Forty-four years after smokers of Mecca cigarettes pulled them out of packs, Topps reincarnated the interactive design for a “double folders” set of its own. The 1955 Topps Doubleheaders set was the company’s first sidebar baseball issue and continues to be popular with collectors of vintage cards.
1955 Topps Doubleheaders Basics
Topps Doubleheaders were issued with gum with one per pack at a price of a penny. There are 66 different artistically designed “cards” portraying 122 different big leaguers.
Like the 1911 Mecca Double Folders, they were meant to showcase two players by folding over the top half. The design made the subject’s lower legs and feet interchangeable. The top half included the subject’s name, team and position. The lower portion of the back also included biographical information and abbreviated statistics for both players. When opened, they measure 2 1/16″ x 4 7/8″. When you put them side-by-side in reverse numerical order, a stadium scene forms from the backgrounds of each Doubleheader.
While they typically have a perforation where they’re meant to be folded, non-perforated Doubleheaders do exist, perhaps originating from an uncut sheet which entered the hobby many years ago and was cut up.
Topps must have had the 1955 Doubleheaders on its agenda relatively early in the season because the checklist includes only players issued in the first part of the regular ’55 set. That means there’s no Roberto Clemente, no Willie Mays and no Duke Snider. There’s also no Sandy Koufax or Mickey Mantle. Koufax was still a young prospect who may not have been included even with a slightly larger set and Mantle was under contract to Bowman and doesn’t appear in the regular 1955 Topps set either.
There is still plenty of firepower in the set, though. Among those most prominent on collectors’ want lists are Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Al Kaline and Warren Spahn…all paired, of course, with another player.
Grading and Prices
Doubleheaders are tough to find in high-grade. The size, paper stock and lack of quality holders in later years have kept the population of mint condition examples well under 100. PSA’s population report includes only 35 graded 9 with no 10’s. In fact, only about 11 percent of the more than 6,400 that have been graded rate 8 or better.
Williams/Hal Smith, Aaron/Ray Herbert and Robinson/Don Hoak are the three most valuable with nicer examples of each usually selling for several hundred dollars each. A PSA 8 Robinson/Hoak sold for $1,080 last summer.
The absence of Mantle, Mays, Clemente and Koufax and the relatively small size of the set does keep prices somewhat in check. When complete sets do become available, they are sometimes available in the $1,400-$1,800 range. While there are no truly rare Doubleheaders, the fist (Al Rosen/Chuck Diering) and last (Herm Wehmeier/Wayne Terwilliger) cards in the set do carry a slight premium in higher grades.
You can see 1955 Topps Doubleheaders on eBay by clicking here.