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1953 Topps Registry question

Hi everyone:

I know there are some big-time 1953 registry guys on this board, and so I thought I'd pose a couple of questions.

Anyone have any idea why there's no 1953 Master Set listed on the registry? I know there are no scarce variations, but at the same time, there are a decent amount of cards that have either black or white printing on the reverse, where the player's vitals are. I would have thought that, with the popularity of this set, someone would have built a Master Set includinig these variations by now.

Question #2: I'm working on my set in the PSA-6 range, wherever possible. However, I've always been interested in how in some sets, there are certain commons that are extremely tough in high grade (i.e. 1961 Topps' Jim Coates, Bob Cerv or Jim Gentile). I was wondering if '53 collectors have found similar circumstances with that set? In PSA-6, I've had some trouble with Joe Nuxhall and Enos Slaughter, but I haven't really been collecting the set long enough to know if those two are truly tough cards, particularly in the mid-grade I'm collecting. I've paid premiums for a couple of high-number commons in PSA-6, but the premiums haven't really been high enough for me to think there's any high numbers that are more difficult than any others (besides the Bolling).



  • jrdolanjrdolan Posts: 2,549 ✭✭
    I'm not one of the big-time '53 guys, only #35 on the huge list of registrants, but if they do create a master set I don't think I'll join. Just completing the 274 cards in the base set will be a lifetime project! Competition for those #221-and-up cards is a b*tch. It's a small set compared to the 660 and 700-plus sets that came two decades later, but extreme popularity and condition sensitivity make this a very challenging project, IMO. If I have to collect every variation, too ....

    As for Slaughter, I know he's a short-print but I didn't have any particular trouble finding him. Maybe I lucked out.

  • JRDolan:

    That's a nice Slaughter. I haven't been able to find one that nice, but then again, I haven't been looking long.

    I started my set in August with one card. I bought most of the cards raw, starting with one big lot and then slowly bargain-hunting on EBay. Sent in a few to PSA to get a feel for how they grade that issue, and settled on the 6 range as acceptable for my taste & budget. I worked my way through it over the summer, and then I went bananas at the Fort show and bought about 30 graded cards (including Mays, Berra, and a bunch of high numbers).

    I'm now 13 cards short of completing the set, and then I've got about 40 or so cards I'd like to upgrade (including Monte Irvin, who has ink on the bak, and Phil Rizzuto, who's trimmed). My Mantle is trimmed at two corners, but it will be a long time before I replace it. I've also got about 100 cards to send in to PSA, which I'll eventually do. I figure I'll crack the top 25 in the registry - maybe the top 20 (I'm at 28 now), but I'll never get much higher than that.

    Love the set, though, and am intrigued by the black vs. white printing. Very curious about how that happened (same with the black vs. red in the 1952 set), whether it was an intentional design change or an accident caused by using multiple printers.

    I thought for sure, due to the set's popularity, that someone out there would have started a Master Set.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 28,605 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you see Twinron on the boards PM him, or find him on the 1953 Topps set registry under RON HOBBS family collection and shoot him an email. The guy is a gentleman and a first class collector all the way, He knows the 53 set through and through. He is a pleasure to talk with.
  • Al,

    I think JR got it right, it hard enough to get a basic set, a master set is insane. Plus, I don't think collectors get as fired up about variations like 53 has, with the background printing colors. Especially when it's an entire run of cards. I think master sets get popular when the variations are much rarer, as with the 69 White letters or the 56 Team Sets.

    Ron Hobbs is definitely the man to talk to, his set actually has notes about which variations he has and the condition of each variation.

    As for tough cards...mostly I can talk about the ones that are tough in 8. Just because they are tough in 8, doesn't necessarily mean they are tough in 6. Just more competion as people step down in grade. Most of the tough cards have a problem with centering. Where the majority of the cards are cut 70-30 or 80-20. Usually this centering will automatically drop them into the 6 category. I would say Wilks, Dark, Groat, Terwilliger, Hal Rice and Repulski are all tough and have the issues with centering. For high numbers, I think Miranda, McMillan, Hudson and Marsh are tough. Also, players like Cerv and Rube Walker are tougher because of their following as Yankee and Brookyn Dodger players.

    Good luck with your set, shoot me a PM if you ever have any questions. Always looking to talk about 53's. And I'm always at the Ft. Washington show, so give me a shout in March. In fact, I got to look at a fairly decent raw 53 set at the last show. I guess it was mostly EX-MT, with nice corners but issues with centering.
    Looking for:
    1953 Topps in PSA 8
    1941 Playball in PSA 8.
    1952-1955 Red Man cards in 7 and 8
    1950 Bowman in PSA 8
  • As I was about to say:

    There were 4 print runs.
    The 1st run had the stats (Home,Born,Ht., etc) on the back in black on the red background.
    The 2nd run started with black then switched to white stats, and continued with white stats for the 3rd and 4th runs.
    The 80 2nd run cards with BOTH black and white stats include #'s 10,44,61,72,81, and 86-165, but NOT #'s 94,107,131,145, and 156 (these 5 were in the 3rd run; white only).

    I don't think PSA will allow a Master set because under the new input procedures, the label must identify the black or white stats. PSA would have a greater task than they have with the 80 1952 Topps black and red backs.

    Ron Hobbs, Tallahassee, Fl
  • Guys, this is GREAT info. I'm fascinated by the '53s; I think they remain Topps' most beautiful set.

    TWINRON, it appears to me, by what you're saying, that perhaps there IS some degree of scarcity with the black stats. True? What little I've been able to find on this has indicated that there isn't. I also wasn't aware that PSA had new input procedures with the '53s - I knew about the '52s, but hadn't noticed anything on the '53s. Would this imply that newly graded black stat cards might command a premium over the white ones? If so, would you consider cracking out and resubmitting yours?

    Wherever did you get information that there were four print runs? Any clue as to the number of sheets printed in each run? Is there some documentation on the history of this set that I've missed?

    Lots of questions, sure. But I've found this board to be such a great source of info, and you're all so knowledgeable. What a great community. Used to be the only info you could glean was from other collectors at the local card shop; this internet doohicky is pretty worthwhile. image

  • Al,

    Actually Ron was saying for the Master set, PSA would have to change the procedure on labeling in the future, they currently do NOT support different flips for 53 Topps.

    And here is a good article on the print runs of 52's and 53's.

    Print Runs
    Looking for:
    1953 Topps in PSA 8
    1941 Playball in PSA 8.
    1952-1955 Red Man cards in 7 and 8
    1950 Bowman in PSA 8
  • wildcat05wildcat05 Posts: 63
    edited May 11, 2017 5:04PM
    nice set
  • As for more details...

    I don't think that the white or black stats are any rarer than the other for the 80 cards that have both. The cards that are rarer are those that are considered "SP" or "DP".

    The 4 print runs consisted of 2 100-card sheets.

    In the first 2 print runs, 40 cards were triple-printed (x3:"DPs") and 40 cards were double-printed (x2:"SPs").

    In the 3rd print run, the 5 cards left out of the 2nd print run had seven copies (x7:"DPs") and 55 cards were triple-printed (x3:also "DPs")

    In the 4th print run (#221-280), 19 cards were had five copies (x5:"DPs") and 35 cards were triple-printed (x3:"SPs"). Six (6) cards were not printed at all (#s 253,261,267,268,271,and 275). These are really rare!!!!

    Hope this helps. Ron Hobbs, Tallahassee, Fl.
  • jayhawkejayhawke Posts: 1,279 ✭✭✭
    Lelands just had a small lot of 35 '53 PSA 8. It went for sick $$$$!!
  • Dug this one up and found it an enjoyable read. Dabbling with the 53's in mid grade is becoming more and more enticing. I recently picked up a nice PSA 5 Ralph Kimer for my HOF set and that started the wheels turning.
    Stay tuned!
    Never met a Vintage card I didn't like!
  • StingrayStingray Posts: 8,844 ✭✭✭
    I do not collect 53s, but these are some nice looking 6s that are on Ebay right now.



  • I too am working on the set in midgrade (although my 53 set has taken a temporary back seat to my 72 set). I think the 53 set is Topps's most beautiful set of all time. I currently have a little less than half of the set with a weighted GPA of 5.38. Finding nice 53s at or below SMR is quite a challenge. I am working on this set on a tight budget and my goal is to finish it in PSA 5 or better by spending no more than 90% of SMR. So far with shipping included my average price paid is 89.66%.
    View my inventory of PSA Graded Cards at My Ebay Store
  • PlayBallPlayBall Posts: 463 ✭✭✭

    Thanks Stingray. Am I going to have to put you on the payroll?image

    Link to vintage board
    Bernie Carlen

    Currently collecting.....your guess is as good as mine.
  • StingrayStingray Posts: 8,844 ✭✭✭
    Those are your 53s? Those are some nice looking PSA 6s. I will be looking for my commission check in the mail after auctions end.image

  • ssdawg77ssdawg77 Posts: 1,193 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Doing a little digging regarding the set and was curious about the print variations on the back. The thread has answered my questions, but given recent changes with the 59 set and now distinguishing between backs, PSA has shown a willingness to update labels as opposite to some thoughts in this thread. Does anyone think that PSA may one day start noting the differences in print on the labels for 53 and create a Master Set category?

  • bobsbbcardsbobsbbcards Posts: 3,254 ✭✭✭

    I hope not, but if they do, let’s hope it’s a 1953 Topps Super set (i.e., like the 1959 Topps Super set with the gray/white back variations).

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