1952 Topps Baseball Cards

The 1952 Topps Baseball Card Set was printed and issued by the Topps Chewing Gum Company of Brooklyn New York. This set is one of the most beautiful ever produced, and also one of the most popular. Sy Berger and Wally Gelman, the founders of Topps, knew if they were to compete with Bowman, their follow up to the 1951 Topps products would have to be much better. The product would have to be brighter, bolder, a game changer! After months of work they unveiled their final product, the 1952 Topps set. The 1952 Topps Set is considered the absolute pinnacle of post-war sports card issues! In terms of sheer size, it was more than the hobby had ever seen, an astounding 407 cards. The beautiful hand-colored fronts boasting cool blues, vibrant greens, and warm reds were miniature pieces of art to behold. The 1952 Topps Baseball cards ultimately earned Berger the nickname ‘The Father of Modern Baseball Cards’.

The Impact of the 1952 Topps Baseball Cards

The 1952 Topps Baseball Cards laid the foundation for what would become the modern trading card. The design of the cards featured full team logos, colorized black-and-white photography and, most interestingly, a facsimile signature of the player taken directly from the player’s contract with Topps. The card backs featured statistics and biographical information about the players. This was a stroke of genius, as it helped connect players with their targeted market, children. The inclusion of player statistics from the previous season and career totals on back gave young collectors the hard evidence they needed to prove their Big League hero was the best.

1952 Topps Baseball Cards

1952 Topps Baseball Card Production Runs

The 1952 Topps Baseball cards were produced in six series. The sixth series High Numbers are very tough to locate in the hobby today. The $250 to $350 NM price tag for commons in the sixth series is an indicator of their rarity. The 1952 Topps Baseball Cards were printed on a total of six 100-card sheets and issued by series.

The first sheet of 1952 Topps Baseball Cards included cards numbered 1-80, and contained 60 single-printed cards and 20 double-printed cards, for a total of 100 cards. They were printed with both red & black backs. Series 2 through 6 were only printed with red backs. The red back 1952 Topps Baseball Cards have a clearer and more vibrant look than the cards with a black back. You can come to your own conclusion as to why Topps stopped printing with black backs. My opinion is that Topps realized how much nicer the cards looked with red backs and stopped midway through the print run and changed over.

The second sheet of 1952 Topps Baseball Cards included cards 81-130. All fifty were double-printed.

The third sheet of 1952 Topps Baseball Cards included cards 131-190. 40 were double-printed and 20 single-printed.

The fourth sheet of 1952 Topps Baseball Cards included cards 191-250. 40 were double-printed and 20 single-printed.

The fifth sheet of 1952 Topps Baseball cards included cards 251-310. 40 were double-printed (#251-280, #301-310) and 20 single-printed (#281-300). The difficulty of finding cards from this series, while trying to complete a set, points to the likelihood of a much smaller production run than the previous four series.

The legendary sixth “high-number” sheet of 1952 Topps Baseball cards included cards 311-407. 94 cards were single-printed and the cards of Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, and Bobby Thomson were double-printed.

The 1952 Topps Baseball Card Tragedy

By the time the 1952 Topps Baseball Card’s sixth series “high-numbers” came out it was so late into the summer the collectors had forgot about baseball (including cards) and turned their attention to the upcoming football season. Sales of the sixth series high numbers were so poor that Topps was left with a tremendous amount of unsold product, the type of surplus that a start-up company just can’t afford to keep. By 1960, eight years of frustration finally forced the hands of Berger and Gelman. Faced with a warehouse filled with close to 500 unopened cases of 1952 Topps Baseball Cards from the sixth series high numbers, they decided it was time to cut their losses and make room for new product. A call was made for a garbage barge and the cases were loaded. The ship made its way towards open waters where it would lay to rest thousands of 1952 Topps Baseball Cards at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. This is according to Berger’s statement in the 2001 copy of Tuff Stuff magazine’s Topps 50th anniversary issue. Another belief is the cases were dumped in the Hudson River.

1952 Topps Baseball Card Stars

#1 Andy Pafko – This card is extremely difficult to find in EX-MT condition or better.

#11 Phil Rizzuto – Played 13 years for the New York Yankees from 1941–56. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

#33 Warren Spahn – A left-handed pitcher for the Boston & Milwaukee Braves from 1942-65. Spahn holds the major league record for a left-handed pitcher with 363 career wins.  A 17-time All Star, he won 20 games or more in 13 seasons!!! He is obviously in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

#36 Gil Hodges – A 1st Baseman for the Dodgers from 1943-61 and an eight-time All Star. He helped the Dodgers win two World Series titles. He was the manager for the New York Mets from 1968-71, and led them to their first World Series title in 1969. Hodges was FINALLY inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.

#37 Duke Snider – An outfielder for the Dodgers from 1947–62. Snider was a National League All-Star 8 times. Duke helped the Dodgers to six World Series, with victories in 1955 and 1959. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.

#88 Bob Feller – Played 18 seasons for the Cleveland Indians from 1936-56. A prodigy who bypassed baseball’s minor leagues, he made his debut at the age of 17. He threw 3 no hitters and helped the Indians win a World Series title in 1948. He was an 8 time All Star and elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962

#175 Billy Martin – This is Billy’s Rookie Card. You’re Hired, You’re Fired! Who can forget those commercials with George Steinbrenner! Martin’s spectacular catch in Game Seven of the 1952 World Series of a wind-blown Jackie Robinson popup saved the series for the Yankees. Then the following year, Billy hit .500 in the 1953 World Series, going 12 for 24, with 2 HRs and 8 RBIs earning the World Series MVP award.

#191 Yogi Berra – The greatest catcher to ever play the game. Period! He played 19 seasons for the New York Yankees from 1946-63. He was an 18-time All Star and won 10 World Series Rings – more than any other player in MLB history!!! Berra had a career batting average of .285, hitting 358 HRs with 1,430 RBIs. He is one of only six players to win the American League MVP three times. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

#261 Willie Mays – This is one of the KEY Hall of Fame players in the set. Willie Mays would challenge Mantle for the title of ‘baseball’s greatest player’ during the 1950’s & 1960’s. Willie won the NL Rookie of the Year in 1951 and led the New York Giants to the World Series. He was extremely popular and known as the ‘Say Hey’ kid. May’s true rookie is the 1951 Bowman.

#311 Mickey Mantle – This is THE KEY Hall of Fame player in the set. What can be said other than this is probably the most recognized card ever produced. He is also the most popular baseball player ever. This is his first Topps card and from the very rare High Number Series. The picture of Mantle holding a bat with a beautiful blue background and a full face shot is the best! The 1952 Topps Baseball Card of Mantle is ‘The Card” everybody wants to own. Mantle’s true rookie is the 1951 Bowman.

#312 Jackie Robinson – Another KEY Hall of Fame player in the set. This card is also from the very rare High Number Series and is Jackie’s first Topps card. It has particularly beautiful artwork and is one of the keys to the set.

#314 Roy Campanella – Another KEY Hall of Fame player in the set. This card is also from the very rare High Number Series. This is Campy’s first Topps card. It is virtually impossible to find in high-grade.

#333 Pee Wee Reese – The beloved Dodger shortstop’s first Topps card is a key. This card is from the very rare High Number Series and is exceedingly difficult to find well-centered.

#392 Hoyt Wilhelm – This is the Rookie Card of baseball’s most durable pitcher. Wilhelm played from 1952 to 1972 and pitched in an incredible 1,070 games. Another key Hall of Fame player from the very rare High Number Series.

#400 Bill Dickey – This is another Hall of Fame player in the set. It pictures Dickey as a coach and is difficult to find well-centered.

#407 Eddie Mathews – Another KEY Hall of Fame player in the set. This is the Rookie Card of the great Braves slugger. This is the final card in the very rare High Number Series and is very difficult to find in nice condition. This card is also very difficult to find well centered.

1952 Topps Baseball Cards
1952 Topps Baseball Cards
1952 Topps Baseball Cards
1952 Topps Baseball Cards

The Find – 1952 Topps Baseball Cards

In 1986 Al ‘Mr Mint’ Rosen unearthed and purchased approximately 5,500 fifth & sixth series 1952 Topps Baseball Cards. According to Rosen, 75% of the cards were from the rare high number series. Known as ‘The Find’ it is the greatest sportscard find in history. Period! Most notably there were 75 to 80 Mickey Mantles. Most of the high grade Mantle cards known today came from that find. Legend has it the individual who sold Al the cards opened a 1952 Topps Baseball Card case right before meeting with Al! The empty case from ‘The Find’ is owned by a collector.

How to sell your 1952 Topps Baseball Cards

Learn how to prepare your 1952 Topps Baseball Cards for sale by the following quick guide:

  1. Identify the Hall of Fame players and Important players from the list above
  2. Take pictures of the HOF/Important players (front & back)
  3. Count the remaining ‘common’ cards
  4. Make a list of the HOF/Important players, and the number of commons
  5. Do your best to determine their condition.
  6. Check eBay’s Recent Sales of similar conditioned cards to get an idea of their value. Don’t look at what people are asking, there are some irrelevant/crazy prices being asked for cards that will never be sold! Actual sales will steer you in the right direction for proper pricing.
  7. Send us the list along with the card pictures and we will contact you with an offer.

Why you should sell to Kurtz Kardz

Finding the retail customer takes an extensive amount of work and most people with collections don’t have the time or knowledge to accomplish the task. Also, the sports card shops in your area are generally not well equipped to appraise or purchase vintage collections of any magnitude. These retail stores are focused on selling modern products and simply don’t have the time or the knowledge to carefully evaluate vintage collections. So, how should you proceed? Kurtz Kardz will buy the entire collection and pay cash for it immediately.

We start with the more valuable cards from your collection. We grade them while showing/explaining the reasons for the grade.  We then establish a price for the card with a full explanation of how that is done. Once we receive your ‘Buy In’ of our explanation and the assessed value, we will continue with the remaining cards and come up with an offer for the entire collection.

We have been in the card collecting hobby full time since 1996. We have purchased nearly every card in existence except for the ‘True Rarities’, no T206 Wagner yet!!

We treat every collection and collector with the respect they deserve. Being a longtime collector myself, I understand how much work it takes to build a collection. So when you’re ready to sell, I understand what you are going through and will help you reach the best decision.

Our process is very straight forward and my guarantee is that you will feel comfortable within the first 10 minutes. Sounds a little overly confident? Well, I have purchased hundreds of collections over the last 26 years, with many pleased clients.

We Are Always Buying

Kurtz Kardz is always buying vintage sports cards from 1887 to 1972. You can get an idea of the cards we aggressively target by visiting Our Most Wanted List. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today.

How can I engage with Kurtz Kardz?

  1. We will Travel to You! If you have a collection and want us to come see You, we can catch a plane the next day! We have traveled all over the country buying sports cards, you can be our next stop! Contact us to discuss this option, we generally require a more valuable collection because of travel expenses.
  2. Meet me in Denver, Colorado
  3. Ship your collection – We can offer our FedEx account with free 2-day shipping. The package will be fully insured and tracked. We will make an offer the day we receive your cards. If you choose not to sell the cards, we’ll ship them back that day! For those of you who are nervous about shipping your cards, we have shipped millions of dollars’ worth of cards and only placed one insurance claim (in the amount of $650) in our 26 years. If you have engaged with us, and made the decision to sell your cards, they will be insured for the estimated value we placed on your collection.

Call Kurt at 303-792-9665