Why Some Topps Baseball Sets Are Missing Card 7

Why Some Topps Baseball Sets Are Missing Card 7

1996 Topps Mickey Mantle 210x300 ImageNo set is collected in the hobby as much as plain Topps Baseball. Strip away the inserts, variations and other extras and you've got a fairly simple set to build. Almost. Several modern Topps baseball card sets are missing #7. It's not an oversight. It's not a gimmick to make you buy more packs. It's not intended to drive you nuts (even if it means an empty spot in your binder).

So what's with the missing #7?  It's intended to be a tribute to Mickey Mantle, one of the hobby's giants and an important figure in Topps' history.

Why Topps Retired #7

When Mickey Mantle passed away in August, 1995, Topps decided to do something special for the iconic Yankees great. It started with a tribute card in 1996 Topps Baseball. Appropriately, it was card 7. From that point on, that spot on the flagship checklist is reserved for Mickey Mantle and nobody else. It's the hobby equivalent of a retired number. It also only applies to the flagship Topps Baseball set. Other releases like Topps Finest and Allen & Ginter don't have the missing card.

The reasoning wasn't so much about Mantle's play on the field as it was his popularity and how that transferred into baseball card sales. When it comes to the hobby's modern history, Mickey Mantle is its poster child, at least for the 1950s through the 1980s.

Starting with 1997 Topps Baseball, there was no seventh card in the main set. It remained this way for a decade.

Out of Retirement

Topps reached a deal with Mantle's estate to use his image in their products again. That meant taking card 7 out of retirement. However, it still belonged to the Hall of Famer.

2006 Topps Baseball also included an insert set called Mantle Collection. This created cards with designs from the "lost years" of 1997 to 2005. There was also a 1996-style card due to the fact the tribute card didn't go with the set's regular design.

All was good in the world of set builders in 2006 through 2012. With Mantle back in the Topps fold, there were no "missing" cards, no empty slots in pages.

The deal between Topps and the Mantle estate expired before 2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball was released. With no deal in place, #7 went back into retirement. So if you're building the Topps set and all you think you need is card 7, you're good. It's supposed to be that way.

Topps Baseball Sets Missing Card 7

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1969 TOPPS #500A MICKEY MANTLE NM MINT SHARP CORNERS OFF CENTER GREAT SHAPE LOOK
$89.99
1713560409914040 1 Image
2011 Topps MICKEY MANTLE 1956 World Series Medallion Press Pin NEW YORK YANKEES
$14.99
3307965789854040 1 Image
1965 Topps Push Pull Baseball Card #6 Mickey Mantle Yogi Berra New York Yankees
$1,175.00
1613587844284040 1 Image
1958 Topps Mickey Mantle New York Yankees #487 Baseball Card
$29.00
3703017004414040 1 Image
07 Topps Sterling 6 GU Cuts 4 Pin Stripes Mickey Mantle
$1,200.00
1613588020784040 1 Image
1961 Topps Mickey Mantle New York Yankees #475 Baseball Card
$30.00
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1958 TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE #487 (200.00) EX F3315
$55.00
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1963 Topps #200 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees - EX+
$275.00
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1960 Topps Baseball #160 Mickey Mantle & Ken Boyer Rival All Stars Yankees Card
$39.99
3012394769824040 1 Image
1959 Topps #10 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees -
$41.00
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GUARANTEED 1 1950'S OR 1960'S PACK IN BX LOOK FOR THE 1952 TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE ?
$129.00
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16 BASEBALL CHASE BOX LOT , FIND THE 1952 TOPPS PACK MICKEY MANTLE MAYS ROOKIE ?
$459.00
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Mickey Mantle complete medallion set 2011 topps New York Yankees all MINT COND!!
$25.00
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1961 Topps 307 World Series Game 2 Mickey Mantle NM #D59367
$81.25
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1961 Topps 406 Mickey Mantle 565 HR NM #D59369
$101.25
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1975 Topps 195 Mickey Mantle Hank Aaron MVP NM #D74788
$13.25
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Ryan Cracknell

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Ryan's collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection. Ryan can be found on Twitter @tradercracks and Google+.

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