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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1957 Topps Mickey Mantle *** New York Yankees ***
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1961 Topps Baseball Set Mickey Mantle New York Yankees #300
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1958 Topps Baseball, #150 Mickey Mantle HOF, New York Yankees
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Mickey Mantle 1996 Topps Mantle Finest Refractor #17 1967 Topps
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1962 Topps Mickey Mantle #200
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1958 Topps All-Star Mickey Mantle - #487
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Mickey Mantle 2007 Topps Chrome White Refractor # 535 660
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2007 Topps Chrome Mickey Mantle #MMS24 Red Refractor #49 99
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Lot of (3) 1996 Topps Mickey Mantle Commemorative Cards + (1) Sweepstakes
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2007 Topps Chrome Mickey Mantle #MHR270 Red Refractor #94 99
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1969 Topps Baseball #500 MICKEY MANTLE New York Yankees EX EXMT $350.00
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1963 Topps Baseball #200 MICKEY MANTLE New York Yankees EXMT NRMT $600.00
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1958 Topps Baseball #487 MICKEY MANTLE All-Star NY Yankees EXMT $200.00
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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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