Last of Childhood Collection 1956 Topps Baseball Set W/ Mickey Mantle

Well-Preserved 1956 Topps Baseball Set Purchased Locally
  • February 28, 2024

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From the original owner that completed the entire set back when the cards were new on store shelves, Just Collect has proudly purchased this complete 1956 Topps baseball card set. Over 67 years ago, these iconic cards were pulled from wax packs, and today they're here in our Just Collect store.

The 1956 Topps baseball card set is one of one of the most desired in our hobby. The horizontal layout is an eye-catching design change. A large, colorful photo of each player is pictured predominantly, and then an action shot of the player encompasses the background. Each card is a bit larger in size (2-5/8" x 3-3/4") than a standard size (2.5" x 3.5"), looking big, bold, and beautiful when holding one of these storied treasures. 

You're gazing into the eyes of of some of the greatest players ever to take the field. In this first picture below, legends like Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson have you lost in day dreams about sunshine, peanuts, and the game we all love. These exact cards, this whole collection of cards is quite special; we are ecstatic to learn how these cards came together.

1956 Topps with Mantle
1956 Topps with Kaline
1956 Topps Set

Back in 1956, a gentleman named Gene built this entire Topps set the old-fashioned way - by opening wax packs! Remember opening a pack of Topps cards? Inside were a handful of cards, waiting to be collected, traded, or flipped. For spending your allowance, you also got to chew down on that delicious stick of gum synonymous with Topps packs. Gene opened pack after pack until he completed ALL 340 cards! That is a lot of gum. Gene may have had more gum and sets, but his mother tossed his other sets into the trash! Did your mom do the same to you when you were younger? Gene found this 1956 set in his closet; the last-surviving set from his childhood.

In the center of the first photo is perhaps the best card in the set, Mickey Mantle. In 1956, Mantle won the Triple Crown by leading the league in average, home runs, and RBI. The Triple Crown is a rare feat; only once since 1967 has a player won the crown (Miguel Cabrera, 2012). Mantle did not have a card in 1954 or 1955 Topps as he had a contract with Bowman. The Yankees legend makes his return on this issue.

The second photo is filled with Hall of Fame glory. From Harmon Killebrew on the top left to Al Kaline on the bottom, each of these players have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In fact, there are 34 different Hall of Famers featured in this 1956 set!

While we could fill up this entire post about the stats from each player you see such as Sandy Koufax and his 4 no-hitters, Hank Aaron's 755 home runs, or Willie Mays' 24 All-Star games, the Jackie Robinson card just above Mantle is a piece of history. Jackie Robinson made his final appearance on a baseball card during his playing days here; he retired at the end of the 1956 season. 

The third and last photo shows the full set in pages and a binder that Gene used. You probably put your cards into very similar pages, too! It is important to note that not all card pages can protect your cards, and we'll tell you why.


Gene reached out regarding his complete set on our free appraisal page. Living near our store in New Jersey, he opted arrived in-person, set in-hand for an appointment. Our Vice President, John, reviewed each card and asked Gene if he was comfortable leaving the collection with us to review for 24 hours. Your local card shop is generally not well equipped to appraise or purchase vintage collections like this. The retail stores are focused on selling modern products and simply don't have the time or the knowledge to carefully evaluate vintage collections. This is where we are happy to help you. We have a two-step process at Just Collect: research and appraise the collection and then make the highest offer possible. We are thorough and treat the collection with the care it deserves. John and our owner, Leighton, reviewed the collection on the following day.

When Gene returned to Just Collect, we made a fair offer to purchase the entire set. However, Gene decided to not sell at this time. After researching other offers, Gene gave us another call and asked us to take a second look at his set.

Condition is a huge factor when determining the value of a collection. Using a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being a gem mint, flawless card, moving just one number up or down on the scale could change the value of a card by thousands of dollars. While the cards were better than average, an issue with Gene's set is that the cards were extending out of the pages! Remember above when we said the 1956 Topps cards were a little larger than a standard size? When Gene placed his cards into those pages, he purchased the wrong size page. The tips of the cards were a little more worn than the would have been had they been stored properlyNever the less, the cards were still in good condition and pretty valuable! We LOVE the fact that this set was completed by opening wax packs back when gas was 23 cents a gallon, Elvis released Heartbreak Hotel, and a pack of Topps baseball cards set you back a cool nickel. 

Gene accepted our original strong offer to purchase the complete set. We then paid Gene how he wanted to be paid. When you sell your collection to Just Collect, we can pay you in cash, company check, wire transfer, etc. Gene chose to be paid by company check, and you can see us pay gene in the video below. You can see the process, cards, and our whole story about this collection right here:


We had the pleasure of hearing Gene tell stories about his days working on a golf course as a young man, and Mickey Mantle came to the course one day. Mickey Mantle would shoot 18 holes, but not before taping his knees and ankles for a half hour! Early in Mantle's career, he was chasing a ball that Willie Mays hit in the 1951 World Series when he had to stop quickly so he could avoid running into Joe DiMaggio. Mantle tore his knee and was taken off the field by stretcher. You can hear Mick tell the story in this video. Gene said despite the bad knees, Mantle could hit a golf ball a mile ...but it might not have been in the right direction. Mantle would ask "Have you seen my ball?"  Yes. "Do you think we could find it?" Not this month... Great story, Gene!

If you have any of the cards above and are interested in selling, we are always buying! We have purchased many 1956 Topps sets including this fully-graded set.


Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss or get our industry-leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace. Check out the Just Collect Buy List.

We always offer a FREE APPRAISAL for your collection here at the Just Collect site. Just click here:


We offer may ways to evaluate your cards other than or using our website, too.

  • Travel to Us

If you can make the trip here like the son from my hometown did for this collection- we can make a deal at the office. We once met a father-son duo that drove eight hours from Virginia to meet us to sell a Michael Jordan rookie card stored in Tupperware since 1986 - great read here

  • Come to convention

We keep a LIST of card shows we'll be attending.  Come stop by the Just Collect table and chat.

  • Meet in-person

If you have a valuable collection and want us to come to you, we'll hop on the next plane out.

  • Meet in New York City

We have another location in New York you can meet us at; read all the information here.

  • SHIP your collection 

If you choose to mail your cards for an appraisal, we will evaluate your cards for FREE still. If you choose not to sell the cards, we'll ship them back shipping fees paid by us!  We can offer our FedEx account with 2-day shipping, fully insured, all covered by us. Simply contact the office to set up this option.


We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the last 25 years. Although Just Collect is known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage baseball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, too!  

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and souls into building their collections. So when you're ready to sell, we understand the feelings that you're going through and will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.


Whether you have vintage cards or modern wax you want to sell, you can reach out to us any time! 



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