Why Some Topps Baseball Sets Are Missing Card 7

Why Some Topps Baseball Sets Are Missing Card 7

1996 Topps Mickey Mantle 210x300 Image No 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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BASEBALL CARD, topps 32 , Mickey mantle graded 5
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1968 Topps Mickey Mantle New York Yankees #2 Game Baseball Card Ex+
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1961 Topps #300 Mickey Mantle Yankees Beckett Graded 7.5 Near Mint+ #0007360648
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1963 Topps #200 Mickey Mantle Yankees Beckett Graded 6 EX-MT #0007360655
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1960 Topps #350 Mickey Mantle Yankees Beckett Graded 6 EX-MT #0007360643
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Derek jeter mickey mantle lou gehrig topps chrome gold refractor yankees lot +
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1987 Topps Kmart Mickey Mantle #5 25th Anniversary GMA 10 GEM MINT
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TOPPS GIANTS Scarce 1964 Baseball Card #25 Mickey Mantle NY Yankees AB1
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1958 Topps 487 Mickey Mantle A.S. YANKEES VG
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1959 Topps 564 Mickey Mantle A.S. YANKEES VG NO CREASES
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1962 Topps 471 Mickey Mantle A.S. YANKEES EX
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Mickey Mantle, 2011 Topps Commemorative 1956 World Series Medallion, Press Pin
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2006 Topps Allen and Ginter MICKEY MANTLE Jersey Relic Patch
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2010 Topps Chrome Wrapper Redemption Refractors #226 Mickey Mantle
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2010 Topps Chrome X-Fractors #7 Mickey Mantle
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MICKEY MANTLE HANK AARON 1958 Topps #418 World Series Batting Foes YANKEES BRAVE
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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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