The 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson represents the first Topps card issued of the immortal Brooklyn second baseman. It is also #312, one of the rare 1952 Topps high numbers. This makes the 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson one of the most desired cards, next to Mantle, in the 1952 Topps baseball series.
Prices range from $500 for a lower grade example to $2,000 and up for cards in better condition. Near mint, graded Robinsons now sell for $3,500 to $4,000. Most all 1952 Topps Robinson cards in the marketplace are graded and authenticated.
Robinson had, of course, already established himself as a star before Topps signed him to a contract for 1952. As the reverse of the card indicates, he won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1947 (when he played first base for the Dodgers) and MVP in 1949. By 1952, he was already a three-time All Star and had set a National League fielding record (.992) for second basemen in 1951. Robinson carried a lifetime .320 batting average into the 1952 season, and his aggressive baserunning and stellar fielding brought an intensity that has rarely been duplicated on the diamond.
The Robinson was one of the three “double-printed” cards of 1952 Topps high numbers #311-407. Cards were printed in sheets of 100, and Topps printed #311-313 twice. These three double-printings include Robinson—as well as Mickey Mantle and Bobby Thomson, who had kept Robinson and his Dodgers out of the 1951 World Series. (Robinson and his Dodgers would have to wait until 1955 for a world championship.) The double-printing, however, has not affected values of collectability of the Mantle, Robinson or Thomson cards.
The 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson is the first card that Topps issued of the man who broke the color barrier in major league baseball. Amazingly, it didn’t make the list of the best Topps cards of all-time as voted on by collectors and fans a few years ago. Its high number status, and its relationship to the Mantle and Thomson cards, creates a high level of collectability for this card. It is truly one of the gems of Topps’ most famous baseball card set. You can see a few for sale on eBay here.