1950-1959 Baseball Cards
Other decades may have produced more valuable cards, but 1950s baseball cards are arguably the most iconic and sought after vintage cards in the entire hobby. At times, they seemed more like art than simply sports card. Vivid colors and beautiful images filled checklists with names that now populate Cooperstown. As the country moved on after World War II, this would become the Renaissance period for baseball cards. A dominant figure throughout much of baseball card history, Topps released their first baseball product in 1951 and would not look back. While the later years of the 1950s and beyond were owned by Topps, they got a serious fight from Bowman in the early 1950s.
Although there are many great options from this decade, 1951 Bowman, 1952 Topps, and 1954 Topps have separated themselves from the pack. Top rookie card offering from this decade include Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Ernie Banks, Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, Eddie Matthews, and Bob Gibson.
Buying Guides: 1950’s Baseball Card Singles
1950’s Baseball Card Sets
Explore our expertly curated database of 1950s Baseball Card Sets, which includes expert buying guides, set checklists, product analysis and more. Also find top deals on 1950s baseball cards currently for sale.
1950 Bowman Baseball might not have the major rookie cards, but it’s certainly a thing of beauty to behold. And considering its age, one of the more affordable major sets of the era.
Featuring a wide variety of athletes, 1951 Berk Ross is still mostly known for the many baseball subjects. Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial and Whitey Ford are the key options. It is also the place to find the first card for basketball star Bob Cousy.
Led by rookie cards for Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, 1951 Bowman Baseball is a set for the ages. The attractive release is considered by many to be one of the most important post-war sets of all-time.
Part of the birthplace of Topps Baseball, 1951 Topps Blue Backs are the more valuable half of the early baseball card game from the card maker. Key cards include Hall of Fame players Richie Ashburn and Johnny Mize.
One of the first baseball sets from Topps, the 1951 Topps Connie Mack’s All-Stars Baseball checklist may be small, but it is loaded with all-time greats. The die-cut set includes cards for Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
A modest starting point for the Topps Baseball legacy, 1951 Topps Red Backs Baseball is a historic set in card collecting. Key cards include Yogi Berra, Duke Snider and Phil Rizzuto.
1952 Berk Ross Baseball marked the second straight year of a 72-card checklist from the short-lived card company. Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams are among the set’s standouts.
It may not carry the popularity of the other 1952 release, but collectors should not sleep on 1952 Bowman Baseball. The colorful set is led by second-year cards for Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.
It’s no exaggeration to say that 1952 Topps Baseball is a landmark baseball card set. The first major baseball card product from Topps, it includes the iconic ’52 Mickey Mantle card.
Regarded by many as one of the most attractive sets of all-time, 1953 Bowman Color Baseball includes a strong checklist of all-time greats. Featuring vivid photographs, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle are the top cards.
Led by key cards for Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Yogi Berra and Willie Mays, 1953 Topps Baseball features a beautiful design and a checklist to match.
1954 Bowman Baseball is highlighted by a classy, colorful design and the presence of many Hall of Fame cards. However, errors and variations are plentiful and the set does not have many notable rookie cards.
One of the most popular oddball issues of all-time, 1954 Dan-Dee Baseball is led by an early Mickey Mantle. Because they were inserted in bags of potato chips, the cards are very condition sensitive and command strong secondary market prices.
1954 Red Heart Baseball is one of the few products to be released in conjunction with dog food. The classic set includes Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial.
Led by rookie cards for Hank Aaron, Al Kaline and Ernie Banks, 1954 Topps Baseball is filled with Hall of Fame talent. The distinct design and strong checklist make it one of the best 1950s releases.
1954 Wilson Franks Baseball is a popular food-issued release that is easily distinguished based on the image of a hot dog package found on each card. Ted Williams is the main card in the set.
1955 Johnston Cookies Baseball is a popular regional issue highlighting the top players (and travel secretary) of the Milwaukee Braves. Checklist highlights include Hank Aaron and Warren Spahn.
Featuring key rookie cards for Roberto Clemente and Sandy Koufax, 1955 Topps Baseball is also popular for its horizontal card design.
1956 Topps Baseball is headlined by cards for Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams in addition to a variety of new features in the set. Luis Aparicio is the key rookie card.
1957 Topps Baseball is led by a potent checklist, including plenty of key HOF names as well as rookie cards for Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Don Drysdale.
Highlighted by key options for Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Roger Maris’ rookie card, 1958 Topps Baseball remains very popular. Thanks to a variety of variations, short prints, and a larger checklist, the vintage set is not easy to complete.
Taking full advantage of its exclusive deal with the Red Sox legend, 1959 Fleer Ted Williams Baseball represents something of a cardboard biography. From his play on the field to his upbringing off of it, the set is all things Ted Williams.
1959 Topps Baseball marked a time of change for a hobby still finding its way. Notable options include Mickey Mantle and the rookie card for Bob Gibson.