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1962 Topps Football Cards

1962 Topps Football Cards

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The 1962 Topps Football card set consists of 176 standard sized cards measuring 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches. After one year of featuring players from both the NFL and the upstart AFL, Topps returned to the practice of featuring only NFL players. The company also reverted to a card design that was slightly evocative of the horizontal design of its 1957 set. The key rookies in the set are Ernie Davis (#36), Fran Tarkenton (#90) and Mike Ditka (#17). Other rookies include, Roman Gabriel (#88), Alex Hawkins (#3), Don Perkins (#41), Fuzzy Thurston (#69), Tommy Mason (#94), Billy Kilmer (#151) and Norm Snead (#164). Veterans anchoring the set include Jim Brown (#28) and the seemingly omnipresent number one card of Johnny Unitas.


Card fronts are laid out in a horizontal orientation. They are divided into three sections, each separated by thick black lines that create boxes. There are two smaller elements to the left and one larger one on the right. The largest section, on the right, features a large player image which is either a head shot or a posed action photograph without a helmet.. On the left, the player is shown in a black-and-white game-action picture. A bright-colored box below that contains the player's name, team and position. These design elements are all surrounded by a black border, which is perhaps the most distinctive part of the set's design.

The back of the cards are vertically oriented and also divided into three parts. The upper left portion contains the card number and the words "Topps" and "National Pro". The box in the upper right contains the player's name, team and position. The main box begins with two lines of vital statistics and then a short biographical write-up. Some players also have a box of year and lifetime statistics. The bottom half of the card features a cartoon trivia question.

Each team is also represented with a team card. The team picture is superimposed over a solid-colored background, with the black border surrounding the entire card. Once again, the cards were numbered by team (and then alphabetically by team city), with the quarterback and running backs among the first players featured. The final player was usually a rookie prospect. The team card is the final card before the next team's run begins.

Printing, Distribution and Inserts

1962 Topps Football was printed in a single series using two printing sheets of 132-cards each. To make room on the sheets, a number of the cards were short-printed throughout the set. It is estimated that between 70 and 88 cards in total are short-prints. As a result, assembling the set, in any condition, can be a challenge. Some of the bigger names falling into the short-printed category are Hall of Famers, Raymond Berry (#5), Bart Starr (#63), Paul Hornung (#64). Distributed primarily in five-cent wax packs, each pack included a 1962 Topps Football Buck. These "bucks" were available in $1, $5 and $10 bills with 48 total Bucks in the set. One-cent and cello packs were also produced.

Condition Issues and Errors

The backs of the 1962 Topps Football cards are susceptible to chipping. Centering is also a common problem with the set. The number one card of Johnny Unitas, as is typical for the era, can be difficult to find without horizontal creases. While not technically considered errors, the design department at Topps, took some liberties with the black and white, in-game action images on the card fronts. The depicted player often does not match-up with the card of the player. Instead Topps changed some of the jersey numbering to provide the illusion. This is most notable on Frank Tarkenton's number 90 card which actually shows a picture of Sonny Jurgensen.

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Key Cards

Key 1962 Topps Football Cards

Fran Tarkenton RC #90

1962 Topps Football Cards 22

Mike Ditka RC #17

1962 Topps Football Cards 23

Ernie Davis RC #36

1962 Topps Football Cards 24

Jim Brown #28

1962 Topps Football Cards 25

Johnny Unitas #1

1962 Topps Football Cards 26

Set Checklist

1962 Topps Football Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Featuring 176 cards

1 Johnny Unitas
 2 Lenny Moore
 3 Alex Hawkins RC SP
 4 Joe Perry
 5 Raymond Berry SP
 6 Steve Myhra
 7 Tom Gilburg SP
 8 Gino Marchetti
 9 Bill Pellington
 10 Andy Nelson
 11 Wendell Harris SP
 12 Colts Team
 13 Bill Wade SP
 14 Willie Galimore
 15 Johnny Morris SP
 16 Rick Casares
 17 Mike Ditka RC
 18 Stan Jones
 19 Roger LeClerc
 20 Angelo Coia
 21 Doug Atkins
 22 Bill George
 23 Richie Petitbon RC
 24 Ron Bull RC SP
 25 Bears Team
 26 Howard Cassady
 27 Ray Renfro SP
 28 Jim Brown
 29 Rich Kreitling
 30 Jim Ray Smith
 31 John Morrow
 32 Lou Groza
 33 Bob Gain
 34 Bernie Parrish
 35 Jim Shofner
 36 Ernie Davis RC SP
 37 Browns Team
 38 Eddie LeBaron
 39 Don Meredith SP
 40 J.W. Lockett SP
 41 Don Perkins RC
 42 Bill Howton
 43 Dick Bielski
 44 Mike Connelly RC
 45 Jerry Tubbs SP
 46 Don Bishop SP
 47 Dick Moegle
 48 Bobby Plummer SP
 49 Cowboys Team
 50 Milt Plum
 51 Dan Lewis
 52 Nick Pietrosante SP
 53 Gail Cogdill
 54 Jim Gibbons
 55 Jim Martin
 56 Yale Lary
 57 Darris McCord
 58 Alex Karras
 59 Joe Schmidt
 60 Dick Lane
 61 John Lomakoski SP
 62 Lions Team SP
 63 Bart Starr SP
 64 Paul Hornung SP
 65 Tom Moore SP
 66 Jim Taylor SP
 67 Max McGee SP
 68 Jim Ringo SP
 69 Fuzzy Thurston RC SP
 70 Forrest Gregg
 71 Boyd Dowler
 72 Henry Jordan SP
 73 Bill Forester SP
 74 Earl Gros SP
 75 Packers Team SP
 76 Checklist SP
 77 Zeke Bratkowski SP
 78 Jon Arnett SP
 79 Ollie Matson SP
 80 Dick Bass SP
 81 Jim Phillips
 82 Carroll Dale RC
 83 Frank Varrichione
 84 Art Hunter
 85 Danny Villanueva RC
 86 Les Richter SP
 87 Lindon Crow
 88 Roman Gabriel RC SP
89 Rams Team SP
 90 Fran Tarkenton RC SP
 91 Jerry Reichow SP
 92 Hugh McElhenny SP
 93 Mel Triplett SP
 94 Tommy Mason RC SP
 95 Dave Middleton SP
 96 Frank Youso SP
 97 Mike Mercer SP
 98 Rip Hawkins SP
 99 Cliff Livingston SP
 100 Roy Winston RC SP
 101 Vikings Team SP
 102 Y.A. Tittle
 103 Joe Walton
 104 Frank Gifford
 105 Alex Webster
 106 Del Shofner
 107 Don Chandler
 108 Andy Robustelli
 109 Jim Katcavage RC
 110 Sam Huff SP
 111 Erich Barnes
 112 Jim Patton
 113 Jerry Hillebrand SP
 114 Giants Team
 115 Sonny Jurgensen
 116 Tommy McDonald
 117 Ted Dean SP
 118 Clarence Peaks
 119 Bobby Walston
 120 Pete Retzlaff SP
 121 Jim Schrader SP
 122 J.D. Smith
 123 King Hill
 124 Maxie Baughan
 125 Pete Case SP
 126 Eagles Team
 127 Bobby Layne
 128 Tom Tracy
 129 John Henry Johnson
 130 Buddy Dial SP
 131 Preston Carpenter
 132 Lou Michaels SP
 133 Gene Lipscomb SP
 134 Ernie Stautner SP
 135 John Reger SP
 136 Myron Pottios RC
 137 Bob Ferguson SP
 138 Steelers Team SP
 139 Sam Etcheverry
 140 John David Crow SP
 141 Bobby Joe Conrad SP
 142 Prentice Gautt RC SP
 143 Frank Mestnik
 144 Sonny Randle
 145 Gerry Perry UER
 146 Jerry Norton
 147 Jimmy Hill
 148 Bill Stacy
 149 Fate Echols SP
 150 Cardinals Team
 151 Billy Kilmer RC
 152 John Brodie
 153 J.D. Smith
 154 C.R. Roberts SP
 155 Monty Stickles
 156 Clyde Conner UER
 157 Bob St. Clair
 158 Tommy Davis RC
 159 Leo Nomellini
 160 Matt Hazeltine
 161 Abe Woodson
 162 Dave Baker
 163 49ers Team
 164 Norm Snead RC SP
 165 Dick James
 166 Bobby Mitchell
 167 Sam Horner
 168 Bill Barnes
 169 Bill Anderson
 170 Fred Dugan
 171 John Aveni SP
 172 Bob Toneff
 173 Jim Kerr
 174 Leroy Jackson SP
 175 Redskins Team
 176 Checklist
1962 Topps Football Cards 27

Bucks Set Checklist

Featuring 48 cards

1 J.D. Smith
 2 Bart Starr
 3 Dick James
 4 Alex Webster
 5 Paul Hornung
 6 John David Crow
 7 Jim Brown
 8 Don Perkins
 9 Bobby Walston
 10 Jim Phillips
 11 Y.A. Tittle
 12 Sonny Randle
 13 Jerry Reichow
 14 Yale Lary
 15 Buddy Dial
 16 Ray Renfro
 17 Norm Snead
 18 Leo Nomellini
 19 Hugh McElhenny
 20 Eddie LeBaron
 21 Billy Howton
 22 Bobby Mitchell
 23 Nick Pietrosante
 24 Johnny Unitas
 25 Raymond Berry
 26 Billy Kilmer
 27 Lenny Moore
 28 Tommy McDonald
 29 Del Shofner
 30 Jim Taylor
 31 Joe Schmidt
 32 Bill George
 33 Fran Tarkenton
 34 Willie Galimore
 35 Bobby Layne
 36 Max McGee
 37 Jon Arnett
 38 Lou Groza
 39 Frank Varrichione
 40 Milt Plum
 41 Prentice Gautt
 42 Bill Wade
 43 Gino Marchetti
 44 John Brodie
 45 Sonny Jurgensen UER
 46 Clarence Peaks
 47 Mike Ditka
 48 John Henry Johnson

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

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