1952 TOPPS Baseball Cards
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This date in 1952 Topps Baseball Card Stars
Topps came out with the
largest baseball card set of the time. There were a total of 407 cards
to the set.
( The 1951 Bowman Baseball Card set consisted of 324 cards and the Bowman 1952 card set numbered 252 ).
The Topps set was issued in two series. The first series were numbered 1-310 and the
second series were numbered 311-407. (Series and Prints)
Developed by Sy Berger
with design help from Woody Gelman, the Topps 1952 set was made up (Card Proofs)
of the first
"modern baseball card," complete with player image, team logo, vital statistics, and a full playing record.
The cards measured 2 5/8 in. x 3 3/4 in. and featured colorized black and white photos of the players.
See Original Artwork
Although Berk Ross came out with a 1952 Joe DiMaggio card, Joe announced his retirement prior to the
start of production on the 1952 Topps cards, so he is not included in the 1952 set.
Rookies Mickey Mantle ( card #311 )
and Willie Mays ( card #
261 ) made their
in this 1952 set.
A rookie who almost didn't make it was Braves slugging third baseman Ed Mathews. He has the distinction
of being on the last card of the set ( card # 407).
Because kids would rubber band their collection together, thus causing the first and last cards in the stack
to be more susceptible to damage, the Mathews card and the #1 card ((Andy Pafko ) are a little more difficult
to find in the better grades. Other rookies making their first appearance in this Topps set are,
Pete Runnels ( card # 2 ), Billy Loes( card # 20), Orestes (Minnie) Minoso ( card # 195 ),
Ralph Houk ( card # 200 ), Bob Friend ( card # 233 ) and Dick Groat ( card # 369 ).
Other stars in the set include Phil Rizzuto ( card #11 ), Ted Kluszewsky (card # 29 ), Warren Spahn ( card # 33 ),
Gil Hodges ( card # 36 ), Duke Snider ( card # 37 ), Robin Roberts (card # 59 ), Billy Martin ( card # 175 ),
Yogi Berra ( card # 191 ), Richie Ashburn (card # 216 ), Jackie Robinson ( card # 312 ), Roy Campanella ( card # 314 ),
Pee Wee Reese ( card # 333 ), Hoyt Wilhelm ( card # 392 ), Bill Dickey ( card # 400 ).
Although appearing in the 1952 Red Man Tobacco card set, three of the biggest names in baseball were
not included in the 1952 Topps set,
Ted Williams Stan Musial Ralph Kiner.
Also missing from the set,
Satchel Paige Whitey Ford
Carl Furillo Nellie Fox Hal Newhouser Casey Stengel
Marty Marion Sal Maglie Vic Raschi Tom Lasorda
Charlie Keller Don Newcombe Bob Nieman
Brown Stan Lopata
In The Works: Team Cards and Announcer cards
1952 Topps style Brooklyn Dodgers team card. 1952 Topps style Bud Blattner announcer card.
Click on cards to see other team and announcer cards.
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Rumor confirmed: Chuck Connors (The Rifleman) on a 1952 Topps style baseball card.
The famous 1952 Topps Baseball Find
Original 1952 Topps Advertising
There is a lot of value in baseball cards, especially older, low
run cards. There is also
a lot of value in BlackJack cards when you are dealt a face card and an Ace.
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style Keith Conforti designed Connie Mack card.
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"Where were you in '52"
There are a few noticeable traits
pertaining to the Topps 1952
baseball cards. Cards 1-80 can be found to have
either Red Backs or Black Backs.
The second series ( 311- 407 ) came out very late in the season and Topps had a hard time selling them.
1952 second series cards were even inserted into packs of 1953 Topps baseball cards sold in Canada.
There were still so many left over and taking up space in the warehouse that Topps chartered a boat in the
late 50's or early 60's and dumped thousands of cases of these second series cards into the ocean.
And yes, that did include a heap of Mantle cards.
Because so many cards of the second series was destroyed,
they now carry a premium as they are the scarcer of the two series. Late in the first series run,
Topps considered production of a card album to hold up to 100 cards. The plan made it to the design stage,
but never made it into production.
Proposed 1952 Topps card album
People with a knack for collecting baseball cards tend to be
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Manufacturing such a large set of cards
didn't come without its share of mistakes.
Besides the always present possibility of buying your pack of cards,
opening them up, only to find only one or two out of the pack actually had the ballplayers picture
reasonably centered on the card (uncut sheets), you also had the possibility to find a few cards that were
double printed, or had different colored backgrounds. The Joe Page ( card # 48 )
and Johnny Sain ( card # 49 ) each had the other players biography on the back of their early released cards.
Is that Ben or Sam Chapman on card #391?
Which Frank Campos #307 card do you have?
Card #146 of Frank House and the different colored logos.
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Opening a 1952 Topps Pack
All in All, when it's all accounted for,
errors, double prints, even triple prints, late release
the 1952 Topps Baseball card set is still the best set of baseball cards that were ever produced.
A true American Classic. Take a look for yourself.
Click on 1952 Topps Wrapper to start viewing the complete set of 1952 cards.
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1983 Reprints of the 1952 Topps Set
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