Collecting 1958-1959 topps basketball cards

A collector's guide to the 1957-58 Topps basketball set, including how to recognize collectible cards and where to spot and buy them.

Topps first venture into the world of basketball produced one of the most highly sought after set ever produced, the 1957-58 Topps basketball set. This 80 card set is currently priced at $5,500 in excellent to near mint condition. The set features the rookie cards of many Hall of Famers from the NBA's earliest era. The most prominent rookie cards in this set are the issues of Bob Cousy and Bill Russell. Along with Cousy and Russell, some of the most desirable cards in this set are listed below.

Rookie Stars of the 1957-58 Topps Set:

George Yardley:

Stanford standout George Yardley came out of college with a Masters degree in Engineering, and a scoring touch on the basketball court that made him a first round draft pick in the NBA. Yardley went on to become the first NBA player to score over 2,000 points in a single season when he led the league in scoring in 1958. He also appeared in six All-Star games before his Hall of Fame career came to an end. George is featured on card #2 in the set. The card books for $70.

Bill Sharman:

Bill Sharman was arguably the best shooter of his era. Sharing the Boston Celtic back court with the legendary Bob Cousy, Bill was an 8 time All-Star who was voted one of the 50 greatest players in the NBA in 1996. He is also enshrined in Basketball's Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. Bill is found on card #5 in the set, which books for $125.

Dolph Schayes:

Though Dolph had a son who later played in the NBA, there can be no dispute as to which Schayes was the better player. Dolph is best remembered as a remarkable iron-man who set an NBA record by playing in 1,059 regular season games. By the time he retired in 1964, Dolph also held the NBA record for most points scored in a career. This 12 time All-Star led the 1955 Syracuse Nationals to an NBA titled. He went on to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973. Dolph is featured on card #13, which currently books for $70.

Bob Cousy:

Bob is one of two basketball legends featured in this set, the other being his teammate Bill Russell. The heart and soul of the Boston Celtic's first six championships, Cousy was known for his dazzling ball handling abilities. This multi-dimensional player was the league's MVP in 1957, and appeared in 13 league All-Star games. With all the accomplishments he had throughout his storied career, it is hard to conceived that Cousy ended up in Boston only after having his named picked out of a hat in the dispersal draft that was held after the Chicago Stags' franchise folded. This Hall of Famer's highly sought after rookie card is #17 in the set, and books for $400.

Tom Heinsohn:

One of six prominent Hall of Fame players in the set with ties to the Boston Celtics dynasty of the 1960's, Tom Heinsohn played on 8 championship winning teams in his nine years with Boston. Later on in the 1970's, Heinsohn led the Celtics to two more NBA championship banners as a coach. Heinsohn's card #19 is hard to find in mint condition, which is reflected in its $250 book value.

Bob Pettit:

Bob Pettit rivals Shaquille O'Neill as the greatest NBA player to come out of LSU. Twice the league's most valuable player, Pettit was also an 11 time All-Star who won the league's rookie of the year award in 1955. Pettit was at his best in All-Star game competition wining three game MVP's, and grabbing 27 rebounds in the 1962 contest. The 27 rebounds still stand as an All-Star game record. This 11 time All-Star was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1971. Pettit is feature on card # 24, which has a current book value of $150.

Ed Mcauley:

Back before it was fashionable to start in two professional sports like Deion Sanders or Bo Jackson, Ed Mcauley was playing for the Boston Celtics in basketball, and the pitching for the Braves in baseball. His basketball skills were such that the seven time All-Star was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Ed's rookie card is #27 in the set. It books for $70.

Jack Twyman:

An outstanding shooter who once scored 59 points in a contest, Twyman enjoyed a long and productive 11 year career in the NBA. Along the way he made 6 All-Star game appearances and once played in 609 straight regular season games. Twyman's career hit his peak in 1960 when he averaged over 30 points a game for the Cincinnati Royals. Jack's card is number 71 and books for $110.

Bill Russell:

A revolutionary player who ushered in an era in which defense dominated basketball, Bill Russell led the Boston Celtic's to 11 NBA championships. For two of those championships Russell served as both player and coach for his team. Among the countless accolades that he amassed over the years were five league MVP's, 12 All-Star appearances, and over 20,000 lifetime rebounds. In honor of his many accomplishments on the basketball court, the Boston Celtic retired Bill's number six jersey. This one of a kind Hall of Famer is featured on card #77, a condition sensitive card that commands a price tag of $1,000.

This fantastic set includes many other cards of NBA Hall of Famers and stars of the 1950's. For those collectors wishing to add some of these cards to their collection, remember that the cards listed here are priced in excellent to near mint conditions. If a collector is lucky enough to find these cards in mint condition, he might have to pay an additional premium. Those who have questions on the conditions of the cards they wish to obtain, might option to buy cards which have already been graded.

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