New Hobby Book Details the 1952 Topps Baseball Set

It’s been said the 1952 Topps Baseball set changed the hobby landscape forever. The first baseball card issue ever produced by the bubble gum maker wowed collectors upon its arrival with its larger format (2-5/8″ wide by 3-3/4″ tall), bright colors and outstanding player selection. It also features a New York Yankees upstart named Mickey Mantle whose card (#311) has arguably surpassed the fabled 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner as the hobby’s most recognizable piece of cardboard.

To pay homage to the set and its impact on generations of baseball fans and card collectors, Collectors Universe President and CEO Joe Orlando has teamed once again with authors Tom and Ellen Zappala to produce a 248-page salute to Topps’ inaugural unveiling. Entitled Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection, the book details the most iconic postwar baseball card set in history. Complimented by colorful MLB player narratives throughout the pages, it paints a picture of what life was like for the athletes during and after WWII and how their love of baseball kept the country moving forward.

Perhaps more importantly to card aficionados, in the book’s fourth and final chapter, Orlando takes an in-depth look at the set – from its composition and variations, to its design, to its breakdown in six distinct series, to its place in America’s cultural history.

“Over the past decade, Tom and Ellen Zappala have afforded me the opportunity to work with them on a number of book projects and each one has been enjoyable for different reasons,” said Orlando. “This most recent project was extra fun to work on, in part, because they allocated more space in the book for me to dig into the vast detail of this iconic issue. When you are talking about the premier postwar baseball card set, having the appropriate amount of room to explore all of its great attributes, including its rich history, is crucial. From its key components to its variations to its place in pop culture, the 1952 Topps is cemented as one of the hobby’s true staples.”

Boasting colorful, glossy pages throughout, the book is beautifully presented and showcases each of the 407 cards that are featured in the set. It’s organized by chapters spotlighting the commons, the uncommons and the eventual Hall of Famers. Every single card front is represented and accompanied by a mini bio of the player along with his career stats. It even includes a beautiful tribute by Glenn Berger to his late father, Sy Berger, the former Topps executive who was the man behind the set’s creation.

“This book was certainly a labor of love for us because this wonderful collection brought back memories of our childhood,” added Tom Zappala. “Unlike the T206 Collection and Cracker Jack Collection, the 1952 Topps set was part of the fabric of our youth. That is what made writing the book so appealing.”

Former MLB All-Star pitcher Carl Erskine of the 1955 World Series Champion Brooklyn Dodgers had this to say about the book: “The popularity of Topps baseball cards kept the careers of player like me alive for decades after our retirement. As a player featured in the ’52 Topps set, I enjoyed reading Baseball & Bubble Gum. The stories about the players brought back memories of a great time in my life and a great time in the game of baseball.”

Zappala added: “We also owe a debt of gratitude to John Branca, the nephew of the pitching great Ralph Branca. John allowed us to use images of his complete 1952 Topps set. As many serious collectors know, his collection is one of the finest in existence, and it was very kind of him to share it in our book for the enjoyment of our readers.”

Published by Peter E. Randall, Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collectionretails for $35 and will be available for purchase starting July 1, 2020 at www.Amazon.com. It also comes as a free gift with the purchase or renewal of a PSA Collectors Club Membership (Platinum or Gold levels only) at the PSAcard.com/Store.

PSA is the world’s largest trading card, autograph and memorabilia authentication and grading service. Since 1991, PSA has examined and certified over 37 million collectibles with a combined value of over $1 billion. For more information, visit www.PSAcard.com.

News by Company & Category

Featured Auctions

(*) Indicates Auction in Progress
(*) Alt Liquid Auctions: March 29 - April 11
(*) Bagger's Auctions: April 5 - April 11
(*) Clean Sweep Auctions: March 18-April 11
(*) E & B Auctions: March 28 - April 11
(*) Fanatics Auctions: March 29 - April 11
(*) Goldin: April 2 - April 11
(*) MeiGray Auctions: March 20 - April 11
(*) NBA Auctions: March 28 - April 11
(*) Gotta Have Rock & Roll: March 20 - April 12
(*) Goldin: March 22 - April 13
(*) Mile High Card Co: March 28 - April 13
(*) SCP Auctions: March 27 - April 13
(*) 44 & More Auctions: March 17 - April 14
(*) Heritage Auctions: March 31 - April 14
(*) Icons Auctions: April 8 - April 14
(*) Pristine Auction: April 8 - April 14
(*) PWCC Marketplace: April 4 - April 14
(*) Queen City Cards: March 18 - April 14
(*) NBA Auctions: March 28 - April 15
(*) Steve Novella: April 8 - April 15
(*) Auction of Champions: April 11 - April 17
(*) RR Auction: March 22 - April 17
(*) MeiGray Auctions: April 1 - April 17-18
(*) Goldin: April 9 - April 18
(*) PWCC Marketplace: April 4 - April 18
(*) Sirius Sports Cards: April 8 - April 18
(*) Greg Morris Marketplace: April 8 - April 21
(*) Heritage Auctions: April 7 - April 21
Icons Auctions: April 15 - April 21
Pristine Auction: April 15 - April 21
(*) PWCC Marketplace: April 11 - April 21
(*) Queen City Cards: March 22 - April 21
(*) REA: April 5 - April 21
(*) MeiGray Auctions: April 1 - April 22
Fanatics Auctions: April 12 - April 22-25
Auction of Champions: April 18 - April 24
Alt Liquid Auctions: April 12 - April 25
Goldin: April 16 - April 25
(*) RR Auction: March 29 - April 25
Rockhurst Auctions: April 15 - April 25-26
(*) Heritage Auctions: April 5 - April 27
Iconic Auctions: April 17 - April 27
Heritage Auctions: April 14 - April 28
Icons Auctions: April 22 - April 28
Pristine Auction: April 22 - April 28
(*) Pristine Auction: April 1 - April 28
PWCC Marketplace: April 18 - April 28
(*) Queen City Cards: March 29 - April 28
(*) Collector Connection: April 10 - April 28
(*) Classic Auctions: April 4 - April 30
Auction of Champions: April 26 - May 1
Sirius Sports Cards: April 22 - May 2
Goldin: April 11 - May 4
MEARS Auctions: April 26 - May 4
(*) Memory Lane: April 11 - May 4
All-Star Cards: April 14 - May 5
Heritage Auctions: April 21 - May 5
RR Auction: April 19 - May 8
Gotta Have Rock & Roll: April 24 - May 10
Goldin: April 14 - May 18
2024 Full Auction Schedule