Some of the highest grade 1952 Topps cards have great stories behind them. Many of those involve major finds.
In 1986, Alan Rosen, known as Mr. Mint in hobby circles, was invited to a man’s home. No doubt expecting to see the usual nicks and dings older cards often displayed, Rosen was shocked to find the man bringing out a silver tray full of dozens of 1952 Topps cards including a stack of three dozen Mickey Mantle cards. It seems the father of the man with the cards had worked at a toy company back in the 1950s and the cards were used as prizes. The leftovers stayed in the family, preserved in gorgeous mint condition and inside the original case. Rosen paid the man $90,000 according to long-time collector Marshall Fogel who wrote about it on a hobby message board several years ago.
Rosen put the higher grade 1952 Topps Mantle cards up for sale at $3500 but found few buyers. The others were $2000. He eventually lowered the price on the high grade Mantles. The find yielded the only PSA 10-graded 1952 Topps Mantle, likely now the second most valuable baseball card in the world. Fogel owns it. He paid $121,000 for it several years ago after it first sold for $8,000 in the late 1980s. Some of the other high-grade Mantle cards now selling for $100,000 and up also came from the Rosen find.
In the early 90s, the only PSA 10 graded 1952 Topps Andy Pafko (card #1) came out of an unopened pack find at a hobby shop. It was believed to have originally come from an unopened pack find in Seattle.
One interesting note about the 1952 Topps first series: the first 80 cards can be found with black blacks. Topps began the printing process with that color but found it to lack excitement so they switched to red to liven up the backs. The first series can be found with black or red backs with the black backs selling for a bit of a premium today.