Vintage Pack Break of the Week: 1951 Topps Red Backs

The year before its 407-card debut set that turned the world of baseball card collecting on its ear forever, Topps dipped a toe into the game by producing two small issues of 52 cards.  Referred to simply as Blue Backs and Red Backs, the cards were meant to be played with as a tabletop game rather than collected and put into bike spokes.

1951 Topps Red Back packThe 1951 Topps Red Back set is easier to find, thanks to a quantity of unopened boxes that was uncovered in storage during the 1970s.  Believe it or not, most of those boxes were opened since it was well before the explosion of vintage unopened pack values.   Boxes were huge, holding a whopping 120 packs. In 2008 Robert Edward Auctions sold a box for over $11,000 and it’s likely the price would be higher today. They’re readily available in other forms though with hundreds of singles, raps and even a few packs right now on eBay.

One of those still unopened gems is the subject of our Vintage Pack Break of the Week.

This rip doesn’t take long.

Red Back packs consisted of just two cards and were sold for a penny at the time of issue.

Measuring 2” x 2 5/8”, the round bordered cards from the Red Back series include the likes of Yogi Berra, Bob Feller, Phil Rizzuto, Warren Spahn, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and tow key variatiions:  Tommy Holmes and Gus Zernial.

What’s inside this week’s break, as always sponsored by Just Collect, Inc?  Spend two minutes watching the video below and find out (if you can’t see the video, click here).

Just Collect is buying vintage unopened packs and vintage cards. See them online at They offer hundreds of fresh items via their weekly eBay auctions.