1961 Topps Football Cards

1961 Topps Football Cards


Product Details

User Rating:

1961 Topps Football expanded to accommodate players from both the National Football League and the upstart American Football League, which had only begun play the previous season. The set checklist boasts 198 total cards, three of which are checklists. Cards measure the standard, 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches. The set is anchored by a bevy of future Hall of Fame players including Johnny Unitas (#1), Bart Starr (#39), Y.A. Title (#58) and Jim Brown (#71), to name a few. The set also contains key rookies of Don Maynard (#150), Jim Otto (#182), Tom Flores (#186), John Brodie (#59) and Henry Jordan (#45). Other rookies include Boyd Dowler (#43), Johnny Robinson (#139), Art Powell (#151) and Lionel Taylor (#190).


1961 Topps Football card fronts feature a player photo in either a close-up head shot or a posed action picture. The player is superimposed over a solid-colored background. A black box at the bottom of the card, includes the player's name, position and team. A white border surrounds the card. The cards vary between a vertical and horizontal orientation. The backs of the cards are once again split into two parts. In the upper left-hand corner, the card number is displayed. It is followed by the player's name, position and team. A few lines of vital statistics appear between two thin lines. What appears below that depends on the player. Some have a box with year and lifetime statistics, while others have a short biographical write-up. The rest of the card features a cartoon that had to be scratched off to see.

Each NFL team is featured on a team card that has a team photograph surrounded by a gridiron design that resembles the markings on a football field. There are also cards that capture highlights from the 1960 season scattered throughout the set, however these only apply to the NFL teams. The numbering sequence of the cards is once again, as the previous year, arranged by team. The quarterbacks are first, then the running backs and others. The team card appears numerically after the last player from each NFL team, with a highlight card, when applicable, following that. The only exception to the rule is card #132, which features Milt Stock of the Cleveland Browns but follows the Redskins numerically.

Printing and Distribution

1961 Topps Football was released in two series. NFL teams comprised card numbers 1-132, while AFL players were printed in the second series with card numbers 133-197. The AFL players are slightly more difficult to find and star players do command a slight premium, particularly card #166, belonging to Jack Kemp. The most common distribution was in the form of one-cent and five-cent wax packs.


A textured team sticker was also included in each wax pack. There are forty-eight total stickers with 15 belonging to NFL teams, nine to AFL teams and 24 to college teams. There are also 12 team stickers that have two different variations, nine AFL teams and three college teams.

Errors and Condition Issues

A small handful of uncorrected error cards have been identified within the 1961 set. Some of the more notable ones relate to the misspelling of names. The letter "c" is omitted from Tom Franckhauser's last name on card #27, Charley Conerly's is misspelled "Charlie" on card #94 and Sonny Jurgensen's name is also mispelled "Jurgenson" on card #95. Many vintage hobbyists debate whether or not the cards featuring Houston Oiler players should be considered errors as they are all pictured wearing pink uniforms.

Common condition issues impacting the 1961 Topps Football card set include chipping on the blue-border on the back of the cards. The solid color background on the card front is also susceptible to flaws including print dots.

Top eBay Listings

Key Cards

Key 1961 Topps Football Cards

Jim Brown #71

1961 Topps Football Cards 1

Johnny Unitas #1

1961 Topps Football Cards 2

Checklist #198

1961 Topps Football Cards 3

Don Maynard RC #150

1961 Topps Football Cards 4

Jim Otto RC #182

1961 Topps Football Cards 5

1961 Topps Football Cards 6

Set Checklist

1961 Topps Football Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Featuring 198 cards

 1 Johnny Unitas
 2 Lenny Moore
 3 Alan Ameche
 4 Raymond Berry
 5 Jim Mutscheller
 6 Jim Parker
 7 Gino Marchetti
 8 Gene Lipscomb
 9 Colts Team
 10 Bill Wade
 11 Johnny Morris RC
 12 Rick Casares
 13 Harlon Hill
 14 Stan Jones
 15 Doug Atkins
 16 Bill George
 17 J.C. Caroline
 18 Bears Team
 19 Eddie LeBaron IA
 20 Eddie LeBaron
 21 Don McIlhenny
 22 L.G. Dupre
 23 Jim Doran
 24 Bill Howton
 25 Buzz Guy
 26 Jack Patera RC
 27 Tom Frankhauser RC
 28 Cowboys Team
 29 Jim Ninowski
 30 Dan Lewis RC
 31 Nick Pietrosante RC
 32 Gail Cogdill RC
 33 Jim Gibbons
 34 Jim Martin
 35 Alex Karras
 36 Joe Schmidt
 37 Lions Team
 38 Paul Hornung IA
 39 Bart Starr
 40 Paul Hornung
 41 Jim Taylor
 42 Max McGee
 43 Boyd Dowler RC
 44 Jim Ringo
 45 Henry Jordan RC
 46 Bill Forester
 47 Packers Team
 48 Frank Ryan
 49 Jon Arnett
 50 Ollie Matson
 51 Jim Phillips
 52 Del Shofner
 53 Art Hunter
 54 Gene Brito
 55 Lindon Crow
 56 Rams Team
 57 Johnny Unitas IA
 58 Y.A. Tittle
 59 John Brodie RC
 60 J.D. Smith
 61 R.C. Owens
 62 Clyde Conner
 63 Bob St. Clair
 64 Leo Nomellini
 65 Abe Woodson
 66 49ers Team
 67 Checklist
 68 Milt Plum
 69 Ray Renfro
 70 Bobby Mitchell
 71 Jim Brown
 72 Mike McCormack
 73 Jim Ray Smith
 74 Sam Baker
 75 Walt Michaels
 76 Browns Team
 77 Jim Brown IA
 78 George Shaw
 79 Hugh McElhenny
 80 Clancy Osborne
 81 Dave Middleton
 82 Frank Youso
 83 Don Joyce
 84 Ed Culpepper
 85 Charley Conerly
 86 Mel Triplett
 87 Kyle Rote
 88 Roosevelt Brown
 89 Ray Wietecha
 90 Andy Robustelli
 91 Sam Huff
 92 Jim Patton
 93 Giants Team
 94 Charley Conerly IA
 95 Sonny Jurgensen
 96 Tommy McDonald
 97 Bill Barnes
 98 Bobby Walston
 99 Pete Retzlaff
 100 Jim McCusker
 101 Chuck Bednarik
 102 Tom Brookshier
 103 Eagles Team
 104 Bobby Layne
 105 John Henry Johnson
 106 Tom Tracy
 107 Buddy Dial RC
 108 Jimmy Orr RC
 109 Mike Sandusky
 110 John Reger
 111 Junior Wren
 112 Steelers Team
 113 Bobby Layne IA
 114 John Roach
 115 Sam Etcheverry RC
 116 John David Crow
 117 Mal Hammack
 118 Sonny Randle RC
 119 Leo Sugar
 120 Jerry Norton
 121 Cardinals Team
 122 Checklist
 123 Ralph Guglielmi
 124 Dick James
 125 Don Bosseler
 126 Joe Walton
 127 Bill Anderson
 128 Vince Promuto RC
 129 Bob Toneff
 130 John Paluck
 131 Redskins Team
 132 Milt Plum IA
 133 Abner Haynes
 134 Mel Branch UER
 135 Jerry Cornelison UER
 136 Bill Krisher
 137 Paul Miller
 138 Jack Spikes
 139 Johnny Robinson RC
 140 Cotton Davidson RC
 141 Dave Smith
 142 Bill Groman
 143 Rich Michael
 144 Mike Dukes
 145 George Blanda
 146 Billy Cannon
 147 Dennit Morris
 148 Jack Lee UER
 149 Al Dorow
 150 Don Maynard RC
 151 Art Powell RC
 152 Sid Youngelman
 153 Bob Mischak
 154 Larry Grantham
 155 Tom Saidock
 156 Roger Donnahoo
 157 Laverne Torczon
 158 Archie Matsos RC
 159 Elbert Dubenion
 160 Wray Carlton RC
 161 Rich McCabe
 162 Ken Rice
 163 Art Baker RC
 164 Tom Rychlec
 165 Mack Yoho
 166 Jack Kemp
 167 Paul Lowe
 168 Ron Mix
 169 Paul Maguire UER
 170 Volney Peters
 171 Ernie Wright RC
 172 Ron Nery RC
 173 Dave Kocourek RC
 174 Jim Colclough
 175 Babe Parilli
 176 Billy Lott
 177 Fred Bruney
 178 Ross O'Hanley
 179 Walt Cudzik
 180 Charley Leo
 181 Bob Dee
 182 Jim Otto RC
 183 Eddie Macon
 184 Dick Christy
 185 Alan Miller
 186 Tom Flores RC
 187 Joe Cannavino
 188 Don Manoukian
 189 Bob Coolbaugh
 190 Lionel Taylor RC
 191 Bud McFadin
 192 Goose Gonsoulin RC
 193 Frank Tripucka
 194 Gene Mingo RC
 195 Eldon Danenhauer
 196 Bob McNamara
 197 Dave Rolle UER
 198 Checklist UER
 AD1 Jim Martin / George

Top eBay Listings

Chris Stufflestreet
Chris is an avid vintage sports card collector who is The Cardboard Connection's resident expert of all things vintage.

    Review This Product

    Rate this product from 1 to 5 stars using the following rating scale:
    1 Star - Avoid this product like the plague
    2 Stars - Below Average Product
    3 Stars - Average Product
    4 Stars - Excellent Product
    5 Stars - Incredible Product

    Please explain your rating below.