1952 Topps Set Baseball Cards
The 1952 Topps set was the first Topps big time baseball card series. Topps had put out a couple of little sets in '51, but they sold decently, but as they were featured black and white pictures and they were generally unappealing looking. Each of those '51 sets only included 52 cards and then there were an additional 3 supplementary sets. The 1952 Topps sets looked like playing cards and featured either blue back side or a red backside. The ones with blue backs are the rarest set today and hold the most value.
By the next year, Topps had come to the conclusion that they needed to create a much higher quality product that would set the market on fire if they wanted to dominate and be a real competitor to Bowman Company. They spent months of painstaking design to create one of if not the most beloved baseball card set of all time. And it was huge, with a whopping 407 individual cards.
The cards themselves were bigger too, larger than any other baseball card on the market. The practice of putting player stats and career totals information on the backs of the cards began with this set as well. Color team logos and gorgeous artwork made these cards true gems. The black and white photos were revamped with hand-done coloring to really make them pop. There was no 2 way about it Topps had created an unprecedented winner for 1952.
The set was issued in 6 separate series, the first of which was numbered 1 to 60. The first series was composed included 60 single printed and 20 double printed cards. Two of the most famous card errors came out of the first series as well. The #48 Joe Page card was printed with a back containing Johnny Sain`s bio and Johnny Sain`s card had Joe Page`s info on the back. There was also a print run of the first series which contained black-printed card backs. Cards with the black backs are the rarest.
The second series was numbered 81-130 with a total of 50 double-printed cards. This series was the most printed and 2nd series cards are the easiest to find. The Bob Feller card is one of the main standouts of that series. Series three was numbered 131-190 with 40 double-printed and 20 single printed. The Billy Martin rookie card was part of the third series as well.
Series 4 was numbered 191-250 with 40 double and 20 single printed cars. The Yogi Berra card was part of series 4, and high graded examples of that card are nearly impossible to find today. Series 5 was numbered 251-310. This was considered a semi-high series and is fairly rare. The Willie Mays card is one of the standouts of series 5. Series 6, the true high number series, was 311-407. These cards are the rarest of the set and the highest amount of them were issued in Canada. This series contained money cards like Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, and most importantly, the rookie of Mickey Mantle. That Mantle card is still widely regarded as the 'holy grail' of baseball cards in the world.
The Mantle, the Robinson, and the Bobby Thomson were all double printed and different versions contain different variations. These variations hold different value and crucial to collectors.