Stan Musial baseball cards span 3 decades and have many a very interesting history.
Who is Stan Musial
Stanley Frank Musial was born in Pennsylvania in 1920. he was a two sport phenom in high school playing both baseball and basketball. During his time in high school he ended up signing his first professional baseball contract.
He started his pro career as a pitcher, but then switched the outfield as his arm got sore. Musial made he major league debut in 1941 with the St. Louis Cardinals. In his second year as a pro, he won the World Series! In 1943, Musial had a breakout year, won the MVP, and also won another World Series. He had a fantastic career and played until 1963 when he retired.
Stan Musial is considered one of the legends of baseball. Across his 3 decade career, he was able to win 3 MVP awards and World Series Championships. Counting stats-wise, Musial has 128 WAR and 3600 hits which is extremely impressive. Unfortunately, he missed out on having a 1941 Playball card even though he entered the league at the time.
Most Valuable Stan Musial Baseball Cards
1946 Propagandas Montiel
The 1946 Propagandas Montiel was the first-ever card produced of Musial and it’s extremely scarce. It was distributed in Cuba and has extremely thin stock. Many of these were also pasted in books leaving the backs torn up when removed.
Finding a high grade is impossible on these. Even lower graded examples will cost you thousands at an auction house.
1947 Bond Bread
Musial has two different “Bond Bread cards”. From research the sharp corner ones were not distributed with the loafs of bread and are not considered legitimate 1947 cards. The rounded corners are real and were with the bread.
The issue with these cards is that grading companies no longer grade them due to the ambiguity of production and distribution.
1947 Sports Exchange
This is one Stan Musial’s first American-produced card. It’s hand cut which a lot of collectors don’t appreciate. It’s actually quite scarce as only 5 have been graded with PSA. Each has been graded a PSA 6 or higher.
Two years after the Cuban release, 1948 Bowman printed what many consider the “Stan Musial Rookie Card”
These cards were small squares and only had black and white color. This would be the first inaugural set for the Bowman baseball brand, however the producer GUM Inc. created cards in the 30s.
This Stan Musial Baseball Card came after his Bowman release and is rumored to have a two-year print run between 1948 and 49.
In my opinion the 48/49 Leaf Baseball, is a much better-looking card than the Bowman release. It’s larger and features color.
Musial’s 2nd Bowman card is much nicer than his rookie. The 49 Bowmans had color added to them as well as better pictures. In this card Musial is getting ready to swing the bat.
1951 Berk Ross
Berk Ross was a set that featured athletes across many different sports including Baseball, Football and Boxing. Each card came in a panel that could be split in the middle. Many that I come across at shows are often split.
This is also the same picture used as his Bond Bread
Stan Musial unfortunately didn’t have a 1952 Topps card. His first Topps release would come many years later… He was exclusive to the Bowman brand.
To many, the 1953 Bowman is one of his best-looking Stan Musial baseball cards. Compared to his earlier Bowman releases, this stands out especially when looking at the color and detail on the photo.
1953 Hunter Wieners
This was a local food card distributed with packages of Hunter Wieners. Two card panels were attached to the hot dog and had to be hand cut. These were very condition sensative. With only 7 graded at PSA the highest numerical grade is a 2.
1954 Red Heart
Red Hearts were a classic set from the mid-1950s. The Musial and Mantle are considered the best cards within the release. To receive cards, one had to send in labels of Red heart Dog Food. The Stan Musial baseball card is expensive due to two reasons. One is that he didn’t have a 54 Bowman. The other is the color match with the red background.
1954 Hunter Wieners
This was the follow-up release to the 53 set. Unlike the year before, each panel now only featured one player. The front has the player image and the back had the stats. Only 4 fronts have been graded and 1 stat back.
1955 Hunters Wieners
For the 1955 release, Hunter Wieners completly changed the size of the cards. Instead they now are much thinner and longer. There is one 3.5 graded out of the 5 total with PSA.
1955 Rawlings Glove Box
From 1955 to 1957 Stan Musial didn’t have a release within a Major brand like Bowman or Topps. Instead, you would have to find cards within products. One such example is the 1955 Rawlings Glove Box. These were a set of 6 Musial cards printed on the side of a box containing a baseball glove. They are hand-cut and come in small and large card sizes. Finding these in high grade is extremely tough as the highest card PSA has authenticated is a 4. A full set of 6 will cost you around 1,000+ depending on condition.
The All-Star Stan Musial was the first Topps release. It feels weird to think that Stan Musial baseball cards didn’t exist for Topps prior to 1958.
It’s not a super popular card and prices are relatively cheap. You can find mid-grade copies at almost any card show with a vintage dealer.
The 1959 Topps card design shows Musial finishing a swing. Some collectors avoid All Star cards and prefer this over the 58.
This is Stan Musial’s first ever Venezuelan card. These are much tougher to find than his standard Topps issues. There are less than a total of 20 graded with PSA.
1960 Topps #250
The 1960 is Musial’s only horizontal Topps card. It has a dual image design one portrait and one holding a bat.
Its not too expensive of a card and is a great way to have a Musial in your PC
1962 Pittsburgh Exhibits
These were a local issue to the Pittsburgh area. No Stan Musials have sold but other players in this set are extremly expensive. Expect the Musial to go for $5,000+ at an auction. Currently only 4 are graded so it might take a long time to surface
1963 Topps Mays Musial
While this is a card super late into his career, many collectors want to have one in their collection. It features two of the biggest National League stars from the 1950s: Willie Mays and Stan Musial. Being that both players are regarded as some of the best of all-time, it’s cool to have both on the same card.
At the same time, this can be a condition-sensitive card. With 1963 cards often being chipped due to the color borders.
1963 Topps #250
The 1963 Topps was officially the last playing day baseball card of Stan Musial. This year of Topps is super condition sensitive as the color borders on the bottom chip easily.
1992 Score the Franchise Auto
This was one of the two Musial autos within the score set. It’s actually a pretty affordable card with the autograph card running slightly under $100.
1992 Score the Franchise Players Auto Stan Musial Mickey Mantle Carl Yastrzemski Auto
This triple auto is considered one of the grails of the hobby. You had three on-card autos from some of the biggest baseball superstars of the 50/60s. This was also limited to only 500 copies.
Authentic slabbed copies will run $2,000-$3,000
2000 Fleer Tradition 3000 Club
Stan Musial’s first relic cards were released in 2000. Within the 2000 Fleer tradition, Musial had many unique offerings. You could find cards with relics of his cap, bat, or jersey.
There are also variations with both Bat/Jersey and all 3. The Jersey/bat combo is limited to 100 and the one with all three only has 25 copies.
Final Thoughts on Stan Musial Baseball Cards
Stan Musial baseball cards are going to continue to be desirable to any baseball collector. Many consider Musial a top 10-15 player of all time and he’s widely regarded as one of the best players on a historic baseball team.