Card of the Day: 1958 Topps Dick Rand

Today’s Card of the Day comes from the 1958 Topps set and it features Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Dick Rand. This will be his only appearance in our Card of the Day series because this is his only baseball card. He played parts of two seasons in the majors before joining the Pirates, then spent the entire 1957 season on the big league roster. Rand was the main backup to Hank Foiles during that one season, getting into 60 games total, including 34 starts. Rand was 26 years old at that time, but it marked the end of his big league career. He played three more seasons in the minors before retiring.

Rand is card #218 in the 1958 Topps set. It’s a card that is available on Ebay in many grades, both graded and ungraded. There are nearly 200 active auctions for this card, while 36 have sold on Ebay in the last three months. I’ll have more on that in the pricing section below. For now, let’s get into today’s card on the 92nd anniversary of his birth.

Here’s the front of the card:

The 1958 Topps set had a photo of a player on a one-color background, which changed throughout the set and didn’t go by any real pattern within teams. The lettering up top, the background color and the color in the bottom bar could all change. You see Rand here gets red lettering, yellow background and a blue box. Roberto Clemente got red, yellow and then red again for the box. Then you look at Bill Mazeroski and he got white letters, red background and a yellow box. You check out the Pirates team set and you’ll get some the same, but there are many different color combos.

That changing of colors makes this is a very colorful set when laid out side-by-side, especially when you factor in the team logos, which could either be on the left or right side of the card. Luckily, this is a Pirates site, so you get a look at the best team logo every time. If we’re being honest though, MLB had some great logos back then. Not all 16 teams were great, but most of them.

Here’s the back of the card:

The back of this card has the entire career stats for Rand. You can see how he did during his one season with the Pirates, along with how little he played during his first two cups of coffee in the majors. The cartoons tell you that he came from a baseball family, though he’s the only one to make it to the majors. He was also apparently a power lifter back in high school who ignored leg day (odd for a catcher), but by the time he made it to the majors, he was 6’2″ and under 200 pounds.

Just like every time we look at a card from this set, I have to mention that baseball logo for the number. I have still never heard a good explanation for that thing.

As I said up top, these cards are easy to find on Ebay, meaning you have plenty of grades and price points to shop. A total of 36 sold copies in three months is a high amount for most cards we cover here, but there are 5x as many active on Ebay. The supply outweighs the demand. The highest sale price during that time is $211 for a PSA 9. Then it’s a huge drop-off to the next one, which was a high grade/ungraded card for $17. So that one sale was really an outlier.

As for what you can get the card for now, the highest grade copy is PSA 8. There’s actually two of them priced the same, both going for $294. I shouldn’t have to tell you that price is too high when a higher grade one went for $83 less (actually more due to the tax difference). Interestingly enough, there’s a third PSA 8 for $130, which seems like a good price for the grade. You can get a PSA 6 for $44, or a PSA 5 for $28. If you don’t want a graded one, then just get a mid-grade one for about $4-$5 delivered, or pay a little more ($10-$15) for a nicer one.

One interesting thing here is that there are no autographed copies available. Rand passed away in 1996, so that was a long time ago, but it also means he had 38 years to sign copies, and autos-through-mail were popular long before 1996. If you see one for a decent price, it’s probably worth grabbing.