Ranked: 1960s Topps Sets

This is part two of my series ranking all of the Topps sets of all time. You can read part one here.

The Topps sets of the 50s had some high highs and low lows. The 60s sets are grouped much closer together. There aren’t any amazing sets, and there aren’t really any terrible ones. Just lots of okay-ish sets. There is one set in particular that is considered to be iconic, but I’ve never quite agreed.

With all that being said, this was a very difficult list to put together. There just isn’t a whole lot of separation. Anyway, on with the list!

#10 – 1967 Topps

I’ve never quite understood why the White Sox lettering is purple. And I’ve never been a fan of the facsimile autograph. Still, this isn’t a terrible looking set. It’s thoroughly mediocre. It does have a decent checklist, though there are no notable rookie cards. There is a Tommie Agee Topps Rookie Cup card, which is cool I guess.

#9 – 1963 Topps

The only thing this set has going for it is how colorful it is. It really isn’t a very appealing design. It would honestly probably be better without the little round image in the corner. Replace that with a cool Sox logo and it might be better. Still wouldn’t be good, mind you. Decent checklist, and Dave DeBusschere and Al Weis rookie cards. The Weis card is especially notable, as he shares it with Pete Rose.

#8 – 1968 Topps

Another 60s Topps set, another mediocre design. Is this supposed to be some kind of fabric? One thing I’m definitely missing from the 50s sets is the Sox logo. Another solid checklist, but I think every 60s set had a decent checklist. No notable rookie cards, though the Cisco Carlos rookie may have seemed like a big deal heading into the 1968 season.

#7 – 1969 Topps

I’m having such a hard time writing this list… there is nothing interesting to say about these boring designs! At least this set has a clean look, which is the only reason it ranks this high. Another decent checklist, including Carlos May, Bill Melton, and Ed Herrmann rookie cards. I do wish Carlos May was alone on his rookie card.

#6 – 1966 Topps

The other thing that is getting tiresome about this sets is the photography. It’s all headshots and spring training poses. Were they not capable of action photography or something? I should have used the Jack Lamabe card for this image. Who could forgot that man’s eyebrows? Anyway, another solid checklist with no prominent rookie cards.

#5 – 1965 Topps

The best part of this set is undoubtedly the little pennant with the Winged Sox logo. The rest of the design is bland, but the pennant saves it. Another decent checklist, featuring Bob Locker and Ken Berry rookie cards.

#4 – 1964 Topps

I’ve always been drawn towards this set, and I have no earthly idea why. Maybe the teal soothes me? For whatever reason, I really like the White Sox text across the top. Nice checklist, with Don Buford as the most notable rookie card. There are three really nice looking Topps Rookie Cup cards here: Al Weis, Pete Ward, and Gary Peters.

#3 – 1962 Topps

Definitely the most iconic set of the 1960s. Most people would probably have this first. I do like it, though for whatever reason I’ve never loved it. I almost put this in second place, but for whatever reason I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Another nice checklist, with Joel Horlen and Floyd Robinson rookie cards.

#2 – 1961 Topps

Like the 1964 set, I can’t really explain why I like this set. For whatever reason, this is the set I most associate with the 1959 era Sox team that I love so much. I do like the multiple colors at the bottom, though I do wish there was a Sox logo present. This set has a wonderful checklist, though there are no notable rookie cards.

#1 – 1960 Topps

The 1960 and 1961 sets are neck and neck for me, mostly because of the checklists. I do like the 1960 horizontal design. I like how colorful it is, and I obviously like the Winged Sox logo. There is a great checklist here, with J.C. Martin and Gary Peters rookie UER cards.

Ranked: 1950s Topps Sets

Hello, and welcome to the first post in my Ranked series. This series will allow me to rank various things that relate to the Chicago White Sox. I’m one of those weirdos that loves making lists and ranking things, so I am looking forward to this!

We start with Topps sets from the 1950s. Eventually I will rank all of the decades, which will culminate in a post ranking the 10 best Topps sets of all time.

Mostly I’m focusing on the design of the cards. I am also considering things like the presence of iconic rookie cards, and the overall Sox checklist in a particular set. I definitely prefer larger team sets!

Enough of my blathering, on with the list!

#9 – 1958 Topps

Definitely the least visually interesting of the 1950s sets, with only two other sets really in competition for the bottom spot. I’m really not into the yellow backgrounds. No particularly notable cards. Does contain a few Sox legends, such as Luis Aparicio and Billy Pierce, but many of the 50s sets have those guys.

#8 – 1955 Topps

My least favorite of the “vintage sized” sets. Mostly because of the bland backgrounds. The following year’s set would do this same concept much better. No notable cards, and a terribly small checklist. Now I’m having second thoughts about putting this ahead of 1958. At least that set has a good checklist.

#7 – 1954 Topps

Basically the vertical equivalent of the 1955 set, though it uses photos instead of art. I have 1954 and 1955 basically tied. Very similar design, and small, poor checklist. 1954 gets the nod because it came first, and has a few more cards in the team set. Nothing especially notable, though.

#6 – 1951 Topps (Red Backs and Blue Backs)

Definitely stands out amongst all of the Topps sets. It’s interesting that they went from the smaller size of these cards to the much larger size of the 1952-1956 sets, and then settled on something inbetween. These are very colorful and fun. The set is this low because it has such a small checklist, though it does feature this Billy Pierce rookie card.

#5 – 1959 Topps

For whatever reason, I feel like this is a pretty iconic set. I do like how colorful it is, though I wish the cards were divided up more evenly among the different colors. Most of the Sox cards are red. It also has a very good checklist, with a few notable rookie cards. Johnny Callison, Norm Cash, and Johnny Romano all have rookies here.

#4 – 1956 Topps

The top 4 of this list are head and shoulders above the rest of the decade as far as I’m concerned. This set features some beautiful, colorful art, and has a solid checklist, including one of the most iconic White Sox rookie cards of all time, the beautiful Luis Aparicio pictured here.

#3 – 1953 Topps

This set features the most beautiful art ever featured on Topps cards, in my opinion. If this set had a better checklist or an iconic rookie card, it might be able to move up the list. I do like the Jim Rivera rookie that is here, though.

#2 – 1957 Topps

Probably my favorite design of the 1950s. It has such a clean look, and features the best photography of the decade, by far. 1957 has an excellent checklist featuring several legendary Sox players, as well as Earl Battey and Jim Landis rookies. It’s only the iconic status of the final set on the list that keeps 1957 from the top spot.

#1 – 1952 Topps

Quite possibly the most iconic sports card set of all time. This set has some beautiful images, a clean design, and a solid checklist. There is no Mantle here, but there is a gorgeous Minnie Minoso rookie card. It would have been almost ridiculous to put any other set at #1.

Omar Vizquel Private Signing

I sent a couple of cards to a recent Omar Vizquel private signing. I’ve never felt dirtier about participating in a private signing. I’m happy to have the autographs in my collection, but I hate the idea of putting money in that guy’s pocket. Oh well. At least his HOF chances have almost certainly gone out the window. His playing career certainly doesn’t deserve enshrinement, so that’s definitely a good thing. Anyway, here are the two cards I got signed!

A Couple New Luis Robert Autographs

I’ve been torn on whether or not to pick up a bunch of Luis Robert autographs. They aren’t cheap. He could conceivably go the way of somebody like Joe Borchard, which would mean I wasted a lot of money. Or he could go the way of Mike Trout, and I’ll regret not stocking up before his signed stuff sold for multiple hundreds of dollars, just for cards.

So I’ve picked up a few things, but haven’t gone overboard. Up til now, I had splurged on a bat and his Bowman and Bowman Chrome rookie cards. I decided to add a couple more items to the collection. First, a 2020 Gypsy Queen card.

I also picked up a mini helmet.

There are five more things I definitely want to pick up at some point. I’d like to add a refractor of some kind. I definitely can’t afford his rookie refractor, but any nice refractor would do. Of course, I want his 2020 A&G card. I’d also like a 16×20. The thing is, I don’t really like any of the shots that I’ve seen available. I have been holding out for a nicer photo. Lastly, I’d like to add a gold glove baseball, and a regular ROMLB.

Albert Belle Private Signing

A rare Albert Belle private signing took place recently. Unfortunately, only cards, balls, 8x10s, and SIs were allowed, and no inscriptions were available. I picked out a nice card to get signed. I really want him on some premiums, but I’m still extremely happy to add another Belle card to the collection.

It looks kind of dark in the photo, but it looks amazing in person. I already have the Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura from this set signed, so I will probably try to knock out the remaining cards. There is a nice Magglio rookie in there, as well as Mike Cameron and Mike Caruso cards. Oddly enough, Caruso will likely be the hard one to get. The Thomas and Belle look really nice together.