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on vintage baseball, football, basketball, hockey, sport and non-sports cards.
Topps Vault & Proofs
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Topps Vault, Proofs & Blank-Backs
Auctioneer Guernsey's went thru Topps offices gathering over 3,000
items for the auction. Topps spokesman reported auction sales of
OVER $1.5 million !!! Additional sales were made from a mail-only
auction. Collector Keith Olbermann, at the auction, described it
as an archaeological dig.
Topps archive material continued to accumulate after the auction
ending up with another treasure of over 250,000 transparencies,
uncut sheets, color separations, art, photos, slides, proof sheets
& wrappers, canceled checks, contracts and one-of-a-kind
items to sell.
Note: You may be on that page right now.
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.
Auction's most costly vintage baseball cards
Over 5,000 vintage sports and non-sports items in each weekly auction
The history of vintage baseball card auctions is long and colorful.
T-206 Honus Wagner tobacco cards have sold for upto $2.8 million in
auction. The "Holy Grail of Sports Cards", it's extreme-high auction
value can mostly be attributed to great PR and "auction fever".
It's not close to being the rarest baseball card and Honus Wagner is not
Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle. Yes, the T-206 set is beautiful & special but
because of the # of cards and scarcities, few collector's try to complete,
which should keep auction competition down compared to say 1933 Goudey
or 1952 Topps baseball card issues.
BUT IT DOES NOT...
There's a story Wagner banned his card because he was anti-tobacco
but there are other stories about financial considerations.
You surely have heard of PSA and may even know that this card was the
FIRST they ever graded. But did you know that dealer (B.l. .ast.o name
encoded) admitted tampering with the card, perhaps having it trimmed
down to size, before PSA graded it so highly for the auction.
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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