Below are tidbits on sportscard & baseball bubble gum trading card collecting. |
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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.
1955 Topps Baseball Cards
Checklist & Values
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1955 Topps Baseball card checklist, values and prices.
1955 Topps was the first of 2 years of horizontal card designs.
As with 1952, 1953 & 1954, cards were again a tad larger than today's
standard. A nice feature, facsimile autographs, again appeared on the cards.
The set came in 2 series, #1-160 and scarcer "High Numbers" #161-210.
Due to the contract battles between Topps & Bowman, Cards #175,186,203 & 209
were never issued. Topps eventually won the war, buying Bowman making 1955
the last year for Bowman cards. But the damage was done as Topps had to
leave out many stars including Mickey Mantle & Stan Musial.
There were a total of (15) Hall of Famers in the 1955 set !!!
Top ROOKIEs: Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax & Harmon Killebrew
Top Stars: Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Al Kaline, Ernie Banks, Warren Spahn,
Jackie Robinson, Eddie Mathews, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra & Duke Snider.
"The Golden Greek" Harry Agganis, a popular 1955 Topps card, is a tragic
story, Agganis, a rising young star, died after his first card was issued.
A football star at Boston U., he turned down an offer from the Cleveland
Browns and became the starting first baseman. Shortly after he came down
with pneumonia and died of a Pulmonary Embolism.
Note: You may be on that page right now.
1985 Leaf Baseball
In 1985 Donruss created a special version of its baseball cards
(1985 Leaf) in an attempt to enter the Canadian baseball card market.
Except for the addition of a colorful green leaf, the card fronts
were virtually identical to Donruss cards. The most interesting
difference occurred on the back where the Leaf cards featured
text in both French and English !
At only 264 cards, the Leaf set was much smaller than Donruss with it's
660 cards. But ... because of it's smaller set size the Leaf
set has a much higher percentage of star cards. There was also
a special two-card "Canadian Greats" subset with paintings of Dave Stieb and
Top rookies are: Roger Clemens, Kirby Puckett, Orel Hershiser,
Dwight Gooden and Mark Lamgston.
Baseball card collecting terms (part G)
Grade/Condition Centering, corner wear, photo clarity, edges,
creases, print flaws ... all combine to determine a card's condition or grade.
Along with rarity/scarcity it is the major factor in a card's value.
Graded Card As values increased the condition of cards and the
determination of fakes and alterations became increasingly more important.
Various companies became "graders" of your cards. For a fee they would grade
your card (usually on a 1 to 10 scale) and then placed in a sealed plastic
holder with labelling of the vital information.
From past experiences, most people are NOT HAPPY with the grades they receive.
To keep values up, graders can be extremely picky. Things you don't see,
they do so don't be surprized when the NEAR MINT card you send in ends up
with an EX or EX/MINT grade.
There are TOO many grading companies - if you do, do choose carefully.
PSA / SGC / GAI / BGS are some of the many companies.
It is good to know that getting a card graded by a company that people
do not recognize or respect will usually just cost you time and money
and not help you in any way.
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