As a whole the set looks like one to avoid because of the cost in buying some of the scarce series or Hall of Famers (and when both are involved, look out) but it is possible to have a collection of 1952 Topps cards without spending a fortune. Toward that end, we came up with a list of five cool 1952 Topps baseball cards you can buy for a total of no more than $250 if you’re a smart shopper.
You can buy slightly better grade examples for some cards and lesser for others if you like. Graded cards might cost a little more but not always.
This one is from the more common first series. Any time we can get a reasonably priced ‘52 Topps card of the left-handed pitcher who won more major league games than anyone else, we’re all in. His rookie card came out in 1948 but this is by far a better looking one to own.
Spahn would have cards produced into the mid-1960′s, but was almost always smiling. We’ll be patient to before hunting down a strong VG- EX example for around $65-75.
Batting second 1952 is a card of Preacher Roe who was in the process of being a key Brooklyn Dodger pitcher of the early 1950′s. Roe was a good pitcher, but near the end of his career he admitted in a 1955 Sports Illustrated article that he doctored the ball from time to time. Of course, for pitchers in those days, the threat of having a spitball in one’s arsenal was almost as important as actually throwing the pitch. Just ask Gaylord Perry about that. Roe was then in the later parts of his career but still very effective. He’s a huge part of Brooklyn Dodgers’ lore.
Preacher’s card is usually the cheapest of the five we’re chasing here. An EX example can usually be had for $25-35.
The third place better in our lineup is this Richie Ashburn card. Ashburn was a member of the Phillies Whiz Kids in 1950 and continued to be an effective center fielder until he retired after being the shining star for the 1962 New York Mets. While we guess 120 losses in a season can wear on anyone, Ashburn did his job hitting over .300 in his final season and truly being the Mets best player. He is the only playing member of the original Mets to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
In addition to his fine playing career, Ashburn also became a broadcasting legend with the Philadelphia Phillies, spending more than three decades in the Phillies booth. We’re thrilled to have this nice addition to our five-card grouping. An EX grade should run $40-50.
Batting clean-up on our little project is this 1952 Joe Gariagola card. Garagiola was involved with baseball as an announcer until he retired last year. He had been an broadcaster for nearly 60 years at that point and was still fun to listen to. Garagiola was part of the voices of baseball many of us grew up with as part of the game of the week.
Today, he is known for all his television appearances and not as much for his short but good major league career. He did have four hits in a World Series game as a rookie in 1946 and even has written several books on the game.
Joe’s got a big smile (would you expect anything different?) and we can afford a nicer one, perhaps EX/NM for $40-50.
The final card in our fab five is this 1952 Dom DiMaggio which featured the youngest of the three major league center fielder brothers. Dominic was quite the fly chaser and had a ton of range in the outfield. While his numbers do not seem to justify the Hall of Fame talk some used to float around, there are many who believe he was unfairly overshadowed by his brother Joe.
Whether or not you believe the younger DiMaggio was Hall of Fame caliber, there is little doubt this is among the few cards of the “Little Professor” during his career and this makes a nice conversation starter when friends come over. It’s popular so you might have to be patient before finding an EX example for $50-60.
Click here to see 1952 Topps cards of all five players for sale on eBay.