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1965 Topps Football Cards

1965 Topps Football Cards

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The 1965 Topps Football card set is one of the most classic sets of all time.  Two factors contribute to this: its off-beat design and it includes one the most iconic cards in the hobby. The 1965 Topps Joe Namath rookie card (#122) ranks among the hobby elite regardless of sport. Frequently referred to as Tall Boys, the cards measure 2-1/2 by 4-11/16 inches.

In addition to the Namath, other Hall of Fame rookies include Willie Brown (#46) and Fred Biletnikoff (#133). Other rookies appearing in the set are Pete Gogolak (#30), Winston Hill (#116), John Huarte (#117) and Ben Davidson (#137). The set boasts several eventual Hall of Fame players as well like Nick Buoniconti (#3), George Blanda (#69), Bobby Bell (#91), Buck Buchanan (#94), Len Dawson (#99), Don Maynard (#121), Jim Otto (#145), Lance Alworth (#155) and Ron Mix (#168).


The front of the cards feature a large player photo superimposed in front of a vibrant, solid-colored background that's either red, green, yellow, blue or pink. The team city appears above the player, while his name and position appear in a contrasting colored banner along the bottom, below his picture. A white border surrounds the card.

Card backs are divided into two distinct parts. The right side features a cartoon about the player. The left side starts with a black box with a football-shaped holder for the card number, along with the player's name, position and team. Two lines of vital stats and a biography follow, along with a year/lifetime statistics box for certain players.

Following the same numbering schematic they utilized in other Topps' AFL-only sets, every team is grouped together numerically. Their order in the set is arranged alphabetically by city. Within each team, players are grouped alphabetically by last name. There are also two checklist cards (cards 87 and 176).

Printing and Distribution

One of the puzzling things about the 1965 Topps Football card set is the manner in which the cards were laid out on the printing sheets. With a checklist of 176 total cards, 132 of them are considered short prints. Conversely, you could also say that 44 of the cards were double-printed. It is believed that the cards were arranged in nine rows of 11 cards.

Cards were sold in traditional five-cent wax packs as well as cellos. In addition to the cards and customary gum, packs contained one Magic Rub-off sticker. The sticker set consists of 36 total stickers divided between eight AFL teams and 28 college teams.

Condition Issues

Cards from 1965 Topps Football are frequently found with centering issues. This is a result of the contrasting color background and the thin white border, which makes the issue more pronounced. The larger size of the cards makes them susceptible to damage from wear and tear, which is noticeable on corners and edges. The unique size of the cards also makes print flaws stand out more distinctly.

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Key Cards

Key 1965 Topps Football Cards

Joe Namath RC #122

1965 Topps Football Cards 22

Fred Biletnikoff RC #133

1965 Topps Football Cards 23

Checklist #176

1965 Topps Football Cards 24

Jack Kemp #35

1965 Topps Football Cards 25

Len Dawson #99

1965 Topps Football Cards 26

1965 Topps Football Cards 27

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Set Checklist

1965 Topps Football Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Featuring 176 cards

1 Tommy Addison SP
2 Houston Antwine SP
3 Nick Buoniconti SP
4 Ron Burton SP
5 Gino Cappelletti SP
6 Jim Colclough
7 Bob Dee SP
8 Larry Eisenhauer
9 J.D. Garrett
10 Larry Garron
11 Art Graham SP
12 Ron Hall
13 Charles Long
14 Jon Morris RC
15 Bill Neighbors SP
16 Ross O'Hanley
17 Babe Parilli SP
18 Tony Romeo SP
19 Jack Rudolph SP
20 Bob Schmidt
21 Don Webb SP
22 Jim Whalen SP
23 Stew Barber
24 Glenn Bass SP
25 Al Bemiller SP
26 Wray Carlton SP
27 Tom Day
28 Elbert Dubenion SP
29 Jim Dunaway
30 Pete Gogolak RC SP
31 Dick Hudson SP
32 Harry Jacobs SP
33 Billy Joe SP
34 Tom Keating RC SP
35 Jack Kemp SP
36 Daryle Lamonica SP
37 Paul Maguire SP
38 Ron McDole RC SP
39 George Saimes SP
40 Tom Sestak SP
41 Billy Shaw SP
42 Mike Stratton SP
43 John Tracey SP
44 Ernie Warlick
45 Odell Barry
46 Willie Brown RC SP
47 Gerry Bussell SP
48 Eldon Danenhauer SP
49 Al Denson SP
50 Hewritt Dixon RC SP
51 Cookie Gilchrist SP
52 Goose Gonsoulin SP
53 Abner Haynes SP
54 Jerry Hopkins
55 Ray Jacobs SP
56 Jack Lee SP
57 John McCormick
58 Bob McCullough SP
59 John McGeever
60 Charlie Mitchell SP
61 Jim Perkins SP
62 Bob Scarpitto SP
63 Mickey Slaughter SP
64 Jerry Sturm SP
65 Lionel Taylor SP
66 Scott Appleton SP
67 Johnny Baker SP
68 Sonny Bishop SP
69 George Blanda SP
70 Sid Blanks SP
71 Ode Burrell SP
72 Doug Cline SP
73 Willard Dewveall
74 Larry Elkins RC
75 Don Floyd SP
76 Freddy Glick
77 Tom Goode SP
78 Charlie Hennigan SP
79 Ed Husmann
80 Bobby Jancik SP
81 Bud McFadin SP
82 Bob McLeod SP
83 Jim Norton SP
84 Walt Suggs
85 Bob Talamini
86 Charley Tolar SP
87 Checklist 1-88 SP
88 Don Trull SP
89 Fred Arbanas SP
90 Pete Beathard RC SP
91 Bobby Bell SP
92 Mel Branch SP
93 Tommy Brooker SP
94 Buck Buchanan SP
95 Ed Budde SP
96 Chris Burford SP
97 Walt Corey
98 Jerry Cornelison
99 Len Dawson SP
100 Jon Gilliam SP
101 Sherrill Headrick SP UER
102 Dave Hill SP
103 E.J. Holub SP
104 Bobby Hunt SP
105 Frank Jackson SP
106 Jerry Mays
107 Curtis McClinton SP
108 Bobby Ply SP
109 Johnny Robinson SP
110 Jim Tyrer SP
111 Bill Baird SP
112 Ralph Baker RC SP
113 Sam DeLuca SP
114 Larry Grantham SP
115 Gene Heeter SP
116 Winston Hill RC SP
117 John Huarte RC SP
118 Cosmo Iacavazzi SP
119 Curley Johnson SP
120 Dee Mackey UER
121 Don Maynard
122 Joe Namath RC SP
123 Dainard Paulson
124 Gerry Philbin SP
125 Sherman Plunkett RC SP
126 Mark Smolinski
127 Matt Snell SP
128 Mike Taliaferro SP
129 Bake Turner SP
130 Clyde Washington SP
131 Verlon Biggs RC SP
132 Dalva Allen
133 Fred Biletnikoff RC SP
134 Billy Cannon SP
135 Dave Costa SP
136 Clem Daniels SP
137 Ben Davidson RC SP
138 Cotton Davidson SP
139 Tom Flores SP
140 Claude Gibson
141 Wayne Hawkins
142 Archie Matsos SP
143 Mike Mercer SP
144 Bob Mischak SP
145 Jim Otto
146 Art Powell UER
147 Warren Powers SP
148 Ken Rice SP
149 Bo Roberson SP
150 Harry Schuh RC
151 Larry Todd SP
152 Fred Williamson SP
153 J.R. Williamson
154 Chuck Allen
155 Lance Alworth
156 Frank Buncom
157 Steve DeLong RC SP
158 Earl Faison SP
159 Kenny Graham SP
160 George Gross SP
161 John Hadl SP
162 Emil Karas SP
163 Dave Kocourek SP
164 Ernie Ladd SP
165 Keith Lincoln SP
166 Paul Lowe SP
167 Jacque MacKinnon
168 Ron Mix
169 Don Norton SP
170 Bob Petrich
171 Rick Redman SP
172 Pat Shea
173 Walt Sweeney RC SP
174 Dick Westmoreland RC
175 Ernie Wright SP
176 Checklist 89-176 SP

Magic Rub-Offs Set Checklist

Featuring 36 cards

1 Boston Patriots
2 Buffalo Bills
3 Denver Broncos
4 Houston Oilers
5 Kansas City Chiefs
6 New York Jets
7 Oakland Raiders
8 San Diego Chargers
9 Alabama Crimson Tide
10 Air Force Falcons
11 Arkansas Razorbacks
12 Army Cadets
13 Boston College Eagle
14 Duke Blue Devils
15 Illinois Fighting Illini
16 Kansas Jayhawks
17 Kentucky Wildcats
18 Maryland Terrapins
19 Miami Hurricanes
20 Minnesota Golden Gophers
21 Mississippi Rebels
22 Navy Midshipmen
23 Nebraska Cornhuskers
24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
25 Penn State Nittany Lions
26 Purdue Boilermakers
27 SMU Mustangs
28 USC Trojans
29 Stanford Indians
30 Syracuse Orangemen
31 TCU Horned Frogs
32 Texas Longhorns
33 Virginia Cavaliers
34 Washington Huskies
35 Wisconsin Badgers
36 Yale Bulldogs

1965 Topps 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.

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