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1952 Topps Baseball Cards
Checklist & Values
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1952 Topps Baseball card checklist, values and prices.
1952 is often thought of as Topps 1st baseball card set, but it was not.
Topps issued several smaller baseball card sets prior to their huge 1952 set.
Topps buzz word was "BIGGER is BETTER" for their 1952 Topps set which
Topps described as: "GIANT IN BOTH SIZE and NUMBER of CARDS" (407).
Key card in the 1952 Topps set is #311 MICKEY MANTLE.
Often called Mickey Mantle's Rookie card - BUT IT IS NOT. That honor
goes to his 1951 Bowman.
1952 Topps "High Numbers" (#311-#407), are very, very scarce with an
This HUGE set was released in series weeks apart. By the last (6th)
series, baseball season was over and football starting.
Candy shops had plenty of baseball cards from earlier series
so most cancelled their orders for the last series creating the scarcity.
Adding interest is how Topps disposed of the now un-needed cards including
THOUSANDS of 1952 Topps MICKEY MANTLE's. They dumped them into the Atlantic
Ocean like most of New York's trash in those days.
1952 Wheaties Champions
In 1952 Wheaties issued this set of cards on the back of their boxes.
The 2" x 2-3/4" cards needed to be hand cut from the back of the boxes
making high quality samples almost impossible to find. The set featured
30 different champions from a variety of sports in both "Portrait" and "In-Action"
poses for a total of 60 different cards. 10 of the 30 athletes are baseball players
with football, basketball, golf, bowling, diving and other sports also
Top players in the set are Ted Williams, Stan Musial, George Mikan,
Ben Hogan and Otto Graham.
1968 Topps Action All-Star Stickers
Checklist & Values
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1968 Topps Action All-Star Stickers Info, Checklist & Prices
1968 was an awesome year for Topps test & oddball issues with
Game cards, Player Posters, 3-D cards, Plaks, Discs, Punchouts
and these "Baseball Action Stickers" also called "Action All-Stars
"Baseball Action Stickers" were STAR-PACKED 3-panel sticker strips,
some with facsimile autographs. There were (16) different strips in the
set but only 12 are totally different. #13 thru #16 re-used panels from
#1 thru #12.
Strips were perforated, folded at joints and put in packs.
Boxes had 12 packs (10 cents each) with 1 sticker per pack. Sets could be
made back then for $1.60. Today, the Mantle panel goes for around $2,000.
Collectors often collect just individual panels as complete strips are
so scarce, fragile & EXPENSIVE.
Single panels themselves are quite scarce - in 20+ years PSA has graded
just over 200 TOTAL compared to over 1,000 1952 Mantles !!!
PROOF sheet below is missing the facsimile autographs.
Another interesting issue:
1960 Pirates Tag-Ons Baseball Stickers
History Of O-Pee-Chee
O-Pee-Chee (OPC) based in Ontario Canada, is mostly thought of as the
Canadian version of Topps but it actually pre-dates Topps by many years.
In 1933, OPC issued their first sports card set, the V304 Hockey cards and
is currently in the tens of thousands. Their first baseball set was
issued in 1937. It was similar to the 1934 Goudeys and Batter-Ups
and the top player was Joe Dimaggio.
O-Pee-Chee created baseball card sets similar to TOpps from 1965 into the
1990's. At first OPC sets were much smaller than Topps
and included just the first few series. Fronts & backs were nearly identical
but with a small "Printed in Canada" on the back and the card stock was
Baseball being much less popular in Canada, OPC print runs of their early
years were between 1% and 10% of Topps making them exceedingly scarce !!!
Starting in 1970, Canadian legislation demanded all items produced in Canada
carry both French & English so OPC baseball cards became bilingual with both
Other OPC differences include:
1971, OPC even changed the back design to a much more
interesting back and also offered 14 different card photos not in the Topps set.
1972 OPC included a card of Gil Hodges mentioning his death that was
not a part of the Topps set.
1974 OPC did not include any "Washington Nationals" variations.
1977 the card format remained like Topps but almost 1/3 of the OPC set had
different poses/images than Topps.
In late 1970's, OPC card fronts appeared similar to Topps but sometimes
included traded information saying "Now with XXXX". They were able to do
this as the OPC cards were printed much later into the season.
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