CSG Certifies Two Iconic 1952 Topps Willie Mays Cards

Posted on 9/22/2021

The ’52 Topps set is among the most sought after by collectors.

On September 22, 1969 — 52 years to the day this article posts — Willie Mays hit home run number 600 in San Diego, California, in front of a paltry crowd of only 4,779 people. He was only the second player in major league history to reach that plateau, the first being Babe Ruth.

Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG™) recently graded two examples of the iconic 1952 Topps Willie Mays card, which, in any condition, is one of the most valuable baseball cards in Topps history. For the two submissions to CSG, one card graded CSG 4.5 with sub-grades of 6 Centering, 5 Corners, 8 Edges and 4 Surface. The other card graded CSG 2.5 without sub-grades.

Click images to enlarge.

Baseball card collectors have been enamored by the massive 407-card 1952 Topps set since its release. Topps did release two smaller card sets in 1951, but it was the 1952 set that helped put Topps Chewing Gum Company on the map.

Topps definitely went big for this set, not only in size but also in style. Each player’s name was placed inside of a theater marquee with a facsimile autograph accompanied by a team logo, a first in baseball card history. For the player images, the black-and-white photos were colorized with the help of an artist so that they have a look akin to 19th century hand-colored photographs. As a result, the cards have a striking appearance unlike any other cards up until that time.

Say who, say what, say where, say hey

Willie Mays, known as the “The Say Hey Kid,” achieved many accomplishments during his 22-year Major League Baseball career and still holds records in the sport for most putouts and the most extra-inning home runs. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1979 with nearly 95% of the vote.

The 1952 Topps set is easily one of the most recognizable sets in baseball card history. With its lineup of hall of famers, unique art style and first use of team logos, it will continue to be one of the most sought after sets among collectors. Willie Mays, with that look of determination on his face, is a critical piece for any serious collector.

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