1. California adds first MLB franchises at New York's expense
|Brooklyn Dodgers in LA...|
|...and New York Giants in SF|
2. A little too much yellow ink
Thirty-three of the first 108 cards have yellow player or team names, giving variation fans some extra work. Best-known is #30, Hank Aaron.
3. First All-Star cards (#474-495) & the return of Stan Musial
This Topps set debuted All-Star Game lineups (from 1958's game in Baltimore) and its late-season series featured the first mass-produced Stan Musial card since Bowman's 1953 photo set. It's even possible Topps added this All-Star subset thanks to Musial's return; they made it a regular feature soon after.
TRIVIA: Given the 1958 All-Star Game's proximity to Washington, D.C., MLB invited Vice President Richard Nixon to throw out its first pitch, a task he repeated many times as President.
4. Ed Bouchee, You're Outta Here (no #145)
Major League Baseball suspended Ed Bouchee for most of 1958, so Topps did the same.
While Ed appears on this checklist at #145, no card of Bouchee exists outside of hobby creations like the one by SCD editor Bob Lemke.
5. Team Card are Checklists and Checklists are Team Cards
#44 above is also the Washington Senators team card, as Topps first integrated set tracking into the "regular" series.
Topps left 1956 & 1957 checklists unnumbered, assuming kids would discard them after filling all the boxes. Customers might've requested this change, or at least responded well to it, because Topps made it a part of numbered sets going forward.
The Hall of Thanks
OldBaseball.com friends Wes Shepard, Mark Zentkovich, Lynn Miller, Sal Domino, Kevin Martens, and Don Rice all aided my upgrade quest; several hits shown below.
Jan 22: four-pack of upgrades from Mr. Haverkamp!
For posterity, here's the Walt "Moron" card he upgraded. Ouch.
Aug 4: Upgraded #227 Vern Stephens at the 2014 National!