1960 Topps Baseball is an Awesome Set of Firsts

People describe the 1960 Topps baseball set as one of the “quirkiest” ever made, thanks to Topps’ incredible art department, who chose some exciting color combinations. Plus, the card backs have fantastic cartoons by Jack Davis. But, as a hobby nerd, the set stands out as one of the best of the decade because it was a set of a ton of “firsts.”

1960 Topps baseball was the first and only set in the now standard 2-1/2″ by 3-1/2″ format to have a horizontal design; 1955 and 1956 Topps were oversized.

1960 Topps #350 Mickey Mantle

1960 Topps baseball had the first World Series Subset (cards 385-391).

1960 Topps #387 World Series Game 3

1960 was also the first time Topps included coaching staff cards for all 16 teams (cards 455-470); managers had individual cards, too (212-227) – Topps included managers in earlier sets, but this was the first time they included all 16 (and with a unique design).

1960 Topps #465 New York Yankees Coaches
1960 Topps #212 Walt Alston

The 1960 Topps set was also the first to feature the Topps All-Star rookie team. The trophy cards were in every set after 1960, too, other than 1974 and 1979-1986. 

1960 Topps #324 Jim Perry

1960 Topps had the first cards for all-time greats Willie McCovey and Carl Yastrzemski. This was the first and only Topps set to have two different rookie sub-set designs; like I said, quirky.

1960 Topps #316 Willie McCovey
1960 Topps #148 Carl Yastrzemski

This one is a stretch, but it was the first set since 1956 to include two photos on the front of the card, which I think look awesome and make the set stand out as one of the best Topps designs ever. I suppose we can say it’s the first set with two photos, not paintings/drawings, right?

1960 Topps #10 Ernie Banks

By the way, if you’re a little younger of a collector and want to open your FIRST 1960 Topps pack, you can see what they look like over on the Unopened Archive (but a pack will cost you a few thousand dollars).

In the end, the 1960 Topps baseball set is a great 572-card set, with 128 “special cards” that look incredible displayed together (like in a binder). Happy collecting!

2 thoughts on “1960 Topps Baseball is an Awesome Set of Firsts”

  1. John, you left off my favorite “quirk” of the set! Instead of a paragraph describing the player’s career or something else, the text on the back of the cards (where possible) gave specific highlights of the previous season, with the date of each one. Totally different than anything before. I don’t know about since, but I know they didn’t do it up until I stopped collecting around 81 or so. That would be my favorite thing to read when I got a new 1960 card. Great post!

    • Thanks Tom! I hadn’t noticed that. Too many of us ignore the backs of cards…and I wrote an article recently commenting that we need to pay more attention to them.


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