What would you do if you banished your competition to the scrapheap of history?

Well, if you were 1956 Topps baseball cards, the answer would be … “pretty much what I did last year.”

And it’s true, because the 1956s are a lot like the 1955s — horizontal format, painted photo thingies, large head shot, small action shot.

If that was good enough to end Bowman in 1955, then it was good enough for 1956 Topps.

And so it was.

The design repeats, right down to several identical head shots, haven’t hurt card values over the years, though.

As you’ll see in this list of most valuable 1956 Topps baseball cards, as determine by the PSA Sports Market Report Price Guide for PSA 7 copies, building a ’56 collection would set you back a pretty penny.

1956 Topps Mickey Mantle (#135)

1956 Topps Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle once called 1956 his favorite summer, and it’s not surprising considering he won the American League Triple Crown, an MVP, and another World Series with the New York Yankees.

Yep, the Mick was in his prime and this gorgeous card was a perfect complement for collectors lucky enough to pull one from wax packs that summer.

Aside from his 1952 Topps card and (maybe) his 1951 Bowman rookie card, this one is also maybe his most iconic cardboard.

The 1956 also benefits from the fact that The Mick had been missing from Topps issues since 1953.

For all those reasons, this card generally sells for north of $2500 in PSA 7.

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1956 Topps Roberto Clemente (#33)

1956 Topps Roberto Clemente

The head picture on this card exactly matches the one Topps used on Clemente’s 1955 rookie card, but the action shot against the outfield wall is different — and spectacular!

Just about every Clemente card is a popular item with collectors these days, and such a striking piece as this one gets some extra oomph … to the tune of about $750 in PSA 7.

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1956 Topps Ted Williams (#5)

1956 Topps Ted Williams

Another head shot repeat bolstered by a more complete action shot makes this Ted Williams beauty an able follow-on to his 1955 issue.

After appearing only in Bowman issues early in the decade, and before he became a Fleer exclusive in 1959, the Splendid Splinter had a splendid run of Topps cardboard in the middle of the decade, and this one fit right in.

Expect to pay $450 or more for a PSA 7 specimen.

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1956 Topps Jackie Robinson (#30)

1956 Topps Jackie Robinson

Yeah, Topps was up to its repeating tricks again with Robinson’s head shot here, but also again, they sort of made up for it with a sliding shot of Jackie in the background.

This is another iconic baseball card of another super duper star of the 1950s and a historical figure in the game.

In PSA 7, this is about a $450 card.

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1956 Topps Hank Aaron (#31)

1956 Topps Hank Aaron

Aaron was still nearly two decades away from breaking Babe Ruth‘s all-time home run record when this card was issued, and he wasn’t quite the most feared slugger in the game.

Evidence of that exists in the form of his background action shot here, where, like Robinson above, Aaron is shown dropping into a slide.

Still, it’s a classic card that commands around $400 in PSA 7.

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1956 Topps Sandy Koufax (#79)

1956 Topps Sandy Koufax

In 1956, Sandy Koufax was still several years away from becoming Sandy Koufax.

But entering the season, he did have a couple of Major League wins under his belt, and he was just 20 years old.

Sandy’s second card, here in the 1956 set, features completely different images from his 1955 rookie card, which is more than you can say for a lot of guys on this list.

Today, the ’56 Koufax sells for around $400 in PSA 7 condition.

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1956 Topps Willie Mays (#130)

1956 Topps Willie Mays

Like others on this list, the ’56 Mays features a holdover head shot and sliding action shot.

While Willie hadn’t quite yet touched the heights that Mantle would reach in 1956, he was already a budding legend in his own right.

This is another $400 card in PSA 7.

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1956 Topps Yankees Team (#251)

1956 Topps Yankees Team

Normally, I avoid including “gimmicky” cards on lists like this. You know …

Checklists

Errors and variations.

Printing defects.

Short prints.

Team cards.

My reasoning is that this type of card is generally valuable because of some unusual circumstance — condition rarity, short printed (duh), split distribution (variations), etc.

And I want to include cards that are valuable because we — collectors — really care about who’s on the card, and what it means historically.

In the case of the 1956 Topps New York Yankees card, though, I think we have all those bases covered.

That team was loaded with superstars like Mantle, Phil Rizzuto, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Don Larsen, and others.

And they were a bona fide baseball dynasty.

So, $300 or so for a PSA 7 copy doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.

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1956 Topps Yogi Berra (#110)

1956 Topps Yogi Berra

And speaking of Berra, you better believe he’ll appear on lists like this throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

That’s what happens when you’re one of the greatest catchers ever, playing for one of the greatest teams ever.

This classic is a $150+ item in PSA 7.

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1956 Topps Luis Aparicio Rookie Card (#292)

1956 Topps Luis Aparacio Rookie Card

Aparicio pulled off the unusual feat of landing his first Topps card the same year he made his MLB debut.

That summer of 1956, Little Louie won the Rookie of the Year award and served notice that he would be a premier shortstop for years to come, given that he was just 22 years old.

That came to pass, first as he helped the Go-Go Sox (White Sox) reach the World Series in 1959, then as he put together an 18-year career that landed Aparicio in the Hall of Fame.

Today, Luis’ rookie card sells for more than $150 in graded NM condition.

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Sandy Koufax 1956 Topps BASEBALL card #79 Brooklyn Dodgers / REPRINT

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1956 Topps Baseball Card #145 Gil Hodges Gray Back Dodgers PSA 5 EX (TKCollect)

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1956 Topps Baseball Card #150 Duke Snider Dodgers HOF PSA 4 VG-EX (TkCollect)

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1956 Topps Baseball Card #173 Johnny Podres Brooklyn Dodgers PSA NM 7 (TKC)

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Frank Robinson 1956 Topps Baseball #342 never Issued Cincinnati Reds / REPRINT

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