When it was time to plan the design for the 1960 Topps baseball cards, Sy Berger and the rest of the Topps braintrust must have felt a tremendous sense of autonomy.

After all, major competitor Bowman was five years in the rearview, long ago purchased and folded into the archives.

And Fleer was only nibbling around the edges, unable to issue cards of current players in their Major League Baseball uniforms and opting instead for sets of all-time greats and an exclusive run of 1959 Ted Williams cards.

1960 topps wax packs

So, with no real competition on the horizon, Topps tried something different — they went back to a horizontal format for the first time since 1956 but maintained the then-standard 2.5″ x 3.5″ card size.

Lots of color, two photos per card, special subsets, and bold blocky design elements dominated the cards, and it’s a look like no other.

But were the cards popular? Hard to say for sure how they landed with collectors of the day, but today’s hobbyists love the 1960s right along with other cards of the era.

We love them enough, in fact, that some can bring big money on the secondary (or tertiary or quaternary) market.

In that spirit, here are the ten most valuable 1960 Topps baseball cards, ranked by values of PSA 7 specimens as reported in the PSA Sports Market Report Price Guide.

Mickey Mantle (#350)

1960 Topps Mickey Mantle

The baseball card value game isn’t always fair, and that goes double when Mickey Mantle is involved.

I mean, no matter which set we’re talking about, there’s a decent chance the Commerce Comet is going to be on top of the heap.

Unless there’s a Hall of Fame rookie card in the set.

Sometimes, though, the Mantle Effect can’t be overcome by the mere presence of even a stellar RC … or two.

That’s the case with 1960 Topps, because even though there are two all-time RCs on the checklist (see below), Mantle rules the day.

Hard to argue with that situation, really, because this is a great looking mid-career card of the guy who still captures our imagination like few others, even 50+ years after his retirement.

In PSA 7, this is an $800+ card.

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Carl Yastrzemski Rookie Card (#148)

1960 Topps Carl Yastrzemski

The first Carl Yastrzemski card I ever held in my hands was his 1983 Topps base issue, and I remember being struck by a) hold old he looked and b) the Bible-print wall of statistics on the card back.

Not long after that, I found out that the 1960 Topps Yaz rookie card was one of the most coveted in the hobby. I eventually saw one in a picture, or maybe at a card show in Indianapolis, and thought it looked pretty funky — but in an exotic sort of way that made it seem all the more unattainable.

While that Yaz RC doesn’t hold quite the lofty position it once did thanks to the hobby emergence of first-year cardboard from Pete Rose, Steve Carlton, Rod Carew, Tom Seaver, and Nolan Ryan, it’s still a cardboard staple.

Today, this is about a $300 item in PSA 7.

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Willie McCovey Rookie Card (#316)

1960 Topps Willie McCovey Rookie Card

McCovey actually scored two cards in the 1960 Topps set — this Topps All-Star Rookie and a “regular” All-Star card.

The Big Mac rookie never quite held the same sway over collectors as its Yaz counterpart, but it’s always been one of the more valuable pieces of the 1960 Topps set.

It sells for $250+ in PSA 7 today.

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Hank Aaron (#300)

1960 Topps Hank Aaron

It took awhile for mid-career Aaron cards to gain the acclaim they deserve, but these days most fans and collectors recognize Aaron for what he is — one of the best two or three players of the 50s and 60s, and one of the top 5 ever.

That status reflects here, in the form of a classic piece that’s a $250+ card in PSA 7 condition.

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Mickey Mantle All-Star (#563)

1960 Topps Mickey Mantle All Star

Sometimes, the Mantle Effect doesn’t end with his base card.

But that only happens when … well, when there’s any sort of other Mantle card in a set. You know, like All-Star, or World Series, or “Mantle Hits a 565-foot Home Run” Mantle cards.

In the case of 1960 Topps, that extra Mantle card is of the All-Star variety, and the big “60” in the background looks downright prophetic given what would unfold over then next couple of seasons.

For our purposes, just know that this is about a $200 card in PSA 7.

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Willie Mays (#200)

1960 Topps Willie Mays

Willie Mays was always right there with Mantle in the conversation about who was the best player in the game at any given time. Duke Snider was sort of lumped in there, too, by virtue of his prominence with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

But it was Willie who got top billing in all those “Willie, Mickey, and The Duke” refrains, and he ended up as the most accomplished of the three.

His 1960 Topps card is an absolute classic and can fetch close to $200 in PSA 7.

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Roberto Clemente (#326)

1960 Topps Roberto Clemente

Even though he died prematurely in a plane crash nearly 50 years ago, Clemente’s popularity seems to grow year after year.

That’s reflected in his cards across the board, and especially with pasteboards that hold special significance.

Clemente’s 1960 Topps card is stunning, as the colors, figurine batter shot, and Pirates logo fit together like art. It doesn’t hurt that the Bucs won the World Series in dramatic fashion against the New York Yankees that fall, either.

Expect to pay $175 or more in PSA 7.

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Sandy Koufax (#343)

1960 Topps Sandy Koufax

In 1960, Sandy Koufax was still trundling along as a good but not spectacular starter — and sometimes reliever — for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It would be another year before he put up anything resembling big numbers and clinching an All-Star berth, and another three until he became the lockdown beast that we all remember him as today.

This 1960 Topps card is a snapshot in time of a young man on the verge of big things, and it can sell for $100 or more in PSA 7 today.

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Stan Musial (#250)

1960 Topps Stan Musial

At the other end of baseball’s circle of life in 1960 stood Stan Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals’ beloved elder statesman who had built his legend over the course of two decades under the arch.

Counting 1960, Stan the Man would manage four more Big League seasons before retiring in 1963 as a Cooperstown lock.

Not surprisingly, Musial cards have always been popular across the board, and this one is a $100+ item in graded NM condition.

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Roger Maris (#377)

1960 Topps Roger Maris

As 1960 dawned, Roger Maris was on the move from the Kansas City Athletics to the vaunted New York Yankees.

Could the young outfielder with the big power stroke put things together under the bright city lights, or would he wilt in the fire of expectations?

Well, Maris answered question pretty emphatically with an MVP season that helped the Yanks reach the World Series.

And the next season?

He didn’t do much for an encore … just a little home run race with teammate Mickey Mantle that ended with Maris eclipsing Babe Ruth‘s single-season dinger record by clubbing 61 of his own.

He also made “asterisk” a trending topic before we had trending topics.

For all this, Maris’s cards remain strong sellers nearly 60 years on, and this 1960 Topps piece — his first in a Yankees uniform — brings $100 or more in PSA 7.

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