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1955 Topps All-American Football Cards

1955 Topps All-American Football Cards

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1955 Topps All-American Football is one of the most iconic and well-executed products ever manufactured by the company. Given Topps' long history in the hobby, this is truly noteworthy. Despite not having an NFL license and after failed collegiate offerings in 1950 and 1951, 1955 Topps All-American Football laid the foundation for the future of the football card category.

A well-conceived checklist of 100 cards includes, essentially, all of the legendary players who gave rise to the early days of the sport and set it on the course for popularity that the game has achieved today.  Included in the set are cards of Red Grange (#27), Turk Edwards (#38), Beattie Feathers (#98), Fats Henry (#100) and the multi-sport superstar Jim Thorpe(#37). The 1955 Topps All-American Football card set also includes the first Heisman Trophy winner Jay Berwanger (#78) and legendary coaches Knute Rockne (#16) and Alonzo Stagg (#38). Topps was also able to include, then retired, greats #12 Otto Graham (#12), Sammy Baugh (#20), Leo Nomellini (#29) and Sid Luckman (#85). This all-encompassing set of the game's early pioneers is as much the cornerstone to vintage football card sets as 1952 Topps Baseball is to that sport.

Printing and Distribution

The 1955 Topps All-American Football card set was printed in a single series on press sheets that consisted of 110 cards. An unintentional byproduct of this fact was that this would be the first Topps set to have short-printed cards randomly seeded throughout the production run. Some of the short-printed cards include the rookie cards of Tom Harmon (#35), Ernie Nevers (#56), Ace Parker (#84), Don Hutson (#97) and #Fats Henry (#100). The most desirable of the short prints however, is the 1924 Notre Dame backfield, which was nicknamed The Four Horsemen (#68).

The cards were available in singles via penny packs. Nickel packs that contain nine cards. Ten-cent cello packs house 22 cards.


Slightly over-sized compared to modern era cards, the 1955 All-American's measure 2-5/8 by 3-5/8 inches and were laid out in both vertical and horizontal orientations. The front of the cards feature a colorized black-and-white photo of a player from his college days in front of a generic game-action play and a solid-colored background. In one of the upper corners is a box with the player's school logo and name. Inside the white border at the bottom edge of the card is the player's name, position and an All-American logo shield.

All of the card backs are horizontal in orientation and contain the card number inside a football graphic, with the player's name, position and college to the right of the football. Below that is a written biography. The right side of the card hosts a cartoon and a trivia question, with the answer printed upside down beneath the cartoon. The words "All American" run across the bottom of the card inside a blue bar. The cards utilized some very vibrant ink colors for the era, giving them an over-all aesthetic value that has helped maintain their popularity through the years.

Errors and Variations

The 1955 Topps All-American Football card set is known for having a handful of errors. Two of which were corrected bringing the master set count to 102 total cards. Known examples exist in which the information on the back of the Gaynell Tinsley (#14) card was printed on the Whizzer White (#21) card and vice-versa. The uncorrected versions of these cards do carry a premium. Other errors include misspelled names and photo mismatches.

Topps definitely made an impact on the marketplace with this release and consequently, sales of Bowman suffered as a result. More importantly, the success of the 1955 Topps All-American Football card set gave the company a firm understanding of the market, printing technologies and price points for their eventual entry into the NFL marketplace.

1955 Topps All-American Football Cards 1Making purchases through affiliate links can earn the site a commission

Key Cards

Key 1955 Topps All-American Football Cards

Four Horsemen #68

1955 Topps All-American Football Cards 22

Jim Thorpe #37

1955 Topps All-American Football Cards 23

Red Grange #27

1955 Topps All-American Football Cards 24

Knute Rockne #16

1955 Topps All-American Football Cards 25

Don Hutson RC #97

1955 Topps All-American Football Cards 26

1955 Topps All-American Football Cards 27

Set Checklist

1955 Topps All-American Football Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Featuring 100 cards

1 Herman Hickman RC
 2 John Kimbrough
 3 Ed Weir
 4 Erny Pinckert
 5 Bob Grayson
 6 Nile Kinnick RC UER
 7 Andy Bershak
 8 George Cafego RC
 9 Tom Hamilton SP
 10 Bill Dudley
 11 Bobby Dodd SP
 12 Otto Graham
 13 Aaron Rosenberg
 14a Gaynell Tinsley RC ERR
 14b Gaynell Tinsley RC COR
 15 Eddie Kaw SP
 16 Knute Rockne
 17 Bob Reynolds
 18 Pudge Heffelfinger RC SP
 19 Bruce Smith
 20 Sammy Baugh
 21a Byron White RC SP ERR
 21b Byron White RC SP COR
 22 Brick Muller
 23 Dick Kazmaier RC
 24 Ken Strong
 25 Cas Myslinski SP
 26 Larry Kelley SP
 27 Red Grange UER
 28 Mel Hein RC SP
 29 Leo Nomellini SP
 30 Wes Fesler
 31 George Sauer Sr. RC
 32 Hank Foldberg
 33 Bob Higgins
 34 Davey O'Brien RC
 35 Tom Harmon RC SP
 36 Turk Edwards SP
 37 Jim Thorpe
 38 Amos Alonzo Stagg RC
 39 Brud Holland RC
 40 Donn Moomaw
 41 Joe Alexander SP
 42 Eddie Tryon RC SP
 43 George Savitsky
 44 Ed Garbisch
 45 Elmer Oliphant
 46 Arnie Lassman
 47 Bo McMillan RC
 48 Ed Widseth
 49 Don Zimmerman
 50 Ken Kavanaugh
 51 Duane Purvis SP
 52 Johnny Lujack
 53 Jack Green
 54 Eddie Dooley SP
 55 Frank Merritt SP
 56 Ernie Nevers RC
 57 Vic Hanson SP
 58 Ed Franco
 59 Doc Blanchard RC
 60 Tiger Hill
 61 Charley Brickley SP
 62 Harry Newman
 63 Charlie Justice
 64 Benny Friedman RC
 65 Joe Donchess SP
 66 Bruiser Kinard RC
 67 Frankie Albert
 68 The Four Horsemen(Harry Stuhldreher, Jim Crowley, Don Miller, Elmer Layden) SP
 69 Frank Sinkwich RC
 70 Bill Daddio
 71 Bob Wilson
 72 Chub Peabody
 73 Paul Governali
 74 Gene McEver
 75 Hugh Gallarneau
 76 Angelo Bertelli RC
 77 Bowden Wyatt SP
 78 Jay Berwanger RC
 79 Pug Lund
 80 Bennie Oosterbaan
 81 Cotton Warburton
 82 Alex Wojciechowicz
 83 Ted Coy SP
 84 Ace Parker RC SP
 85 Sid Luckman
 86 Albie Booth SP
 87 Germany Schulz SP
 88 Ralph Kercheval
 89 Marshall Goldberg
 90 Charley O'Rourke
 91 Bob Odell UER
 92 Biggie Munn
 93 Willie Heston SP
 94 Chuck Bernard SP
 95 Chris Cagle SP
 96 Bill Hollenback SP
 97 Don Hutson RC SP
 98 Beattie Feathers SP
 99 Don Whitmire SP
 100 Fats Henry RC SP

1955 Topps All-American Football Cards 1Making purchases through affiliate links can earn the site a commission

Rob is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff and co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio.He is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby.

User Reviews

Uncle Jake
Uncle Jake

Can someone explain to me how an unlicensed, collegiate product can have any player RC’s? No other unlicensed product counts, so why does this set get a pass?


The first and the best – no other FB set comes even close

Kevin Pinard
Kevin Pinard

To be aptly put, considering the first set to market the pro greats for their feats in college, genius marketing strategy by Topps.

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