How to Collect: Super Series 1 Collector’s All-Time Top 10 Cards

Mike Moynihan’s Favorite Flagship Cards

Date: Apr 10, 2024
Author: Greg Bates, Senior Writer
Topics: Greg Bates, How To Collect, Mike Moynihan, Topps Series 1
Length: 609 Words
Reading Time: ~4 Minutes

Topps has released 46,781 base cards from 1951-2023. Super collector Mike Moynihan — who is trying to collect all 46,781 of those cardboard masterpieces — was asked to share his top 10 favorite Topps cards from over the years. He wasn’t able to list them numerically; that was too tough. As a collector of vintage cards, Moynihan’s list reflects that. Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, and Clemente, without question, had to be on the list. Without further ado, here are Moynihan’s Top 10 favorite Topps Flagship cards, in no particular order.

Favorite all-time Topps cards

1953 Topps Baseball #220 Satchel Paige

The artwork on this card is magnificent. This is Paige’s final season with the St. Louis Browns and final full season in the majors.

1956 Topps #135 Mickey Mantle

“How do you choose your favorite Mantle?” Moynihan said. “Mantle’s got to be on there. He’s the GOAT of the hobby. Probably, ’56 is my favorite Mantle card. It’s such a great card.” The dual action and profile images make this card pop. This is also the season Mantle won a coveted Triple Crown with a .353 batting average, 52 home runs, and 130 RBIs.

1958 Topps #476 All-Star Stan Musial

“It’s his first Topps card,” Moynihan said. “There’s something magical about that card.” This is Musial’s first Topps card in his 17th season in the league. Stan the Man logged his 3,000th career hit that season.

1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente

Clemente’s rookie card is iconic — there’s no doubt about it. With a dominant image of Clemente smiling, a secondary image of him in his batting stance, along with a “Buccos” logo makes it the card perfect.

1954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron

The rookie card of the all-time home run leader is a must for anyone who collects the legends of America’s pastime. When a collector thinks of the 1954 Topps set, the Aaron card is automatically the first to come up. The photo depicts a 20-year-old just starting his career, not knowing he will transcend the game.

1952 Topps #261 Willie Mays

Mays’ first Topps card is his most recognizable. It’s a simple card, but it lets the collector look into the eyes of the young, budding star. The New York Giants center fielder hit 20 home runs in his rookie campaign the previous year. Moynihan owns a large chunk of the ’52 Topps set; however, he has yet to pick up the Mays, Mantle, Robinson, or Campanella.

1952 Topps #312 Jackie Robinson

This is also Robinson’s first Topps card. And it’s a beauty. With a bat resting on his right shoulder, Robinson features a healthy smile. It wasn’t always all smiles for Robinson as the first African American to play Major League Baseball.

1969 Topps #533 Nolan Ryan

“That’s a classic card,” Moynihan said. This is Ryan’s first solo card after appearing on a 1968 Topps Rookie Stars with New York Mets teammate Jerry Koosman. The baby-faced Ryan went on to become arguably the best pitcher of all time. His seven career no-hitters and 5,714 strikeouts are records that will most likely never be touched.

1971 Topps #5 Thurman Munson

“That’s totally on that list,” Moynihan said. “Absolute great card.” Yeah, it is a great card. Munson is shown applying a tag to a runner trying to score. The card also contains a Topps 1970 All-Star Rookie Cup logo.

1974 Topps #1 New All-Time Home Run King Hank Aaron

Aaron ended the 1973 season with 713 career home runs — one shy of Babe Ruth for the most in baseball history. On his first swing of the ’74 season, Aaron tied The Great Bambino. Four days later, in the Atlanta Braves’ home opener, Aaron hit No. 715. He finished his career with 755 round-trippers.

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