Baseball season is coming to a close this weekend, and September ends tonight (wake up, Billie Joe) Feels like a fitting time to wrap up my 1956 Topps Set with a look at the Series 4 cards in my collection to date.
I've read that the final series of the 1956 Topps set is the toughest, which was often the case with early Topps baseball sets. The early-season excitement over the sport and its trading cards dies down by mid-summer, and at this point in the year is largely dismissed for any fan of a non-contending team.
That hasn't necessarily been my experience with this set. Sure, there are some fourth series cards that are scarce and condition sensitive, but the third series seems to have more of those. And S3 has a lot more Hall of Famers, too. While the legendary stars are highly concentrated in the first and second series, S3 has eight cards of Cooperstown honorees.
This final series has two. One of them is here. The other is the only rookie card of a HOFer in the 1956 set. Here's the fourth series roll call...
261. Bobby Shantz - Kansas City Athletics
262. Howie Pollet - Chicago White Sox
263. Bob Miller - Detroit Tigers
There are two Bob Millers in this series. I have the other one.
264. Ray Monzant - New York Giants RC
265. Sandy Consuegra - Chicago White Sox
Mitchell is very tough to find in mid-high grade; a PSA 5 copy recently sold for $50. Luckily I already had this one.
COMC has had some graded copies of this card, but they were well over $30. I did the sensible thing (for once) and bought this unslabbed for a tenth of the price.
273. Walker Cooper - St. Louis Cardinals
This one definitely needs an upgrayedd
274. Frank Baumholtz - Philadelphia Phillies
275. Jim Greengrass - Philadelphia Phillies
276. George Zuverink - Baltimore Orioles
277. Daryl Spencer - New York Giants
278. Chet Nichols - Milwaukee Braves
281. Art Houtteman - Cleveland Indians
282. Warren Hacker - Chicago Cubs
283. Hal Smith - St. Louis Cardinals
Here's the other bird team catcher named Hal Smith.
284. Ike Delock - Boston Red Sox
285. Eddie Miksis - Chicago Cubs
286. Bill Wight - Baltimore Orioles
287. Bobby Adams - Baltimore Orioles
288. Bob Cerv - New York Yankees
292. Luis Aparicio - Chicago White Sox RC
I've come across a good amount of Wertz singles, including a 1953 Bowman Color purchased from COMC and a high grade 1952 Topps that I passed on for $40 because it didn't fit my collection/I was poor at the time. Haven't yet found a '56 single at a good price, but I won't whiff on it when it comes.
295. Clem Labine - Brooklyn Dodgers
296. Andy Seminick - Philadelphia Phillies
297. Bob Skinner - Pittsburgh Pirates
298. Johnny Schmitz - Boston Red Sox
This one might be a candidate for upgrading due to the indent along the nameplate.
299. Charley Neal - Brooklyn Dodgers
300. Vic Wertz - Cleveland Indians
Robinson was one of the oldest-living subjects of the 1952 Topps set when he passed away two years ago at age 100.
How do I not have this one yet?
305. Brooks Lawrence - Cincinnati Redlegs
306. Curt Roberts - Pittsburgh Pirates
307. Hoyt Wilhelm - New York Giants
308. Chuck Harmon - Cincinnati Redlegs
309. Don Blasingame - St. Louis Cardinals RC
310. Steve Gromek - Detroit Tigers
311. Hal Naragon - Cleveland Indians
Another tough one that I rarely see on COMC or eBay.
312. Andy Pafko - Milwaukee Braves
313. Gene Stephens - Boston Red Sox
314. Hobie Landrith - Chicago Cubs
315. Milt Bolling - Boston Red Sox
316. Jerry Coleman - New York Yankees
317. Al Aber - Detroit Tigers
318. Fred Hatfield - Detroit Tigers
319. Jack Crimian - Kansas City Athletics RC
320. Joe Adcock - Milwaukee Braves
321. Jim Konstanty - New York Yankees
322. Karl Olson - Washington Senators
323. Willard Schmidt - St. Louis Cardinals
324. Rocky Bridges - Cincinnati Redlegs
Rocky's given name was Everett.
325. Don Liddle - New York Giants
326. Connie Johnson - Chicago White Sox RC
327. Bob Wiesler - Washington Senators RC
328. Preston Ward - Pittsburgh Pirates
329. Lou Berberet - Washington Senators RC
330. Jim Busby - Cleveland Indians
331. Dick Hall - Pittsburgh Pirates
332. Don Larsen - New York Yankees
Yankee tax + high series + memorable feat in '56 = out of my price range.
333. Rube Walker - Brooklyn Dodgers
334. Bob Miller - Philadelphia Phillies
The other Bob Miller in series 4.
335. Don Hoak - Chicago Cubs
336. Ellis Kinder - St. Louis Cardinals
337. Bobby Morgan - Philadelphia Phillies
338. Jim Delsing - Detroit Tigers
339. Rance Pless - Kansas City Athletics RC
This card was the first one I'd heard about in regard to short-printed/scarce/condition sensitive singles. I've seen more than my share of print defects on this card, and happily accepted a lesser grade copy with a cleaner surface. (Also, Pless' career stat line kind of fascinated me. I'll have to look into more of these unfamilar players someday.)
340. Mickey McDermott - New York Yankees
Lucked out on landing this - along with the Pirates team, Yankees team, and Harmon Killebrew - from an eBay seller who offered them in addition to another purchase.
Finally we have these two, which are technically considered part of the set.
1st/3rd Series Checklist
2nd/4th Series Checklist
This is very much a 'cross that bridge when I come to it' problem, but... I don't see how I can acquire unmarked checklists at an affordable price that's in line with my condition guidelines. Here's proof:
I did not buy this card, but I saved the scans of both sides in my 1956 folder, with a note...
...sold for $204. I am not spending that much on a checklist.
I'm working on some ideas for October posts to coincide with the start of basketball and hockey season. My favorite(?) NBA team just acquired my favorite active player(!), while my favorite NHL team has a legitimate chance at the Stanley Cup.
Perhaps I could also lament the fact that the Hurricanes and Jets have officially existed longer than the Whalers and Thrashers, respectively :/
Or I could accept Jon's assignment and explore the best players (from 1988-2000) who never appeared in a Starting Lineup set. Any or all of these posts would be a lot shorter than this series.
Thank you for reading yet another novel-length blog post series, and have a great weekend!