Top 5 Topps Baseball Sets of All Time

According to Super Collector Mike Moynihan

Date: Apr 12, 2024
Author: Greg Bates, Senior Writer
Topics: Greg Bates, Mike Moynihan, Topps Baseball, Topps Series 1
Length: 567 Words
Reading Time: ~3 Minutes

Mike Moynihan has always been a big vintage collector. So, it stands to reason that his favorite Topps Flagship sets were produced in the 1950s and ’60s. He loves the big names in the sets: Mantle, Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Robinson, Paige — the list goes on. When asked what his top five Flagship sets are over the product’s 73-year span, Moynihan methodically thought through each set and its design. “It’s probably easier to tell you my least favorite, seriously,” he joked. But after some serious thought, Moynihan was able to name his top sets. Then it got tough for Moynihan to try and rank them in order of his most favorite set to his fifth favorite set. “It’s like, I can’t tell you my favorite kid,” Moynihan said. “How do you choose?”


Moynihan’s Top 5 Topps Baseball Sets


5. 1954 Topps Baseball

This checklist is stacked. Rookie cards of Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks and Al Kaline. Early cards of Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson. And a couple of great cards of veteran Ted Williams. A pair of photos on each card — one action and one profile — grab collectors’ attention along with some great colors.

4. 1953 Topps Baseball

This set features very iconic painted profile photos of a young Mickey Mantle, Mays, Robinson, Paige, and Yogi Berra.

3. 1952 Topps Baseball

Arguably the most loved and talked about Topps set of all time by vintage collectors, there’s not a lot that needs to be said about the ’52 product. It’s Mantle’s Topps rookie card. Mays and Eddie Mathews, the last card in the set, are also two rookies that make the set shine. The ’52 product is special for Moynihan, just like the releases in the following two years. “We’re splitting hairs,” Moynihan said. “There’s not wide gaps between these. It’s literally very close. You could tell me, ‘I love ’54 more.’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I get it.’”

2. 1965 Topps Baseball

With the player’s team name and logo on a flag, the 1965 set has a different design. The colored borders frame the image nicely. “That’s been a recent love affair,” Moynihan said. “I’ve grown to appreciate it a lot more for the flag. I love looking at all the cards.” This is a set, again, that has the familiar big names with Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Banks, and Sandy Koufax, all in the later years of their careers.

1. 1960 Topps Baseball

Moynihan doesn’t hesitate to name the 1960 set as his favorite Flagship set of all time. It features a nice-looking Mantle and rookie cards of Carl Yastrzemski and Willie McCovey. This is another dual photo approach with the player’s name prominently displayed with an assortment of colors. “It’s different. It’s not traditional,” Moynihan said. “You’ve got multi-colored name letters. You’ve obviously got a horizontal instead of a vertical orientation. You’ve got dual pictures. You’ve got the inset on the side with the main color picture. And it’s just chock-full of just amazing names. But if you’re talking about just design, I just love ’60, for some reason.”


Bonus


2024 Topps Series 1 // 2023 Topps Series 1

Moynihan is quick to point out that two ultra-modern Topps products he really likes are the last two, 2023 and ’24.


More Topps Baseball


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