Card of the Day: 1958 Topps Pirates Team Card

The Pittsburgh Pirates are putting four players into their team Hall of Fame on Saturday night. In honor of that occasion, I put together a special Card of the Day article, featuring a card that includes three of those players. Pitchers Bob Friend and Elroy Face, as well as shortstop Dick Groat, are all pictured on the 1958 Topps Pirates team card. With apologies to pitcher Kent Tekulve, who is the fourth inductee being honored today, here’s a quick look at card #341 from that 1958 Topps set.

Here’s the front of the card:

This card has Face in the bottom left corner. Friend is placed between Bill Mazeroski and Vern Law in the middle of the third row (from the bottom). Groat is in the top row, third one in from the right side.

There are three Cooperstown Hall of Famers on this card, Mazeroski, Roberto Clemente and George Sisler, who was a scout for the Pirates for quite some time, though he also put in other jobs, such as a batting coach and Spring Training instructor. Unlike the other two Cooperstown inductees here, Sisler was already in the Hall of Fame. He was elected in 1939. He made it as a first baseman, but the Pirates actually purchased his contract as a pitcher years before his big league debut. He never played for the Pirates at any level, despite the team holding his rights for three years. He decided to remain in college during that time.

Maybe someday Danny Murtaugh will make it four Hall of Famers on this card…

Is it just me or do many of the faces here look like they don’t go with the body?

Here’s the back of the card:

Topps used this card as a checklist for the set, so there’s no added team info on the back, though some of those Pirates players appear on this list. You get some great names here, including Hall of Famers Warren Spahn, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Minnie Minoso, Warren Giles and William Harridge on the same card, Ernie Banks, Whitey Ford, Hoyt Wilhelm and Orlando Cepeda.

The Big Bats card (#304) includes Al Kaline. The Boss & Power (#314) has Walter Alston and Duke Snider. The Fence Busters card (#351) has Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews. So there are plenty of Cooperstown residents in this part of the 1958 Topps set. That doesn’t really affect the value of the card…unless someone actually used the checklist, which is something to check for when purchasing one of these cards.

If you want the Pirates card here, it can be found fairly cheap on Ebay, depending on the grade you want. Some low grade examples have ended at/just under $5 delivered. A PSA 6 recently ended for $40, while a PSA 7 ended two months ago at $60.

There’s an important closed auction from last month on Ebay. Someone didn’t do their homework, so they ended up paying $75 for a PSA 5. You’ve already seen two examples why that’s a bad idea. The problem is that if you checked for this card right now, that doesn’t seem like a bad price. There are a lot of over-priced examples of this card on Ebay at this moment, so I would use those PSA 6/7 prices above as a guide when buying. There’s a very nice looking ungraded copy for $23 (with a best offer option) from a reputable seller, which is where I’d go if I wanted a nice copy. You could always get it graded later.