1950s Topps Baseball Cards – Which Set is the Most Popular to Collect

1953 Topps Satchell Paige - How Popular is This Set?

The classic Topps baseball cards from the 1950s still attract new collectors each year. This truly was a golden age for not only baseball, but baseball cards. Coming out of the barren baseball card wasteland that was World War II, Topps emerged on the scene with a small card game style set in 1951. The company firmly anchored themselves with the first full set in 1952. This would be the biggest baseball card set issued since the glory days of tobacco cards.

The 50s were a battle to deliver a product with Topps competing against rival Bowman over players and marketshare. Topps emerged as the clear winner and continued releasing sets for the rest of that decade that remain prized collectibles today. Which of the 1950s Topps set is the most popular? 1952 with the iconic Mickey Mantle, the 1955 with popular rookie cards of Koufax and Clemente, the sleek 1957 set or one of the others? The ranking in popularity may surprise you!

Advanced collectors have flocked to the mid-century Topps baseball cards and it is here that a very unscientific popularity poll was conducted by examining the set registries at the Big 3 grading companies : PSA, SGC, and Beckett. The number of collectors registered for each set are below. This list only includes the Basic Set and does not include collectors who also seek all variations due to inks, errors, etc.

Year    PSA    SGC    BECKETT    Total

1956    167       36      28               231
1955    164       30      25               219
1954    142       20      38               200
1957    164       17      17               198
1959    129       25      44               198
1952    144       12      17               173
1958    86         25      36               147
1953    102      22      19                143

Interestingly, the two similar horizontally designed 1956 Topps and 1955 Topps hold the two top spots. The classic and often heralded 1952 Topps set is all the way down at #6. The expensive Mantle and large size may have proved too daunting to collectors. This poll is a simple test and may not reflect those collecting habit of people that choose not to participate in the registry. To read more about each of these great Topps set, click HERE and choose a set to read more about the characteristics, stars and features of each of them. At the end of the day, don’t collect based on popularity or perceived investment value. Collect what baseball cards you like best. Sell baseball cards you don’t like. Happy collecting!