Team cards are simply photographs of all the players on a team, on the front of a sports card. They’re a great collectible for folks who focus their collections on particular teams they’re fans of. This makes them particularly popular, regionally, and when it comes to vintage, made them particularly prized by kids who grew up ripping packs. Topps usually put great information on the back of the cards, describing team history, records, or championship details. In this article, I’ll run down 10 Topps baseball team cards that are particularly interesting or coveted by collectors.
1951 Topps Teams Boston Red Sox
One of the earliest Topps releases, there are nine different 1951 Topps Teams cards, and they are rarely found in nice condition.
1956 Topps #251 Yankees Team
1956 is the first year Topps issues team cards in its major sets. This makes the 1956 Yankees Team Card the crown jewel of team cards to me. There are 1388 graded examples in the PSA Population Report (remember, high-value cards are more likely to have a larger subset of their existing cards encapsulated). In February 2021, a PSA 8 sold for $1550, and PSA 9s are >$5k cards.
1957 Topps #97 Yankees Team
Another solid Yankees team card. PSA 8s sell for between $200-$250.
1957 Topps #317 Giants Team
You have to love the faux wood borders from a set that many consider to be “the standard” for the hobby.
1958 Topps #377 Braves Team Numerical Checklist
There are both alphabetical and numerical variations for 1958 Topps team cards. The numerical are far tougher to find. In the case of the Milwaukee Braves team card, there are 472 alphabetical and only 132 numerical examples in PSA’s Population Report.
1959 Topps #457 Dodgers Team
I’ve just always loved the color and look of this card.
1959 Topps #8 Phillies Team Checklist
The 1959 Topps Phillies Team card is a short print and high-priced in high-grade, with PSA 9’s fetching over $600.
1961 Topps #554 Pirates Team
The last PSA 9 of the 1961 Topps Pirates team card sold for $1350, making it another example of a tough high-numbered team card.
1962 Topps #584 Twins Team
The 1962 Twins Team card is both a high number and a short print, so most examples on the market have been sent into 3rd party grading companies, with PSA graded 435 of them.
1971 Topps #722 Astros Team
1971 Topps cards are already tough enough to find in decent condition due to chipping of the black ink. When you add in the popularity of team cards, and one that’s a short print, you get the 1971 Topps Astros Team card in PSA 9 condition selling for >$1k.
A few other great cards to consider are the 1959 Topps Chicago Cubs, 1960 Boston Red Sox, 1961 Topps New York Yankees, and 1967 Topps St. Louis Cardinals team cards. Additionally, teams themselves or regional companies made cards featuring the local ball club you might want to track down. Are you a team card collector? Let me know over on Twitter.