Baseball cards have been around since the 1800’s, but in the 1938 a new company was founded that’s name would become synonymous with Baseball cards.
The Topps Company is the preeminent maker of sports cards. Topps makes sports cards for Major League Baseball, National Football League, English Premiere League, Indian Premiere League, and much more. As of 2010 Topps is the only remaining company licensed to produce baseball cards of MLB players.
In 1951, Topps produced its first baseball cards in two different sets known today as Red Backs and Blue Backs. Each set contained 52 cards, like a deck of playing cards, and in fact the cards could be used to play a game that would simulate the events of a baseball game.
Topps 1952 Baseball set
In 1952 Topps made an important change to baseball cards. They made a much larger (407 total) set of baseball cards and packaging them with its signature product, bubblegum. The company also changed the dimensions of the card to 2-3/4 inches by 3-5/8 inches with square corners. (This basic format is still the standard for most sports cards produced in the United States.) The cards now had a color portrait on one side, with statistical and biographical information on the other. This set became a landmark in the baseball card industry, and today the company considers this its first true baseball card set.
One of the features that contributed significantly to Topps’ success beginning with the 1952 set was providing player statistics. At the time, complete and reliable baseball statistics for all players were not widely available, so Topps actually compiled the information itself from published box scores.
Topps 1971 Baseball set
The most sought after baseball card set.
This set was a landmark in terms of baseball card photography, as Topps for the first time included cards showing color photographs from actual games.
The cards themselves had been in color from the beginning, though for the first few years this was done by using artist’s portraits of players rather than actual photographs and until 1971, Topps used mostly portrait or posed shots.
The 1971 set was also an experiment in terms of putting photos on card backs. The 1971 set is also known for its jet black borders.
1971 Tops set
Topps 1972 Baseball set
This set had several great things about them.
197s Topps Art-Deco design
It was largest set of cards that had been made. The set included color photographs, which were used for special “In Action” cards of selected star players. These IA cards were in addition to their regular cards. The set also stands out for its artistic design, with its art-deco Peter Max-style graphics. It has been referred to as the “Magical Mystery Set” because of the hip design and a few photos of long-haired players.
Another nice feature of the set is the backs of #692, 694, 696, 700, 706 & 710 form a picture of Tom Seaver. The backs of #698, 702, 704, 708, 712, & 714 form a picture of Tony Oliva.
1972 Topps Baseball Card Set