Tuesday, April 9, 2019

1952 Topps

I can't believe that I've been blogging for over eleven years and I have never reviewed the 1952 Topps set. Let's get this out of the way first. This is one of the handful of truly iconic sets. Even people that have never collected baseball cards in their life, know the design, mostly because of the Mickey Mantle rookie card, which isn't technically his rookie card, but is. None of that really matters now though.

The whole set has late 40s/early 50s MLB logos. It has a facsimile autograph underneath a typewritten name inside a star lines marquee, similar to Broadway. The photos are colorized versions of the players. The coloring has a luminous sheen, making the subjects look more like wax figures, but still lifelike. This does make for a few interesting pictures. Some shots look unusual like Lou Kretlow's pitching stance. Other players just look like ventriloquist puppets, like Al Zarilla and Eddie Robinson.

It's definitely a unique combination of elements that comes together in an iconic way. Between the stories and the Topps revisionist history of all things starting in 1952, this set has become legendary. It wasn't the first post-WWII major release, but it is perhaps the best remembered.

The White Sox have twenty-one cards in the set.

32 - Eddie Robinson
42 - Lou Kretlow
50 - Marv Rickert
62 - Chuck Stobbs
70 - Al Zarilla
95 - Ken Holcombe
98 - Bill Pierce
117 - Sherman Lollar
133 - Al Widmar
159 - Saul Rogovin
169 - Howie Judson
195 - Orestes Minoso
211 - Ray Coleman
251 - Chico Carrasquel
254 - Joe Dobson
279 - Ed Stewart
283 - Phil Masi
303 - Harry Dorish
304 - Sam Dente
305 - Paul Richards
308 - Luis Aloma

Besides the T206 cards, the 1952 Topps are probably the most well known cards, even to non-collectors. Depending on who you are collecting from the set, things can get very pricey, very quickly. It's not uncommon to pay over $20 for a common player in a low grade. The set is that popular and of course the lore of unsold cases plunging into the Atlantic only adds to the mystique and high pricing.

Tread carefully and have fun, but I do not envy the Yankees fans having to look for the Mantle card. The White Sox fare only slightly better with the Minnie Minoso card. The Minoso card can be found for a song compared to the Mantle card. It is a Herculean task, but not impossible.

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