Top 10 1952 Topps Baseball Cards – The Checklist

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The history of modern cards can be traced to the 1950s. Even though some early cards were released before the war, it was after the war that things started to gather pace.

1952 was one of the best years for baseball card collectors. After Topps Gum released their first official modern set, baseball fans went crazy for these cards.

Mickey Mantle was obviously the highlight of that set, but there were several other cards that were immensely popular, especially for trading.

About the 1952 Topps Set

The 1952 Topps baseball card set was the biggest card set after the war at that time. With 407 cards in the set, it was considered (and still is) the first modern card set that featured all the big baseball stars of that time.

Topps baseball Picture card

Before 1952, Topps cards were only sold as additions to bubble gum packages or tied with other products. In 1952, however, it was the first time when these cards were sold separately.

Sy Berger is today considered “the father of modern cards”, as he was the lead designer of the 1952 Topps cards. He was helped by Woody Gelman and together, they crafted a set that would remain in people’s memories for decades.

Sy Berger card

It is said that Berger and Gelman designed these cards on Berger’s kitchen table. At that time, Sy Berger was only 28 and he was a WWII veteran, while Gelman already had some experience with similar products as a cartoonist.

The basic design of 1952 Topps cards contained the player’s name, his image, height, weight, stats, and a short biography on the back of the card, as well as an autograph under the player’s name.

This is the same type of design and layout that remained for many years to come and we can still see the basics today.

Berger and Gelman knew they were onto something with these cards, but neither of them believed that Topps and the card collecting business would become as huge as it is today…

Thanks to them, we can today enjoy not only the modern cards, but we can also cherish the masterpieces that were created by the pair throughout the 1950s and also 1960s. The 1952 Topps card set remains to be known as the most iconic baseball card set in history.

Top 10 1952 Topps Baseball Cards

These are the best baseball cards from the 1952 Topps set.

1. 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311

1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311

This is it, the Holy Grail of baseball cards!

Mickey Mantle is today regarded as the best switch hitter in baseball history, so it’s no surprise that his 1952 Topps card will be one of the most popular cards in the card collecting world.

His 1952 card is perhaps the most wanted baseball card at the moment…

And it shows with the prices that these cards go for.

Obviously, a lot will depend on how well the card is preserved. Since this card is 70+ years old, some of them will not be in the best condition.

If you don’t have money to spend, then you can probably forget about owning this card. But if you don’t mind not having the original, then you’ll also find many reprints of this card – don’t be fooled into thinking they’re the original, though!

Even reprints can cost several hundred dollars….

2. 1952 Topps Willie Mays #261

1952 Topps Willie Mays #261

This is not the most expensive Willie Mays card – his 1951 rookie card just edges this one in terms of value.

However, the 261 numbered card from 1952 remains to be seen as one of the most valuable cards from that set. This card will sell for six figures if it is found in better conditions, while lower graded cards can sell for slightly less.

The “Say Hey Kid” was named in the All-Star team for 24 consecutive seasons – from 1954 to 1973, making him one of the best ever baseball players.

During his career, he amassed 660 home runs and had a batting percentage of over .300, making him one of the most formidable batters in league history. And he was able to maintain his high numbers for well over 20 years, which makes Willie Mays one of the most iconic players not only from the 1950s, but in the entire baseball history.

While this card is not his official rookie card (1951 Bowman is), it’s still his second most valuable card. It was right behind Mickey Mantle in terms of popularity and even today, collectors go crazy if they can find a decent value for the card (which will be hard!)

3. 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson #312

1952 Topps Jackie Robinson #312

Jackie Robinson was perhaps the most popular baseball player in 1952, maybe even more so than other players we’ve featured so far. Why is that?

Well, he was the first African American player to break the color code of the league. But even more than that – he was one of the best players in the league at that time, period. He won the rookie of the year award in 1947 and since then, his career improved every year.

Obviously, his draft into the league in 1947 caused quite a bit of controversy because the league was dominated by white and latino players back then.

But Jackie was not only an excellent baseball player, but he was a true athlete and an ambassador for the game.

Most of his cards feature him with a bright wide smile – including the 1952 Topps card, which nicely demonstrates his bright character. He was a six-time all-star every year from 1949 to 1954, while also winning the NL MVP in 1949.

It’s easy to see why his baseball card would be so popular, even today.

While it is a bit harder to find the 1952 Jackie Robinson card, the prices will be well into six figures, especially if the card is graded well.

4. 1952 Topps Andy Pafko #1

1952 Topps Andy Pafko #1

The #1 card from the 1952 set was often the most widely owned card, but not only because it was the first card in the set, but also because Andy Pafko was a popular figure in the baseball world in 1952.

He made his debut for the Chicago Cubs in 1943 and resumed his career with the Cubs after the war. In 1951, he was traded to the Dodgers where he spent one season. The 1952 card covers that particular part of the season.

Pafko’s best years in baseball came before 1952, though.

He was a five-time all-star player from 1945 to 1950, and he won his first World Championship only in 1957.

But it was Pafko’s story that made him such an intriguing player.

Before entering the league, Pafko was not a very well-known prospect. He didn’t even play for his local baseball team because there was no baseball team in that village. He spent most of his youth years in a Class D team, not reaching a lot of exposure as a rookie.

However, his fortunes changed in 1943 when he was drafted by the Cubs. He made himself into one of the best third base players and outfielders in the league, which allowed him to participate in five all star games.

His 1952 Topps card is thus hugely popular among many card collectors. While it won’t reach the values of the top 3 cards, it can still cost several dozen thousand dollars if not even more in the best conditions.

5. 1952 Topps Yogi Berra #191

1952 Topps Yogi Berra #191

Many baseball fans today believe that Yogi Berra is the best catcher from the 1950s, and if you look at his record and his numbers, you’d have to agree.

He was already a popular figure by 1952, as he finished as the MVP in 1951. By 1952, Yogi Berra was one of the biggest baseball stars. And for such an established player, his Topps card was one of the most desirable cards from that set.

Berra won the MVP award two more times in 1954 and 1955, while he was included in the All-Star team 18 times. This should tell you enough about the quality of the player and just how effective he was as a catcher.

His best years came with the NY Yankees, where he spent 17 seasons.

Berra remained in the league as a manager and later as a coach, which means that Berra dedicated his life to the sport. Consequently, his card will be one of the most cherished cards from the 1952 set.

Depending on the condition of the card, this will fetch several thousand dollars and potentially into the five figures if you can find a decently rated card.

6. 1952 Topps Roy Campanella #314

1952 Topps Roy Campanella #314

Roy Campanella was also one of the best catchers in the league, and while Yogi Berra just overtakes him in the number of all star appearances, Campanella still remains to be seen as one of the most iconic baseball players of the 1950s.

“Campy’s” card from 1952 is also one of the more popular cards from that set.

While it might not reach the dizzying heights of Mickey Mantle’s card in terms of values, it can still reach relatively high prices of several thousand dollars in better conditions.

One of the main problems, however, seems to be that finding this card proves to be near impossible, especially if you want the highest conditions with your cards. That’s why you might not even be able to find a card that’s graded higher than a PSA 5.

For that reason, the prices will be slightly lower than the rest of the cards.

But that takes nothing away from the fact that Campanella was one of the best and most recognizable figures from the 1950s, and all of his cards remain to be seen as some of the most popular older cards in the hobby.

7. 1952 Topps Pee Wee Reese #333

1952 Topps Pee Wee Reese #333

Pee Wee Reese remains to be seen as one of the more elusive cards from the 1952 Topps set. Finding this card will be tough, especially in the better conditions. That’s why prices tend to be quite high even for the poorer grades.

Reese was involved in the All-Star team for 10 seasons, and is today known as one of the best shortstops from that era.

Although his debut came much earlier in 1942, he remained to be one of the best players after WWII. At the time when the 1952 Topps set came out, Pee Wee was plying his trade with the Dodgers.

Because this card set came out in 1952, this was the first time when Pee Wee was featured in a Topps set. Like for many other players, this was his debut for Topps and that’s why the prices tend to be slightly higher for the first Topps set he was included in.

You’ll probably have a hard time finding this card in better conditions, but the good thing is that it’s more easily accessible and not as expensive as some other cards we’ve featured so far. This card will cost several thousand dollars and potentially more if found in higher grades.

8. 1952 Topps Eddie Mathews #407

1952 Topps Eddie Mathews #407

Eddie Mathews, or Ed Mathews for short, is one of the most popular cards from the 1952 set.

The biggest reason why this card was so popular was because it was the last card in the set, which means that the card had many printing errors associated with it. It was common that the card was not cut correctly or if there were printing mistakes, which is why these mistakes increased the price of the card – especially today.

That’s quite similar to the #1 card of Pafko, who was not necessarily known as a legendary player but the #1 card was always at the risk of errors, as was the #407 card, which was the last card of the set.

However, Ed Mathews also happens to be a Hall of Fame player, which only increases the worth of this card. You might even find some flawed cards selling today on the marketplaces, although they’re a bit hard to come by.

The prices for both flawed and perfect cards of this type will be relatively expensive. These will cost several thousand dollars, although they might not reach the heights of the previously mentioned cards.

Also, it seems to be hard to find a card of this type in proper conditions, which means that for the average collector, it might be near impossible to find one.

9. 1952 Topps Billy Martin #175

1952 Topps Billy Martin #175

The next card that needs a mention here is Billy Martin’s card, which was numbered #175. Billy Martin was an important part of the Yankees team that won 4 titles, which makes Martin one of the more desirable cards of the pack.

Initially, Martin was seen as a utility defender that didn’t have too much potential, so he was traded to the Yankees in 1950. There, he formed the legendary winning team that also included Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle.

Even at the start of his Yankees career, he was not utilized that often despite his good performances.

However, the better years of his career came later from the 1952 season when his main competitor for a starting spot, Coleman, was drafted to the army. That’s when Billy Martin really started to show his potential.

He helped the Yankees win the title four times and was also included into the All-Star team once in 1956. Nevertheless, Billy Martin remains an important part of the Yankees legacy and is still cherished by Yankees fans as well as other baseball fans.

His card will cost several thousand dollars although it might be slightly hard to find in better conditions.

10. 1952 Topps Hoyt Wilhelm #392

1952 Topps Hoyt Wilhelm #392

Hoyt Wilhelm’s rookie card is the second most popular rookie card in the set, which means that the card will reach high prices especially for the fact that it’s his rookie card.

He was drafted by the NY Giants in 1952, which was the start of his 20-year career in baseball. In his career, he was named in the All-Star team 8 times and won the league one time, which makes him an undisputed legend of the leagues.

This card has a relatively high value considering that Wilhelm was a rookie in 1952, so that was essentially his rookie card. Even poorly graded cards like the above one can reach around $1000 in value, although higher graded cards will cost much more than that.

Other Notable Cards from the 1952 Topps Set

So, these were the main cards that you need to know about but there’s a couple of other cards that might interest you, too.

Bob Feller #88

Bob Feller’s card remains to be one of the most popular cards from the set. Despite not making the top 10 list, it is still high on the priority list of many collectors and is near the top of the cards. From all of the 407 cards in the set, Bob Feller’s card is among the most popular cards.

Joe Page and Johnny Sain #48 and #49

#48 and #49 were especially interesting for collectors because of the mix-up that was created by a printing error…

Both cards had the wrong descriptions on the back of the card. Johnny Sain’s card had the description of Joe Page, while Joe Page’s card had the description of Johnny Sain.

This printing error meant that the cards were initially discarded by collectors; however, it is exactly for this reason why these two remain so popular and valuable even today.

George Shuba #326

While George Shuba might not be one of the best players featured in the set, it’s still his rookie card and it’s hard to find, which is why the card tends to have high prices.

The Full 1952 Topps Baseball Checklist

1 Andy Pafko
2 Pete Runnels RC
3 Hank Thompson
4 Don Lenhardt
5 Larry Jansen
6 Grady Hatton
7 Wayne Terwilliger
8 Fred Marsh RC
9 Bobby Hogue RC
10 Al Rosen
11 Phil Rizzuto
12 Monty Basgall RC
13 Johnny Wyrostek
14 Bob Elliott
15 Johnny Pesky
16 Gene Hermanski
17 Jim Hegan
18 Merrill Combs RC
19 Johnny Bucha RC
20 Billy Loes RC
21 Ferris Fain
22 Dom DiMaggio
23 Billy Goodman
24 Luke Easter
25 Johnny Groth
26 Monte Irvin
27 Sam Jethroe
28 Jerry Priddy
29 Ted Kluszewski
30 Mel Parnell
31 Gus Zernial
32 Eddie Robinson
33 Warren Spahn
34 Elmer Valo
35 Hank Sauer
36 Gil Hodges
37 Duke Snider
38 Wally Westlake
39 Dizzy Trout
40 Irv Noren
41 Bob Wellman RC
42 Lou Kretlow RC
43 Ray Scarborough
44 Con Dempsey RC
45 Eddie Joost
46 Gordon Goldsberry RC
47 Willie Jones
48 Joe Page – Error
48 Joe Page – Corrected
49 Johnny Sain – Error
49 Johnny Sain – Corrected
50 Marv Rickert RC
51 Jim Russell
52 Don Mueller
53 Chris Van Cuyk RC
54 Leo Kiely
55 Ray Boone
56 Tommy Glaviano
57 Ed Lopat
58 Bob Mahoney RC
59 Robin Roberts
60 Sid Hudson
61 Tookie Gilbert
62 Chuck Stobbs RC
63 Howie Pollet
64 Roy Sievers
65 Enos Slaughter
66 Preacher Roe
67 Allie Reynolds
68 Cliff Chambers
69 Virgil Stallcup
70 Al Zarilla
71 Tom Upton RC
72 Karl Olson RC
73 Bill Werle
74 Andy Hansen RC
75 Wes Westrum
76 Eddie Stanky
77 Bob Kennedy
78 Ellis Kinder
79 Jerry Staley
80 Herm Wehmeier
81 Vern Law
82 Duane Pillette
83 Billy Johnson
84 Vern Stephens
85 Bob Kuzava
86 Ted Gray
87 Dale Coogan
88 Bob Feller
89 Johnny Lipon
90 Mickey Grasso
91 Red Schoendienst
92 Dale Mitchell
93 Al Sima RC
94 Sam Mele
95 Ken Holcombe
96 Willard Marshall
97 Earl Torgeson
98 Billy Pierce
99 Gene Woodling
100 Del Rice
101 Max Lanier
102 Bill Kennedy
103 Cliff Mapes
104 Don Kolloway
105 Johnny Pramesa
106 Mickey Vernon
107 Connie Ryan
108 Jim Konstanty
109 Ted Wilks
110 Dutch Leonard
111 Peanuts Lowrey
112 Hank Majeski
113 Dick Sisler
114 Willard Ramsdell
115 Red Munger
116 Carl Scheib
117 Sherm Lollar
118 Ken Raffensberger
119 Mickey McDermott
120 Bob Chakales RC
121 Gus Niarhos
122 Jackie Jensen
123 Eddie Yost
124 Monte Kennedy
125 Bill Rigney
126 Fred Hutchinson
127 Paul Minner RC
128 Don Bollweg RC
129 Johnny Mize
130 Sheldon Jones
131 Morrie Martin RC
132 Clyde Kluttz RC
133 Al Widmar
134 Joe Tipton
135 Dixie Howell
136 Johnny Schmitz
137 Roy McMillan RC
138 Bill MacDonald
139 Ken Wood
140 Johnny Antonelli
141 Clint Hartung
142 Harry Perkowski RC
143 Les Moss
144 Ed Blake RC
145 Joe Haynes
146 Frank House RC
147 Bobby Young RC
148 Johnny Klippstein
149 Dick Kryhoski
150 Ted Beard
151 Wally Post RC
152 Al Evans
153 Bob Rush
154 Joe Muir RC
155 Frank Overmire
156 Frank Hiller RC
157 Bob Usher
158 Eddie Waitkus
159 Saul Rogovin RC
160 Owen Friend
161 Bud Byerly RC
162 Del Crandall
163 Stan Rojek
164 Walt Dubiel
165 Eddie Kazak
166 Paul LaPalme RC
167 Bill Howerton
168 Charlie Silvera RC
169 Howie Judson
170 Gus Bell
171 Ed Erautt RC
172 Eddie Miksis
173 Roy Smalley
174 Cuddles Marshall RC
175 Billy Martin RC
176 Hank Edwards
177 Bill Wight
178 Cass Michaels
179 Frank Smith RC
180 Charlie Maxwell RC
181 Bob Swift
182 Billy Hitchcock
183 Erv Dusak
184 Bob Ramazzotti
185 Bill Nicholson
186 Walt Masterson
187 Bob Miller
188 Bud Podbielan RC
189 Pete Reiser
190 Don Johnson RC
191 Yogi Berra
192 Myron Ginsberg RC
193 Harry Simpson RC
194 Joe Hatten
195 Minnie Minoso RC
196 Solly Hemus RC
197 George Strickland RC
198 Phil Haugstad RC
199 George Zuverink RC
200 Ralph Houk RC
201 Alex Kellner
202 Joe Collins RC
203 Curt Simmons
204 Ron Northey
205 Clyde King
206 Joe Ostrowski RC
207 Mickey Harris
208 Marlin Stuart RC
209 Howie Fox
210 Dick Fowler
211 Ray Coleman
212 Ned Garver
213 Nippy Jones
214 Johnny Hopp
215 Hank Bauer
216 Richie Ashburn
217 George Stirnweiss
218 Clyde McCullough
219 Bobby Shantz
220 Joe Presko RC
221 Granny Hamner
222 Hoot Evers
223 Del Ennis
224 Bruce Edwards
225 Frank Baumholtz
226 Dave Philley
227 Joe Garagiola
228 Al Brazle
229 Gene Bearden
230 Matt Batts
231 Sam Zoldak
232 Billy Cox
233 Bob Friend RC
234 Steve Souchock RC
235 Walt Dropo
236 Ed Fitz Gerald
237 Jerry Coleman
238 Art Houtteman
239 Rocky Bridges RC
240 Jack Phillips RC
241 Tommy Byrne
242 Tom Poholsky RC
243 Larry Doby
244 Vic Wertz
245 Sherry Robertson
246 George Kell
247 Randy Gumpert
248 Spec Shea
249 Bobby Adams
250 Carl Erskine
251 Chico Carrasquel
252 Vern Bickford
253 Johnny Berardino
254 Joe Dobson
255 Clyde Vollmer
256 Pete Suder
257 Bobby Avila
258 Steve Gromek
259 Bob Addis RC
260 Pete Castiglione
261 Willie Mays
262 Virgil Trucks
263 Harry Brecheen
264 Roy Hartsfield
265 Chuck Diering
266 Murry Dickson
267 Sid Gordon
268 Bob Lemon
269 Willard Nixon
270 Lou Brissie
271 Jim Delsing
272 Mike Garcia
273 Erv Palica
274 Ralph Branca
275 Pat Mullin
276 Jim Wilson RC
277 Earl Wilson
278 Allie Clark
279 Bud Stewart
280 Cloyd Boyer
281 Tommy Brown SP
282 Birdie Tebbetts SP
283 Phil Masi SP
284 Hank Arft SP
285 Cliff Fannin SP
286 Joe DeMaestri RC SP
287 Steve Bilko SP
288 Chet Nichols RC SP
289 Tommy Holmes
290 Joe Astroth SP
291 Gil Coan SP
292 Floyd Baker SP
293 Sibby Sisti SP
294 Walker Cooper SP
295 Phil Cavarretta
296 Red Rolfe
297 Andy Seminick SP
298 Bob Ross RC SP
299 Ray Murray RC SP
300 Barney McCosky SP
301 Bob Porterfield
302 Max Surkont RC
303 Harry Dorish
304 Sam Dente
305 Paul Richards
306 Lou Sleater RC
307 Frank Campos RC
308 Luis Aloma
309 Jim Busby
310 George Metkovich
311 Mickey Mantle
312 Jackie Robinson
313 Bobby Thomson
314 Roy Campanella
315 Leo Durocher
316 Davey Williams RC
317 Connie Marrero
318 Hal Gregg RC
319 Rube Walker RC
320 John Rutherford RC
321 Joe Black RC
322 Randy Jackson RC
323 Bubba Church
324 Warren Hacker
325 Bill Serena
326 George Shuba RC
327 Archie Wilson RC
328 Bob Borkowski RC
329 Ike Delock RC
330 Turk Lown RC
331 Tom Morgan RC
332 Tony Bartirome RC
333 Pee Wee Reese
334 Wilmer Mizell RC
335 Ted Lepcio RC
336 Dave Koslo
337 Jim Hearn
338 Sal Yvars RC
339 Russ Meyer
340 Bob Hooper
341 Hal Jeffcoat
342 Clem Labine RC
343 Dick Gernert RC
344 Ewell Blackwell
345 Sammy White RC
346 George Spencer RC
347 Joe Adcock
348 Bob Kelly RC
349 Bob Cain
350 Cal Abrams
351 Alvin Dark
352 Karl Drews
353 Bobby Del Greco RC
354 Fred Hatfield RC
355 Bobby Morgan
356 Toby Atwell RC
357 Smoky Burgess
358 John Kucab RC
359 Dee Fondy RC
360 George Crowe RC
361 Bill Posedel
362 Ken Heintzelman
363 Dick Rozek RC
364 Clyde Sukeforth RC
365 Cookie Lavagetto
366 Dave Madison RC
367 Bob Thorpe RC
368 Ed Wright RC
369 Dick Groat RC
370 Billy Hoeft RC
371 Bobby Hofman
372 Gil McDougald RC
373 Jim Turner RC
374 Al Benton RC
375 Jack Merson RC
376 Faye Throneberry RC
377 Chuck Dressen MG
378 Les Fusselman RC
379 Joe Rossi RC
380 Clem Koshorek RC
381 Milton Stock RC
382 Sam Jones RC
383 Del Wilber RC
384 Frankie Crosetti
385 Herman Franks RC
386 Eddie Yuhas RC
387 Billy Meyer MG
388 Bob Chipman
389 Ben Wade RC
390 Rocky Nelson RC
391 Ben Chapman
392 Hoyt Wilhelm RC
393 Ebba St. Claire RC
394 Billy Herman
395 Jake Pitler
396 Dick Williams RC
397 Forrest Main RC
398 Hal Rice
399 Jim Fridley RC
400 Bill Dickey
401 Bob Schultz RC
402 Earl Harrist RC
403 Bill Miller RC
404 Dick Brodowski RC
405 Eddie Pellagrini
406 Joe Nuxhall RC
407 Eddie Mathews RC

FAQ

How Many 1952 Topps Mantle Cards Exist?

According to PSA, there are only three PSA 10 rated cards of this type, and there are only six PSA 9 rated cards. That’s why the cards with those grades will be the most valuable, some of them might even reach the value of over a million dollars.

In lower conditions, this card is not that hard to find. There are 35 PSA 8 graded cards while for lower grades than that, you’ll be able to find more than a hundred cards per grade.

How Much is a 1952 Mickey Mantle Card Worth?

The record sale of the 1952 Mickey Mantle card was worth $5.2 million. That’s the highest price of this card, however, the price might increase in the future.

How Can You Tell if a 1952 Mickey Mantle Card is Real?

The best way to tell if the card is real is to see if it is graded by PSA or another grading service. They will authenticate the card and make sure it’s authentic and it’s not a fake.

You’ll also be able to tell if the card is real by simply looking at it. It’s natural to see some imperfections in such an old card, especially on its surface. The real deal will have some dents and inevitably, the surface of the card will also have smudges of other signs of wear and tear.

If the card seems to be too perfect, then it’s better not to buy it.

Final Thoughts

The 1952 Topps set is one of the best sets ever made, not only for baseball cards but overall. It contains some of the most valuable cards ever made – including Mickey Mantle’s card, which continues to be highly celebrated among baseball fans and card collectors.