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1963 Topps Football Cards

1963 Topps Football Cards

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1963 Topps Football features only NFL players. The checklist consists of 170 standard-sized cards, measuring 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches. The set is anchored by over 30 Hall of Fame players including Jim Brown (#14), Johnny Unitas, (#1) and Fran Tarkenton (#98). The set also features the rookie cards of legendary greats Ray Nitschke (#96), Deacon Jones (#44) and Bob Lilly (#82). Other rookies include; Don Fleming (#22), Jim Marshall (#107), Timmy Brown (#111) and Charley Johnson (#146), Willie Wood (#95) and Larry Wilson (#155).


1963 Topps Football marked the first year the company used a two-tone border. Card fronts feature a large player photograph. Most consist of  the standard posed shots, although a few cards show players wearing their helmets. A small box at the bottom contains the player's name, team and position. The border features two colors, with the color around most of the card also showing up inside the lower box. Each team has its own color scheme. Card backs revert to the style Topps used between 1959 and 1960. They are vertically oriented, with a circle containing a card number in the top left corner. The player's name runs across the top, with his position, team and two lines of vital stats below that. Some players have year and lifetime statistics displayed, while others receive a short biographical write-up. The bottom half has a trivia question that can be answered by covering it with a red piece of cellophane paper that was included in the wax packages.

Each team also has a team photo card, which contains a solid-colored background behind the assembled team and often matches the color scheme used on the player cards. The cards are arranged by team. Each team's quarterback is the first card, followed by the running backs and receivers and then the other players. The team card is the final card before the next team begins. Teams are arranged alphabetically by the city name. Cards #85 and 170 are checklist cards.

Printing and Distribution

With 170 cards in the set, there is a large number of short-printed cards due to the arrangement of the printing sheets. Five entire teams are among the short-prints: the Browns, Cowboys, Giants, Steelers and Redskins. There are some other single prints sprinkled throughout the set, but those teams make up the bulk of the tougher cards. The 1963 Topps Football card set was printed on two consecutive 132-card sheets. Of those, ninety-four cards were printed on both sheets, while seventy-six cards were only printed on one.

Card were available at multiple price points and packaging options. The most common were five-cent wax packs. Cello packs, one-cent wax packs and six-pack vending trays were also distributed, but all are considered rare.

Variations and Condition Issues

It is believed that 116 cards were originally printed with a much darker, almost purple color sky. They can be very difficult to find. The most common condition issue in 1963 Topps Football is edge wear due to the colored borders. Certain cards, particularly those found on the left-hand side of the printing sheet, are also prone to centering issues as a result of being mis-cut.

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Key Cards

Key 1963 Topps Football Cards

Jim Brown #14

1963 Topps Football Cards 22

Bob Lilly RC #82

1963 Topps Football Cards 23

Johnny Unitas #1

1963 Topps Football Cards 24

Ray Nitschke RC #96

1963 Topps Football Cards 25

Fran Tarkenton #98

1963 Topps Football Cards 26

1963 Topps Football Cards 27

Set Checklist

1963 Topps Football Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Featuring 170 cards

1 Johnny Unitas
2 Lenny Moore
3 Jimmy Orr
4 Raymond Berry
5 Jim Parker
6 Alex Sandusky
7 Dick Szymanski RC
8 Gino Marchetti
9 Billy Ray Smith RC
10 Bill Pellington
11 Bob Boyd RC
12 Colts Team SP
13 Frank Ryan SP
14 Jim Brown SP
15 Ray Renfro SP
16 Rich Kreitling SP
17 Mike McCormack SP
18 Jim Ray Smith SP
19 Lou Groza SP
20 Bill Glass SP
21 Galen Fiss SP
22 Don Fleming RC SP
23 Bob Gain SP
24 Browns Team SP
25 Milt Plum
26 Dan Lewis
27 Nick Pietrosante
28 Gail Cogdill
29 Harley Sewell
30 Jim Gibbons
31 Carl Brettschneider
32 Dick Lane
33 Yale Lary
34 Roger Brown RC
35 Joe Schmidt
36 Lions Team SP
37 Roman Gabriel
38 Zeke Bratkowski
39 Dick Bass
40 Jon Arnett
41 Jim Phillips
42 Frank Varrichione
43 Danny Villanueva
44 Deacon Jones RC
45 Lindon Crow
46 Marlin McKeever
47 Ed Meador RC
48 Rams Team
49 Y.A. Tittle SP
50 Del Shofner SP
51 Alex Webster SP
52 Phil King SP
53 Jack Stroud SP
54 Darrell Dess SP
55 Jim Katcavage SP
56 Roosevelt Grier SP
57 Erich Barnes SP
58 Jim Patton SP
59 Sam Huff SP
60 Giants Team
61 Bill Wade
62 Mike Ditka
63 Johnny Morris
64 Roger LeClerc
65 Roger Davis RC
66 Joe Marconi
67 Herman Lee
68 Doug Atkins
69 Joe Fortunato
70 Bill George
71 Richie Petitbon
72 Bears Team SP
73 Eddie LeBaron SP
74 Don Meredith SP
75 Don Perkins SP
76 Amos Marsh SP
77 Bill Howton SP
78 Andy Cvercko SP
79 Sam Baker SP
80 Jerry Tubbs SP
81 Don Bishop SP
82 Bob Lilly RC SP
83 Jerry Norton SP
84 Cowboys Team SP
85 Checklist
86 Bart Starr
87 Jim Taylor
88 Boyd Dowler
89 Forrest Gregg
90 Fuzzy Thurston
91 Jim Ringo
92 Ron Kramer
93 Henry Jordan
94 Bill Forester
95 Willie Wood RC
96 Ray Nitschke RC
97 Packers Team
98 Fran Tarkenton
99 Tommy Mason
100 Mel Triplett
101 Jerry Reichow
102 Frank Youso
103 Hugh McElhenny
104 Gerry Huth
105 Ed Sharockman
106 Rip Hawkins
107 Jim Marshall RC
108 Jim Prestel
109 Vikings Team
110 Sonny Jurgensen SP
111 Timmy Brown RC SP
112 Tommy McDonald SP
113 Clarence Peaks SP
114 Pete Retzlaff SP
115 Jim Schrader SP
116 Jim McCusker SP
117 Don Burroughs SP
118 Maxie Baughan SP
119 Riley Gunnels SP
120 Jimmy Carr SP
121 Eagles Team SP
122 Ed Brown SP
123 John Henry Johnson SP
124 Buddy Dial SP
125 Red Mack SP
126 Preston Carpenter SP
127 Ray Lemek SP
128 Buzz Nutter SP
129 Ernie Stautner SP
130 Lou Michaels SP
131 Clendon Thomas RC SP
132 Tom Bettis SP
133 Steelers Team SP
134 John Brodie
135 J.D. Smith
136 Billy Kilmer
137 Bernie Casey RC
138 Tommy Davis
139 Ted Connolly
140 Bob St. Clair
141 Abe Woodson
142 Matt Hazeltine
143 Leo Nomellini
144 Dan Colchico
145 49ers Team SP
146 Charlie Johnson RC
147 John David Crow
148 Bobby Joe Conrad
149 Sonny Randle
150 Prentice Gautt
151 Taz Anderson
152 Ernie McMillan RC
153 Jimmy Hill
154 Bill Koman
155 Larry Wilson RC
156 Don Owens
157 Cardinals Team SP
158 Norm Snead SP
159 Bobby Mitchell SP
160 Bill Barnes SP
161 Fred Dugan SP
162 Don Bosseler SP
163 John Nisby SP
164 Riley Mattson SP
165 Bob Toneff SP
166 Rod Breedlove SP
167 Dick James SP
168 Claude Crabb SP
169 Redskins Team SP
170 Checklist UER
1963 Topps Football Cards 28


Salesman's Sample Uncut Panel Set Checklist

1 card.


AD1 Charlie Johnson / John David Crow / Bobby Joe Conrad - St. Louis Cardinals


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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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