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1956 Topps Football Cards

1956 Topps Football Cards

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1956 Topps Football is the company's first officially licensed NFL trading card product. This came as a result of the acquisition of their long-time competitor Bowman. This inaugural release was the start of an annual issue of Topps NFL football cards that continues today. Consisting of 120 total cards, measuring 2-5/8 by 3-5/8 inches, key rookie cards include Roosevelt Brown (#41), Lenny Moore (#60), and Rosey Grier (#101). Alex Webster (#5), Joe Schmidt (#44), Bill George (#47) and Stan Jones (#71) also have their first cards in the set. A few noteworthy Hall of Fame players are also included in the set, namely Lou Groza (#9), George Blanda (#11) and Frank Gifford (#53).

Card Design

The front of the cards resemble the 1955 Bowman football cards in several ways. A player photo is set against a solid color background designated specifically for that team. A white aura (though smaller than the one in 1955) is added around the player's image. The player's team logo is placed in an upper corner of the card, and a box at the bottom contains the player's name, team and position. Again, the color of the boxes is team-specific. A white border surrounds the card. Card backs feature an outline of a football in red that contains the card number and Topps Football around it. A red box running across the top portion of the card houses the player's name, team and position. The rest of the card is split into two sections, with a short biography on the left and a trivia-based cartoon on the right. For some players, a line of statistics for the previous year and lifetime totals runs along the bottom of the card.

In addition to the player checklist, a team photograph card was created for each team which names each player by his last name and includes an overall history of the team and all-time team statistical records on the back. Some cards were not numbered within the set but are collected by advanced hobbyists. One is a checklist card that lists all 120 cards. Five contest cards that ask fans to guess the scores of upcoming games were also distributed inside packs. Master set collectors include these six cards in set registries, bringing the total number of cards in the set to 126.

Printing and Distribution

The 1956 Topps Football card set was printed in a single series. For some reason, all the players (and team cards) from the Washington Redskins and Chicago Cardinals were short-printed. They considered scarce as they were printed in much smaller quantities than those of other cards in the set. The cards were originally distributed in one-cent packs containing a single card and five-cent packs that came with five cards. Both types of packs came with a stick of gum.

While 1956 Topps Football has been under-appreciated, there is a growing interest in assembling this first-year gridiron offering from Topps. In comparison to other sets from the 1950s, it remains relatively affordable. However, secondary market prices for high-grade singles continues to rise alongside the set's overall popularity.

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Key Cards

Key 1956 Topps Football Cards

Chicago Cardinals #22

1956 Topps Football Cards 1

Lenny Moore RC #60

1956 Topps Football Cards 2

Washington Redskins #61

1956 Topps Football Cards 3

Jack Carson #1

1956 Topps Football Cards 4

Rosey Grier #101

1956 Topps Football Cards 5

Frank Gifford #53

1956 Topps Football Cards 6

1956 Topps Football Cards 7

Set Checklist

1956 Topps Football Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Featuring 126 cards

1 John Carson SP
 2 Gordon Soltau
 3 Frank Varrichione
 4 Eddie Bell
 5 Alex Webster RC
 6 Norm Van Brocklin
 7 Packers Team
 8 Lou Creekmur
 9 Lou Groza
 10 Tom Bienemann SP
 11 George Blanda
 12 Alan Ameche
 13 Vic Janowicz SP
 14 Dick Moegle
 15 Fran Rogel
 16 Harold Giancanelli
 17 Emlen Tunnell
 18 Tank Younger
 19 Bill Howton
 20 Jack Christiansen
 21 Pete Brewster
 22 Cardinals Team SP
 23 Ed Brown
 24 Joe Campanella
 25 Leon Heath SP
 26 49ers Team
 27 Dick Flanagan
 28 Chuck Bednarik
 29 Kyle Rote
 30 Les Richter
 31 Howard Ferguson
 32 Dorne Dibble
 33 Ken Konz
 34 Dave Mann SP
 35 Rick Casares
 36 Art Donovan
 37 Chuck Drazenovich SP
 38 Joe Arenas
 39 Lynn Chandnois
 40 Eagles Team
 41 Roosevelt Brown RC
 42 Tom Fears
 43 Gary Knafelc
 44 Joe Schmidt RC
 45 Browns Team
 46 Len Teeuws RC, SP
 47 Bill George RC
 48 Colts Team
 49 Eddie LeBaron SP
 50 Hugh McElhenny
 51 Ted Marchibroda
 52 Adrian Burk
 53 Frank Gifford
 54 Charles Toogood
 55 Tobin Rote
 56 Bill Stits
 57 Don Colo
 58 Ollie Matson SP
 59 Harlon Hill
 60 Lenny Moore RC
 61 Redskins Team SP
 62 Billy Wilson
 63 Steelers Team
 64 Bob Pellegrini
 65 Ken MacAfee
 66 Will Sherman
 67 Roger Zatkoff
 68 Dave Middleton
 69 Ray Renfro
 70 Don Stonesifer SP
 71 Stan Jones RC
 72 Jim Mutscheller
 73 Volney Peters SP
 74 Leo Nomellini
 75 Ray Mathews
 76 Dick Bielski
 77 Charley Conerly
 78 Elroy Hirsch
 79 Bill Forester RC
 80 Jim Doran
 81 Fred Morrison
 82 Jack Simmons SP
 83 Bill McColl
 84 Bert Rechichar
 85 Joe Scudero SP
 86 Y.A. Tittle
 87 Ernie Stautner
 88 Norm Willey
 89 Bob Schnelker
 90 Dan Towler
 91 John Martinkovic
 92 Lions Team
 93 George Ratterman
 94 Chuck Ulrich SP
 95 Bobby Watkins
 96 Buddy Young
 97 Billy Wells SP
 98 Bob Toneff
 99 Bill McPeak
 100 Bobby Thomason
 101 Roosevelt Grier RC
 102 Ron Waller
 103 Bobby Dillon
 104 Leon Hart
 105 Mike McCormack
 106 John Olszewski SP
 107 Bill Wightkin
 108 George Shaw RC
 109 Dale Atkeson SP
 110 Joe Perry
 111 Dale Dodrill
 112 Tom Scott
 113 Giants Team
 114 Rams Team
 115 Al Carmichael
 116 Bobby Layne
 117 Ed Modzelewski
 118 Lamar McHan RC, SP
 119 Bears Team
 120 Billy Vessels RC
 AD1 Lou Groza, Don Colo,
 NNO Checklist SP
 C1 Contest Card 1
 C2 Contest Card 2
 C3 Contest Card 3
 CA Contest Card A
 CB Contest Card B

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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.

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