1953 Topps Baseball Cards

1953 Topps Baseball Cards


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The 1953 Topps Baseball set consists of a total of 274 cards. The beautifully handcrafted player portraits display some of the most vibrant colors and realism ever used in a trading card set to that point in time. The cards are slightly over-sized, measuring 2-5/8" x 3-3/4" with each and everyone of them resembling true miniature works of art. While every collector has their own opinion on what constitutes the "best" vintage Topps set, few argue that 1953 is the most beautiful in terms of sheer aesthetic value.

Had it not been for a decisive legal victory for Topps, the set may have not been produced. The Bowman Gum Company and it's parent company, Philadelphia-based Haelan Laboratories had filed a lawsuit challenging Topps over player contract violations. Fortunately for collectors, the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case and Topps proceeded with production. Originally planned as a 280-card set, the last six (6) cards were never printed resulting in the 274-card set as it exists today. Much smaller than the previous year's offering of 407-cards, the Topps company was fearful of a repeat sales performance that resulted in the destruction of several thousands of cards that went unsold in the late summer and early fall of 1952.

Each of the cards themselves featured a solid white border and displayed the player's name, position, and team, along with a large team logo. In addition, each card featured one of two banner areas on the bottom of the card to house the above details. American league players have a bright red banner, and those of National League players used a black version. This solid color border is often wear any edge wear will be most noticeable as it bleeds right to the edge of each card itself. On the reverse of each card, the player's 1952 and lifetime statistics are laid out for early Sabrmetric fans. Biographical player data and a short write-up are also included. Each card also featured a "Dugout Quiz" with trivia questions and the always popular whimsical cartoons.

The entire product run was released in four (4) separate series; Series 1- card #'s 1-85, Series 2- card #'s 85-165, Series 3- card s 166-220, and  Series 4- card #'s 221-280. Early set collectors would have been thoroughly confused and frustrated by the numbering system as ten (10) of the cards from Series 1-2 weren't printed with the others and instead moved to later series. As if this wasn't enough to drive unknowing collectors crazy, the following cards from Series 4 were never produced; #'s 253, 261, 276, 268, 271, and 275. These printing issues were a result of the still lingering issues related to player contracts and the Bowman lawsuit.

As was custom for the period and due to the size of printing sheets employed, some cards were single printed while others were double printed. While not always a conscious effort on the part of the manufacturer, certain star player cards ended up being single-printed resulting in scarcity and increased values for those cards. Included in the 1953 single prints are cards of cards of Pee Wee Reese (#76), Mickey Mantle (#82), Billy Martin (#86), Yogi Berra (#104), Phil Rizzuto (#114), Warren Spahn (#147), and the high-number rookie cards of Jim Gilliam (#258) and Johnny Podres (#263).

The sets' first and last cards also carry a premium. Those card numbers were always the ones to suffer the creasing and edge wear as a result of the dreaded rubber band used by children to hold their collection together. Adding to this fact is that card #1 is none other than legendary Hall of Famer, Jackie Robinson. Card #280 of Milt Bolling, while not a star player still carry a premium due to condition rarity and the fact that it was also single printed.

In 1991, the Topps Company, reissued the set in an 'Archive' edition. This tribute is a true testament to the immense popularity of the set, still regarded as one of the most beautiful ever made. Relying on illustrations rather than photography, this under appreciated technique has been utilized through the years by all trading card manufacturers with various art editions. However, it is the 1953 Topps Baseball set that deserves the credit for first perfecting the medium.

Key Cards

Key 1953 Topps Baseball Cards:

Jackie Robinson #1

1953 Topps Jackie Robinson

Mickey Mantle #82

1953 Topps Mickey Mantle

Willie Mays #244

1953 Topps Willie Mays

Satchell Paige #220

1953 Topps Satchell Paige

Hoyt Wilhelm #151

1953 Topps Hoyt Wilhelm

Johnny Podres RC #263

1953 Topps Johnny Podres

Top eBay Listings

1953 Topps #14 Clem Labine Brooklyn Dodgers PSA 4 VG EX centered



1953 Topps Baseball Card #201 Paul LaPalme - Pittsburgh Pirates - EX

1953 Topps Baseball #58 George Metkovich - Pittsburgh Pirates - VG-EX

5354* 1953 Topps # 184 Hal Brown Vg-Ex (looks nicer)

5003* 1953 Topps # 208 Jim Wilson Vg-Ex

5368* 1953 Topps # 215 Gene Conley Vg-Ex

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Set Checklist

1953 Topps Baseball Cards Card Checklist

Card #Player Name
1Jackie Robinson Double Print
2Luke Easter Double Print
3George Crowe
4Ben Wade
5Joe Dobson
6Sam Jones
7Bob Borkowski Double Print
8Clem Koshorek Double Print
9Joe Collins
10Smoky Burgess SP
11Sal Yvars
12Howie Judson Double Print
13Conrado Marrero Double Print
14Clem Labine Double Print
15Bobo Newsom Double Print RC
16Peanuts Lowrey Double Print
17Billy Hitchcock
18Ted Lepcio Double Print
19Mel Parnell Double Print
20Hank Thompson
21Billy Johnson
22Howie Fox
23Toby Atwell Double Print
24Ferris Fain
25Ray Boone
26Dale Mitchell Double Print
27Roy Campanella Double Print
28Eddie Pellagrini
29Hal Jeffcoat
30Willard Nixon
31Ewell Blackwell
32Clyde Vollmer
33Bob Kennedy Double Print
34George Shuba
35Irv Noren Double Print
36Johnny Groth Double Print
37Eddie Mathews Double Print
38Jim Hearn Double Print
39Eddie Miksis
40John Lipon
41Enos Slaughter
42Gus Zernial Double Print
43Gil McDougald
44Ellis Kinder SP
45Grady Hatton Double Print
46Johnny Klippstein Double Print
47Bubba Church Double Print
48Bob Del Greco Double Print
49Faye Throneberry Double Print
50Chuck Dressen Double Print
51Frank Campos Double Print
52Ted Gray Double Print
53Sherm Lollar Double Print
54Bob Feller Double Print
55Maurice McDermott Double Print
56Gerry Staley Double Print
57Carl Scheib
58George Metkovich
59Karl Drews Double Print
60Cloyd Boyer Double Print
61Early Wynn SP
62Monte Irvin Double Print
63Gus Niarhos Double Print
64Dave Philley
65Earl Harrist
66Minnie Minoso
67Roy Sievers Double Print
68Del Rice
69Dick Brodowski
70Ed Yuhas
71Tony Bartirome
72Fred Hutchinson SP
73Eddie Robinson
74Joe Rossi
75Mike Garcia
76Pee Wee Reese
77Johnny Mize Double Print
78Red Schoendienst
79Johnny Wyrostek
80Jim Hegan
81Joe Black SP
82Mickey Mantle
83Howie Pollet
84Bob Hooper Double Print
85Bobby Morgan Double Print
86Billy Martin
87Ed Lopat
88Willie Jones Double Print
89Chuck Stobbs Double Print
90Hank Edwards Double Print
91Ebba St.Claire Double Print
92Paul Minner Double Print
93Hal Rice Double Print
94Bill Kennedy Double Print
95Willard Marshall Double Print
96Virgil Trucks
97Don Kolloway Double Print
98Cal Abrams Double Print
99Dave Madison
100Bill Miller
101Ted Wilks
102Connie Ryan Double Print
103Joe Astroth Double Print
104Yogi Berra
105Joe Nuxhall Double Print
106Johnny Antonelli
107Danny O'Connell Double Print
108Bob Porterfield Double Print
109Alvin Dark
110Herman Wehmeier Double Print
111Hankuer Double Print
112Ned Garver Double Print
113Jerry Priddy
114Phil Rizzuto
115George Spencer
116Frank Smith Double Print
117Sid Gordon Double Print
118Gus Bell Double Print
119Johnnyin SP
120Davey Williams
121Walt Dropo
122Elmer Valo
123Tommy Byrne Double Print
124Sibby Sisti Double Print
125Dick Williams Double Print
126Bill Connelly Double Print RC
127Clint Courtney Double Print RC
128Wilmer Mizell Double Print
129Keith Thomas RC
130Turk Lown Double Print
131Harry Byrd Double Print RC
132Tom Morgan
133Gil Coan
134Rube Walker
135Al Rosen Double Print
136Ken Heintzelman Double Print
137John Rutherford Double Print
138George Kell
139Sammy White
140Tommy Glaviano
141Allie Reynolds Double Print
142Vic Wertz
143Billy Pierce
144Bob Schultz Double Print
145Harry Dorish Double Print
146Granny Hamner
147Warren Spahn
148Mickey Grasso
149Dom DiMaggio Double Print
150Harry Simpson Double Print
151Hoyt Wilhelm
152Bob Adams Double Print
153Andy Seminick Double Print
154Dick Groat
155Dutch Leonard
156Jim Rivera Double Print RC
157Bob Addis Double Print
158Johnny Logan RC
159Wayne Terwilliger Double Print
160Bob Young
161Vern Bickford Double Print
162Ted Kluszewski
163Fred Hatfield Double Print
164Frank Shea Double Print
165Billy Hoeft
166Billy Hunter RC
167Art Schult RC
168Willard Schmidt RC
169Dizzy Trout
170Bill Werle
171Bill Glynn RC
172Rip Repulski RC
173Preston Ward
174Billy Loes
175Ron Kline RC
176Don Hoak RC
177Jim Dyck RC
178Jim Waugh RC
179Gene Hermanski
180Virgil Stallcup
181Al Zarilla
182Bobby Hofman
183Stu Miller RC
184Hal Brown RC
185Jim Pendleton RC
186Charlie Bishop RC
187Jim Fridley
188Andy Carey RC
189Ray Jablonski RC
190Dixie Walker
191Ralph Kiner
192Wally Westlake
193Mike Clark RC
194Eddie Kazak
195Ed McGhee RC
196Bob Keegan RC
197Del Crandall
198Forrest Main
199Marion Fricano RC
200Gordon Goldsberry
201Paul LaPalme
202Carlwatski RC
203Cliff Fannin
204Dick Bokelman RC
205Vern Benson RC
206Ed Bailey RC
207Whitey Ford
208Jim Wilson
209Jim Greengrass RC
210Bob Cerv RC
211J.W. Porter RC
212Jack Dittmer RC
213Ray Scarborough
214Bill Bruton RC
215Gene Conley RC
216Jim Hughes RC
217Murray Wall RC
218Les Fusselman
219Pete Runnels Error
220Satchel Paige Error
221Bob Milliken RC
222Vic Janowicz Double Print RC
223Johnny O'Brien Double Print RC
224Lou Sleater Double Print
225Bobby Shantz
226Ed Erautt
227Morrie Martin
228Hal Newhouser
229Rocky Krsnich RC
230Johnny Lindell Double Print
231Solly Hemus Double Print
232Dick Kokos
233Al Aber RC
234Ray Murray Double Print
235John Hetki Double Print RC
236Harry Perkowski Double Print
237Bud Podbielan Double Print
238Cal Hogue Double Print RC
239Jim Delsing
240Fred Marsh
241Al Sima Double Print
242Charlie Silvera
243Carlos Bernier Double Print RC
244Willie Mays
245Bill Norman
246Roy Face Double Print RC
247Mikendlock Double Print RC
248Gene Stephens Double Print RC
249Eddie O'Brien RC
250Bob Wilson RC
251Sid Hudson
252Hank Foiles RC
253Does Not Exist
254Preacher Roe Double Print
255Dixie Howell
256Les Peden RC
257Bob Boyd RC
258Jim Gilliam RC
259Roy McMillan Double Print
260Sam Calderone RC
261Does Not Exist
262Bob Oldis RC
263Johnny Podres RC
264Gene Woodling Double Print
265Jackie Jensen
266Bob Cain
267Does Not Exist
268Does Not Exist
269Duane Pillette
270Vern Stephens
271Does Not Exist
272Bill Antonello RC
273Harvey Haddix RC
274John Riddle
275Does Not Exist
276Ken Raffensberger
277Don Lund RC
278Willie Miranda RC
279Joe Coleman Double Print
280Milt Bolling RC

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