A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card is valued at life-changing money for most of us. In the worst condition, The Mick commands $40,000. A PSA 9, on a grading scale of 1-10, recently sold for 5.2 million dollars. How much would a pack-fresh Mantle fetch? Given that potential pull, we’re not even sure what the cost of buying into a pack break of 1952 Topps baseball cards would be! We may never know the break price but one thing is certain: we do know that there are sealed packs! In our latest edition of The Most Impressive Unopened Finds comes EIGHT sealed packs of ‘52 Topps baseball.
While this sounds improbable, back in 1952 a TON of unopened Topps product was dumped into the Atlantic Ocean. Baseball cards were released in series that year, the first big release Topps conjured up. By releasing cards in series, Topps could continue selling packs during the entire year. If Topps released all cards in one series, kids would build a set after a few weeks and never need to buy cards later in the Summer months. If card numbers 1-100 were released in April, and cards 2-200 were released in May, kids are still picking up packs searching for their favorite players in May. Good idea, right? The problem was that when Fall rolled around and Topps was releasing the 6th series, kids were more interested in the new football cards on the shelves! Not being able to sell the later series, Topps simply disposed of the cards right into the water.
Here we are 70 years later. We know most high number cards are in the bottom of the ocean, and all low-numbered cards in packs HAD to have been opened by now. You would think so. However, Baseball Card Exchange, a company known for having one of the biggest catalogs of unopened material, made the hobby stir at the 2019 National when they displayed a brick of EIGHT sealed 1952 Topps packs! The price tag at the show was $575,000. This price was before the recent “boom” of cards that took place in 2020, as well. The buyer wanted to remain anonymous and the price wasn’t revealed – only that it was part cash and trade.
We checked the PSA population report for 1952 Topps baseball cards packs and we see only 20 have been graded. A collector now sits on 8 packs. Oh my.
So. Many. Questions. We’d love to know where the packs originated from! The big question is – would you ever open the packs? We have zero will power. “Maybe just one pack” turns into all eight. Selfishly, we hope at least one pack surfaces and is used for card breaks. Just imagine buying into a break of a 1952 Topps baseball pack! What treasures will be unearthed that day?