Friday, September 22, 2023

My 1956 Topps Set - Series 3

I put the 1956 Topps project aside for nearly a month in hopes that I could add a new card or two before discussing Series 3. While I was able to acquire eight new singles for the set build, only one of them is part of this tough series - and it's being held at COMC until probably November.

The gray back/white back variations end here. From this point forward there are only gray backs. Here's a look at the cards currently - and soon to be - in my collection.

Series 3

181. Billy Martin - New York Yankees

182. Paul Minner - Chicago Cubs

183. Stan Lopata - Philadelphia Phillies

184. Don Bessent - Brooklyn Dodgers RC

185. Bill Bruton - Milwaukee Braves

186. Ron Jackson - Chicago White Sox

187. Early Wynn - Cleveland Indians

188. Chicago White Sox Team

189. Ned Garver - Detroit Tigers

190. Carl Furillo - Brooklyn Dodgers

191. Frank Lary - Detroit Tigers

192. Smoky Burgess - Cincinnati Redlegs

A 9-time All-Star(!), Smoky's given name was Forrest.

193. Wilmer Mizell - St. Louis Cardinals

194. Monte Irvin - Chicago Cubs

195. George Kell - Chicago White Sox

196. Tom Poholsky - St. Louis Cardinals

197. Granny Hamner - Philadelphia Phillies

This was part of my first batch of vintage purchased on COMC, way back in 2015. It's highly off-center on both sides but still got a solid grade (if I allowed qualifiers it would probably be a 7OC or maybe 8OC.)

198. Ed FitzGerald - Washington Senators

199. Hank Thompson - New York Giants

200. Bob Feller - Cleveland Indians

201. Rip Repulski - St. Louis Cardinals

Appropriately enough, this card has a rip - er, crease. I'll have to replace it.

Oh, and his given name was Eldon John.

202. Jim Hearn - New York Giants

203. Bill Tuttle - Detroit Tigers

204. Art Swanson - Pittsburgh Pirates RC

205. Whitey Lockman - New York Giants

Whitey's given name was Carroll.

206. Erv Palica - Baltimore Orioles

207. Jim Small - Detroit Tigers RC

208. Elston Howard - New York Yankees

209. Max Surkont - Pittsburgh Pirates

Every time I look at this card I'm tricked into thinking Surkont was a catcher. Just look at that catcher-y face lol.

210. Mike Garcia - Cleveland Indians

211. Murry Dickson - Philadelphia Phillies

212. Johnny Temple - Cincinnati Redlegs

213. Detroit Tigers Team

214. Bob Rush - Chicago Cubs

215. Tommy Byrne - New York Yankees

Remember that Diamond Dig contest Topps had in 2011? My father in law bought hundreds of codes on eBay and pulled a '56 Byrne with one of them. Presuming the card would be in well-loved shape or "beat to all hell", he traded it on the Topps site for a 2011 Diamond Die Cut :/

216. Jerry Schoonmaker - Washington Senators RC

217. Billy Klaus - Boston Red Sox

218. Joe Nuxhall - Cincinnati Redlegs

My two lifelong best friends and I were huge fans of Married... With Children and one of them (who is not a sports fan at all) had to ask me why Jefferson was so excited at the sight of Al's Joe Nuxhall card. "Was he a really bad player?" They asked. "Yes," I explained. "But he had a very good excuse."

219. Lew Burdette - Milwaukee Braves

220. Del Ennis - Philadelphia Phillies

221. Bob Friend - Pittsburgh Pirates

222. Dave Philley - Baltimore Orioles

This is a tough card to find in decent shape and now that I know he played for both Philly teams I want that represented in my collection :P

223. Randy Jackson - Brooklyn Dodgers

224. Bud Podbielan - Cincinnati Redlegs

Speaking of Married... With Children ... this "Bud" was not named after a beer. His given name was Clarence.

225. Gil McDougald - New York Yankees

226. New York Giants Team

227. Russ Meyer - Chicago Cubs

228. Mickey Vernon - Boston Red Sox

229. Harry Brecheen - Baltimore Orioles

230. Chico Carrasquel - Cleveland Indians

231. Bob Hale RC - Baltimore Orioles

232. Toby Atwell - Pittsburgh Pirates

233. Carl Erskine - Brooklyn Dodgers

234. Pete Runnels - Washington Senators

Pete's given name was not Peter. It was James.

235. Don Newcombe - Brooklyn Dodgers

236. Kansas City Athletics Team

237. Jose Valdivielso - Washington Senators RC

I picked up a sharp copy of this card in that 2015 COMC haul, and about a year later sent it to Brian of the (dormant) blog Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary. He was much farther along in his set build than I was at the time. Sometimes I wonder if that copy would have graded a 7 or 8.

238. Walt Dropo - Chicago White Sox

239. Harry Simpson - Kansas City Athletics

240. Whitey Ford - New York Yankees

This was the most expensive single card I bought on COMC last year. A graded copy was well out of my price range so I rolled the dice on this one for $35.55. Didn't see any major flaws in the scan but once it arrived I noticed the slight thumbnail crease between Whitey's legs. You get what you pay for :/

241. Don Mueller - New York Giants

242. Hershell Freeman - Cincinnati Redlegs

243. Sherm Lollar - Chicago White Sox

244. Bob Buhl - Milwaukee Braves

245. Billy Goodman - Boston Red Sox

246. Tom Gorman - Kansas City Athletics

247. Bill Sarni - St. Louis Cardinals

248. Bob Porterfield - Boston Red Sox

249. Johnny Klippstein - Cincinnati Redlegs

250. Larry Doby - Chicago White Sox

251. New York Yankees Team

252. Vern Law - Pittsburgh Pirates

253. Irv Noren - New York Yankees

A lot of these third series singles are tough to find in decent shape. Noren in particular is going to be a bear.

254. George Crowe - Milwaukee Braves

255. Bob Lemon - Cleveland Indians

A PSA 7 Noren sold for over $250 yet I got this 7 of a Hall of Fame pitcher for under $40 on 4 Sharp Corners. Pre-pandemic pricing and the Yankee tax are certainly factors. And so is this:

The top-to-bottom centering is much worse on the back of this Lemon. I don't think 4SC disclosed that on their site. Btw, that place never posts '56 singles on their site any more - they put all the good stuff on eBay. That irks me; I bought at least a dozen of these cards on their site before 2020 :/

256. Tom Hurd - Boston Red Sox

257. Bobby Thomson - Milwaukee Braves

258. Art Ditmar - Kansas City Athletics

259. Sam Jones - Chicago Cubs

I almost picked up an EX+ 5.5 copy of this card last weekend - but decided to spend my $23.50 on this instead:

260. Pee Wee Reese - Brooklyn Dodgers

Jackie? Check. Sandy? Check. Campy? Check. Duke? Check. Gil Hodges? Just added. Pee Wee... uh... Pee Wee?

I'm hoping to wrap up this series next week. Free Stuff Friday cards have shipped and we're expecting a washout over the next two days, so I'm expecting to update the Starting Lineup tab soon.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!



  1. Lots of paintings filled with dynamic, exciting action. Then there's Ron Jackson's card.

  2. I started this year with about 60 cards total for the set, then hit that Villages show up in January and got it down to needing 60 cards. Haven't done anything with the set since.

  3. Fun stuff to see what you have, thanks!

  4. In the same vein as Bo's comment, I've always thought that it was interesting how detailed a lot of the background photos are, but then you have a couple, like Bob Feller's, where it looks like Topps just stuck a generic image of a baseball player onto the card.

  5. I watched a lot of Married with Children back in the day, but don't remember the Nuxhall episode. Might have to see if it's available to be streamed online.