Featured in Topps’ 55-card 6th and last series of cards in 1958, the 21-card SPORT Magazine All-Star (#475-#495) subset was Topps’ first foray into producing All-Star cards. It provided collectors the opportunity to own two different cards of baseball’s best players. With today’s perspective and for a few different reasons, the set is regarded as a landmark moment in baseball card history.
Because of production limitations, it was impossible for Topps to produce card reflecting the actual line-up of that year’s All-Star game which was held on July 8 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.
Cards reached stores in the latter half of summer but had to be printed and packaged just after Opening Day. To choose the players that would be featured in the subset, Topps partnered with SPORT Magazine. This cross promotional opportunity allowed Topps to feature the league’s most popular player on additional cards. SPORT’s editors did a commendable job, picking 12 of the 18 players who would ultimately start in the actual game that year.
The subset featured 12 future Hall of Famers, the MVPs from both leagues, the Cy Young Award winner and eight members from the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Braves, who would meet in the 1958 World Series.
An interesting fact about the Stan Musial and Mickey Mantle All-Star cards is that they were triple- printed and replaced cards #443 Billy Harrell, #446 Carroll Hardy, #450 Preston Ward and #462 Gary Geiger on the 6th series printing sheets. This was mostly likely Topps’ creative attempt to stimulate sales late in the season. It provided them a unique opportunity to promote the late addition of Musial to their set as well as a chance to capitalize on Mantle’s popularity in the lucrative New York market. In 2009, Heritage Auctions sold a group of four uncut strips of cards that show the multiple Musials and Mantles.
There’s also a strip of 11 uncut cards including the three Musials on eBay right now.
1958 All-Star cards marked Musial’s first ever appearance on a Topps card the first time he’d appeared on a bubble gum card since the 1953 Bowman set. Musial had refused to sign a baseball card contract for the next several years but when Cardinals owner Gussie Busch was raising money for charity and asked Topps for a donation, the company offered to donate $1,500 if Musial would agree to a deal to appear on a ’58 Topps card. Musial did and Topps finally had The Man on its checklist.
It also marked the last Topps appearance of Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams while he was an active player. Williams soon signed an exclusive deal with Fleer for the remainder of his playing days which ended in 1960.
The 1958 All-Star game was a competitive contest. The American League bested the Nationals 4-3 thanks to single by Yankee Gil McDougald off Bob Friend that scored Frank Malzone to break a 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Here are the starting lineups for the 1958 All-Star Game (bold indicates players featured in 1958 Topps All-Star set):
|NL All-Stars||AL All-Stars|
|Willie Mays||CF||Nellie Fox||2B|
|Bob Skinner||LF||Mickey Mantle||CF|
|Stan Musial||1B||Jackie Jensen||RF|
|Hank Aaron||RF||Bob Cerv||LF|
|Ernie Banks||SS||Bill Skowron||1B|
|Frank Thomas||3B||Frank Malzone||3B|
|Bill Mazeroski||2B||Gus Triandos||C|
|Del Crandall||C||Luis Aparicio||SS|
|Warren Spahn||P||Bob Turley||P|
Collecting Topps 1958 All-Star sub-set today can be an affordable and fun undertaking. All 21 cards are readily available on eBay thought finding high grade cards can change that equation. Right now, the entire 21 card set in mid-grade condition will cost the patient collector somewhere in the neighborhood of $300-$400.
Topps 1958 All-Star Checklist
|Card Number – Player – Position||Final 1958 Stats
|Mid-Grade Price Range|
|#475- Casey Stengel & Fred Haney- Managers||Yankees beat Braves 4-3 in 1958 World Series||$10-15|
|#476 Stan Musial -1b||17, 62, 0 .337||$15-20|
|#477 Bill Skowron -1b||14, 73, 1 .273||$6-10|
|#478 Johnny Temple-2b||3, 47, 15 .306||$3-6|
|#479 Nellie Fox -2b||0, 49, 5 .300||$4-8|
|#480 Eddie Mathews -3b||31, 77 ,5 .251||$7-9|
|#481 Frank Malzone -3b||15, 87, 1 .295||$5-10|
|#482 Ernie Banks -SS N.L. MVP||47,129, 4 .313||$12-15|
|#483 Luis Aparicio-SS||2, 40, 29 .266||$5-8|
|#484 Frank Robinson-LF||31 ,83, 10 .269||$15-20|
|#485 Ted Williams-LF||26, 85, 1 .328||$40-50|
|#486 Willie Mays-CF||29, 96, 31 .347||$60-75|
|#487 Mickey Mantle-CF||42, 97, 18 .304||$75-100|
|#488 Hank Aaron-RF||30, 95, 4, .326||$25-35|
|#489 Jackie Jensen-RF- A.L .MVP||35, 122,9 .286||$3-6|
|#490 Ed Bailey -C||11, 59, 2 .250||$3-6|
|#491 Sherm Lollar-C||20, 84, 2 .273||$3-6|
|#492 Bob Friend –Right-Hand P||22 wins – 14 losses||$7-10|
|#493 Bob Turley -Right P-CY Young||21 wins – 7 losses||$8-10|
|#494 Warren Spahn –Left-Hand P||22 wins -11 losses||$8-10|
|495 Herb Score- Left-Hand P||2 wins – 3 losses||$6-9|
You can also take it a step further (like me) and try to track down an autographed copy of every 1958 All-Star card.
I’m not quite there yet, but it’s a start.