K back in April 2022 at a Robert Edwards Auction.
Like most other cards in the set, if on a lighter budget, you can buy a Brooks Robinson rookie card for less than $500 in lower grades.
1957 Topps Ted Williams #1
In 1957, Ted Williams was 38 years old and near the end of his illustrious major league career. Even at the advanced age, 'The Splendid Splinter' was still at the top of his game. In '57, Williams batted .388 with 38 home runs, finishing second in MVP voting to Mickey Mantle.
Ted's 57 Topps #1 card is a classic, with a full color pose of Williams at Fenway park. In higher grades, it can get pricey, although many lower grade versions can be found for a few hundred bucks. As the #1 card in the set, it is more susceptible to condition issues.
1957 Topps Hank Aaron #20
This is Hammerin Hank's fourth official Topps card, thus still early on in the career for Aaron. In 1957, at only 23 years old, Aaron secured the NL MVP award, hitting 44 home runs with 132 RBI's and a .322 batting average.
Some astute fans may notice that Aaron's image is reversed (confirmed by the number on his jersey), making him look like a left hander. Aaron was most certainly not a switch hitter, but a right handed batter I'm not exactly sure how Topps messed this one up, but it was never corrected.
No PSA 10 copies of Aaron's 57 Topps card exist, although there are 34 PSA 9 graded copies in circulation. Recent sales have averaged over $30K.
Mid grade PSA Aaron #20 cards sell for between $500 to $1000, while ungraded or lower grade PSA copies usually sell for a few hundred dollars.
1957 Topps Willie Mays #10
In 1957, Willie Mays was early on in establishing himself as one of the best ever to play the game.
Mays, 26 at the time, had an amazing year, hitting .333 with 20 triples, 33 home runs and 38 stolen bases. Despite the tremendous statistical season, Mays was beat out by Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Red Schoendist in MVP voting.
Mays' 57 Topps card is a great pose of the 'Say Hey Kid', with the simplicity of the 57 Topps card and the white borders accenting the photo so well.
There are no PSA 10 57 Topps Willie Mays cards, but 26 PSA 9's. These have been setting records of late, with the most recent sales eclipsing $50K at auction.
1957 Topps Sandy Koufax #302
The 1957 Topps Sandy Koufax card is a great card featuring a smiling, young Koufax. At the time, Koufax (only 21) was still finding himself as a pitcher.
It would take a few years until he established himself as one of the greatest pitchers baseball has ever seen.
The card is Sandy's third Topps card, with his 1955 Topps card his major league rookie card.
It's relatively affordable in mid to low grades and offers collectors a budget way to get an early Koufax card.
1957 Topps Roberto Clemente #76
Like Koufax, the 'Bob' Clemente #76 card is Clemente's third Topps baseball card.
As with the rest of the set, it's not hard to find. For a few hundred bucks, collectors can own a nice copy of a third year Clemente card.
In my opinion, one of the better overall values in the 1957 Topps set.
1957 Topps Ernie Banks #55
This is the fourth card for Cubs legend Ernie Banks. It's a great shot too, featuring an up close and personal batting pose of Banks. In high grades the card can be rather pricey, but copies in low to mid grade are abundant on eBay for under $200. Certainly a much more affordable card as compared to his 1954 Topps Rookie Card.
1957 Topps Yankee Power Hitters #407
Topps included two multi player cards featuring multiple teamates on one card. This one (featuring Mantle and Yogi Berrra) along with another featuring Dodger's sluggers (Duke Snider, Roy Campanella and others). This one is one of the higher demanded cards in the sets, although not nearly as valuable as Mantle's regular card in the set.
1957 Topps Don Drysdale (RC) #18
Outside of the two Robinson rookie cards, the rookie card of Don Drysdale is one of the other key rookie cards in the set. Drysdale, a Hall of Famer, was a key to the success of the LA Dodgers, and helped lead his teams to three World Series (1959, 1963, 1965) victories.
1957 Topps Yogi Berra #2
The second most valuable Yankee card in the set (behind Mantle) of course. Berra won an amazing ten World Series championships as a player. This is a later year card for Berra, his rookie card is his 1948 Bowman card. High grade copies can be expensive, although collectors wanting to buy one for $100 or less should have no issue.
1957 Topps Eddie Mathews #250
A cool card of Braves great Eddie Mathews (or Ed as Topps likes to call him here). Topps notes Ed's slugging ability on the back of the card saying that Mathews is one of the 'real heavy hitters' in the league. A low to mid grade copy can be found on eBay for $100 or less.
Investment Potential Of The 1957 Topps Set
Overall Investment Rating: 8 out of 10
The 1957 Topps set established a lot of firsts for baseball cards. The first regular sized cards, following many years of oversized issues. And the set market the first full color photographs from Topps after many years of artist renderings of players.
The cards are not scarce by any means, but condition issues (notably centering and white snow on the front surface) make putting together a high grade an expensive challenge.
Key rookie cards of Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Don Drysdale are a bonus, however a far cry from some of the earlier Topps sets rookie classes.
Rarer checklists and a harder to find middle series make this set a bit more challenging for set builders, however most vintage collectors will aim for the big names in the set.
This typically revolves around the most valuable cards listed above, notably the two Robinson rookies, Mantle #95 and other key early cards for stars such as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Ernie Banks.
All in all a great set, with a simple classic design that is a favorite for many vintage card collectors.
1957 Topps Baseball Checklist
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