1953 Topps Baseball Cards

1953 Topps Baseball Cards


Product Details

User Rating:

The follow-up to the famed 1952 Topps set, 1953 Topps Baseball does not match the iconic set, but is a worthy successor thanks to an attractive design and strong checklist. Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Yogi Berra and Willie Mays are the most popular and valuable options.

The beautiful 1953 Topps Baseball 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 of them resembling true miniature works of art. While every collector has their own opinion on what constitutes the "best" vintage Topps set, few can argue that 1953 is among the most beautiful in terms of sheer aesthetic value.

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 1

Had it not been for a decisive legal victory for Topps, the 1953 Topps Baseball set may have not been produced. The Bowman Gum Company and it's parent company, Philadelphia-based Haelan Laboratories, originally 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 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 late-summer sales performance that reportedly resulted in the destruction of thousands of unsold cards in 1952.

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 2 1953 Topps Baseball Cards 3

Each 1953 Topps Baseball card features a solid white border and displays the player's name, position, and team, along with a large team logo. In addition, the cards include one of two banner areas on the bottom of the card to house the details. American League players have a bright red banner, while National League players utilize a black version. This solid color border is often the site of the most noticeable wear as it bleeds right to the edge of the card itself.

The player's 1952 and lifetime statistics are laid out on the reverse of each 1953 Topps Baseball card. Biographical player data and a short write-up are also found. Finally, each card features a "Dugout Quiz" with trivia questions and a cartoon.

The entire 1953 Topps Baseball product run was released in multiple waves, including Series 1 (#1-85), Series 2 (#85-165), Series 3 (#166-220) and Series 4 (#221-280). Early set collectors would have been thoroughly confused and frustrated by the numbering system as ten of the cards from Series 1 and 2 weren't printed with the others and instead released in a later series.

As if this wasn't enough to confuse unknowing collectors, several cards from Series 4 were never produced (#253, 261, 276, 268, 271, and 275). These printing issues were a result of the still-lingering problems related to player contracts and the Bowman lawsuit.

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 4

Following the trend for the period and due to the size of printing sheets employed, some 1953 Topps Baseball 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.

Among the notable single-print subjects are 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).

Similar to many other vintage releases, the first and last cards in 1953 Topps Baseball carry a premium. Those card numbers were always the ones to suffer additional creasing and edge wear as a result of the dreaded rubber band used by children to hold their collection together. This increased value is further enhanced because card #1 is none other than legendary Hall of Fame player Jackie Robinson. While not a star player, the final subject in the set, Milt Bolling (#28), also carries a premium due to condition rarity and the fact that the card was also single-printed.

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 5

Although rare, advertising panels were also distributed separately for 1953 Topps Baseball. Featuring three different uncut panels, each with three subjects, the large cards also include an ad for the product on the back.

In 1991, the Topps Company reissued the 1953 Topps Baseball set as an Archives 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.

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 6

Key Cards

Key 1953 Topps Baseball Cards

Click on the images or listings to shop for cards on eBay. 

#82 Mickey Mantle

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 27

#1 Jackie Robinson

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 28

#244 Willie Mays

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 29

#104 Yogi Berra

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 30

#220 Satchell Paige

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 31

#207 Whitey Ford

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 32

#147 Warren Spahn

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 33

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 6

Set Checklist

1953 Topps Baseball Set Checklist

Series 1: #1-85, Series 2: #85-165, Series 3: #166-220, Series 4: #221-280.
Cards #253, 261, 276, 268, 271, and 275 do not exist. DP = double print.
1953 Topps Baseball Cards 55

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

Advertising Panels Set Checklist

3 cards.
1953 Topps Baseball Cards 56

Johnny Mize - Clem Koshorek - Toby Atwell
Jim Hearn - Johnny Groth - Sherm Lollar
Mickey Mantle - Johnny Wyrostek - Sal Yvars

1953 Topps Baseball Cards 6

User Reviews

  1. One of my favorite sets of the 1950’s, the 1953 Topps set is a difficult set to complete, with cards from the last series (#221-280) tough to find. It took me more than 20 years to complete the set. Fortunately, I completed the 1953 set in the year 2000. I was lucky to have found someone who sold me the ’53 Mantle, which enabled me to complete the ’53 set. Mantle was always more expensive than any other card back then.

    Review This Product

    Rate this product from 1 to 5 stars using the following rating scale:
    1 Star - Avoid this product like the plague
    2 Stars - Below Average Product
    3 Stars - Average Product
    4 Stars - Excellent Product
    5 Stars - Incredible Product

    Please explain your rating below.