Saturday, June 20, 2009

1954 & 1955: No Regular Issue Topps Mickey Mantle Cards

1954 & 1955: No Regular Issue Topps Mickey Mantle Cards

The "Lost" Mickey Mantle Card

In 1954 and 1955, Topps didn't release any regular issue Mickey Mantle cards. Bowman, their competitor, had signed exclusive agreements with several players, preventing Topps from releasing a complete set of cards. In 1956 Topps purchased Bowman and from that point forward all of their card sets were complete. This artwork from the Topps archives shows what one of the "lost" cards would have looked like.

Although Topps did not release a Mantle card as part of its regular set, they did produce a black & white Mickey Mantle card printed on paper stock instead of the normal card stock. The black & white Mantle card was produced for Sports Illustrated magazine in 1954. SI wanted to insert a complete Yankees team card set in SI issue number 2. The black & white paper cards were not limited just to Mantle. Topps manufactured black & white paper cards for a number of players that year who did not have regular cards issued.

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