The 1952 set may get more attention, but most collectors of 1950s baseball cards will point to the one issued the next year as the better effort. Now, one of the highest graded 1953 Topps sets ever pieced together is about to go up for sale.
The fourth best currently active set on PSA’s Set Registry will be offered by Heritage Auctions next month, where it’s expected to sell for $600,000 or more.
All but two cards in the set are graded 8, 8.5 or 9. The Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays cards have been graded Near Mint 7.
The 274-card set is a condition sensitive favorite of those who appreciate the hand painted images that were used to create the cards. Several artists worked on the project for Topps, which was battling with Bowman for the pennies and nickels of a mostly young audience of collectors. The two companies took totally different approaches–Bowman using high quality photographs with no text on the front and its younger rival opting to turn the players’ images into paintings created by several artists.
Among the 91 cards in the ’53 Topps set graded Mint 9 are Roy Campanella, Eddie Mathews, Bob Feller, Early Wynn, Pee Wee Reese, Monte Irvin, Johnny Mize, Enos Slaughter and Ralph Kiner. The Satchel Paige, Hoyt Wilhelm and George Kell cards are among the 88 cards carrying an 8.5 rating. A total of 93 others are graded PSA 8 including the #1 card, Jackie Robinson. Only nine Robinson cards are graded higher than the one in the set being offered by Heritage.
The set is part of the Heritage Winter Platinum Night Auction, which is set to open Feb. 3. The two session auction will conclude on Feb. 25 and 26.