1952 TOPPS Baseball Cards
Series & Prints
Although I have referenced the set as coming
out in two series, it is widely thought by most of the historians
of the 1952 Topps Baseball Card set that the set was actually made using 6 different print runs.
The first print run was thought to be cards 1-80 and they were also thought to be the black back variation.
You've probably noticed that all of the Joe Page & Johnny Sain error cards have the black backs
(if you find one with the red back, let me know).
It is also thought that Topps was not happy with the way the black backs made the image of the players
appear on the opposite side of the card. So when they went back to press and fixed the Page & Sain biographies,
they also reprinted the 1-80 cards with red backs. Whether this was all done at the same time and during
the same printing seems to be of different opinions. The second print run was believed to have been cards 81-130.
These cards would start off with the red backs and that would be the norm for the rest of the prints.
Cards 131-190 were believed to be the third print run. These cards have the distinction of being printed
using white and gray back cardboard. The gray back cards are more scarce than the white back cards and
there has been much speculation as to how, what, where, why and when of these cards manufacture.
To make things even more complicated, these gray back cards even have a subset. Most of the gray back cards
have a grayish tinted white front border. A very few have been found to have a distinctly white front border.
There is a very good article regarding these gray back cards at The Topps Archives.
Cards 191-250 were thought to be the fourth print run.
All of the cards in this print run seem to have been printed in a similar fashion with few, if any, variance.
The fifth print run, cards 251-310, contained numerous short print cards. Cards 281 through 300 of the
print run actually carry a premium in some price guides.
Finally, cards 311-407 would have been the sixth and final print run.
Click here for Ron Hobbs Series & Prints Summary
So why have I made reference on the front page about the cards coming out in 2 series.
Well, mainly because that is the way this set has been characterized almost from the beginning of its existence.
It seems the first 5 printings came out one right after the other throughout the baseball season.
For some reason, the sixth and final printing came out later in the season, as if it were a later series than the other cards.
That was one of the reasons it is believed that the first 5 print runs were regarded as the first series
and the sixth print run became known as the second series.
Whether you regard it as a six series set or a two series set, it really doesn't matter.
What does matter is that the cards were made and they will always be here for us to enjoy.