
#1




Info on print runs for 1952 topps?
I did a search to try and find the print runs for 52 topps and came across a post at old baseball cards that I wanted to understand, but the terminology and math got lost on me. Couple of questions I walked away with:
 what does it mean if a card is a single or double print? I'm assuming that means there would be more of a double print card than of a single print...right!?  I searched probably 20 different sites trying to find even a decent estimate of the number of printed cards in the 52 topps set (i.e. there are 10,000 of each card, or 20,000 of the low numbers and 5,000 of the high numbers, etc.). Does anybody know if articles like this are out there...I certainly didn't find anything. Thanks!
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 One families journey in card collecting, including the attempt to build a set of the most iconic baseball card set ever...1952 Topps! 2 down...405 to go! http://journeyto407.wordpress.com 
#2




1952
I do not have any print run numbers for the 1952 set. A double print card is one that appeared twice on a full print run of a particular sheet, so there were originally more of them than single print cards.
The high number cards in the 1952 set tend to be the most expensive cards to aquire ( putting aside the "Canadian" gray backs or the Campos or House variants). There were probably fewer of them made and or sold since they were released late in the season. Legend has it that many unsold cards were dumped/destroyed. Three fortunate DP high numbers are the Mantle, the Robinson and Thompson. But because of their star status or popularity all 3 are in high demand and expensive. And, as is often true of DPs, they differ is small ways from each other and are thus variations, such that you need two of each for a master 1952 set 
#3




If you look at some of the 1952 Topps double prints (i.e., the Mantle), you'll notice minor differences between the cards. My understanding is that when Topps printed that series, each printing run (not sure how's my sheets it took for each series) would contain 2 Mantles on it and one of the single print cards. So, if the series was printed on one sheet, Mantle would appear in two locations on the sheet while others only once. Theoretically, there should be exactly twice as many of each double print made as a result.
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Mantle Master Set  as complete as it is going to get Yankees Game Used Hat Style Run (19232017): 57/60 (missing 2008/9 holiday hats & 2017 Players Weekend) 
#4




I don't think you'll ever see any print runs on many cards unless it's new stuff that's numbered......I don't even know how you'd throw some number at the 1950's and 1960's Topps but I can assure you that if the number of dealers at the National with those cards is any indication, there were bazillions of 1950's/1960's Topps cards printed. Remember, they were effectively the only game for many of those years other than the Bowman run and the Fleer foray in the early 1960's. All the way up until 1981.
Newer Topps cards were printed on sheets of 132 cards....not sure about the larger 19521956 format. With 132 cards per sheet, you have 132,264,396,528,660,792,etc. Any time you had a different number than that in a set, you had either blank cards or Topps would duplicate a card in that blank spot to fill up a full 132 card sheet. Many of the 1970's sets had 660 cards in them. Earlier Topps sets were put out in serieslike 5,6,7 series that typically had 66 or 132 cards in a series. In a 66 card series, you'd have two of each card on the sheet. In a 132 card series, one of each card on a sheet. A lot of research has gone into price guides identifying which cards are doubleprints and how many cards were printed within series, etc. Most of the work was done from finding full sheets of cards from those respective years and probably people looking through Topps or Gelman's archives out there. 
#5




I always thought based on simple math the first series has 80 cards so a possible 3 to a sheet, would give a total of 240 cards. The 3rd series has 60 cards would be four to a sheet giving the same total 240 count. I guess I didn't account for dp or sp cards?
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"Trolling Ebay right now" © NEED THE FOLLOWING 1952 topps G TO VGEX (TONS TO TRADE, HIGHS LOWS, VARIATIONS, ERRORS) 322 jackson 328 borkowski 345 white 347 adcock 354 Hatfield 386 yuhas 399 frisley 403 miller 
#6




Except the sheets were 100 card sheets, and maybe printed an actual two sheets wide so 80 with 20 double prints, or a total of 200 with 80 double prints and 20 triple prints.
They went to 110 card sheets by 56, and double wide 132 card sheets 5758 (Not sure about 57) Steve B 
#7




check out this article: http://www.oldbaseball.com/refs/5253printing.html

#8




Quote:
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 One families journey in card collecting, including the attempt to build a set of the most iconic baseball card set ever...1952 Topps! 2 down...405 to go! http://journeyto407.wordpress.com 
#9




There is a way to roughly figure this. Bob Lemke deciphered the figures in the FTC case against Topps in the 60's and found they sold $800,000 worth of cards with gum in 1952. There would have been a small fraction of cards sold without gum as well in cellos and vending, maybe another 34%. So lets call it $825,000. They sold their cards to jobbers at 60% of retail, so 825,000/60 *100 = $1,375,000.
The 6 card nickel packs screw it up a bit so maybe instead of multiplying by 100 (a penny per card) we use 110 and get 151,500,000 cards. There are DP's but if you figure the semi highs were produced at half the rate of the low numbers and the high numbers the same as the semi's (which I think was how they did it), then the first four series count twice as much as the last two, so 12 series worth of cards. So approximately 25 Million cards per four low numbered series counts and 12.5 million apiece for the last two. I know the series counts vary but each was a separate run and since they were printed 200 at a time I think the number of individual cards still holds. So I figure 250,000 of each "slot" then in each of the four low number series and 125,000 per slot for the last two were printed if my math is correct. Roughly speaking. One of you math majors can do the ciphering on the DP's and individual series if you like. Bob's link, with figures for other years and companies as well: http://boblemke.blogspot.com/search?q=bowman+sales Last edited by toppcat; 07012014 at 05:01 PM. 
#10




Quote:
__________________
 One families journey in card collecting, including the attempt to build a set of the most iconic baseball card set ever...1952 Topps! 2 down...405 to go! http://journeyto407.wordpress.com 
#11




Quote:
__________________
 One families journey in card collecting, including the attempt to build a set of the most iconic baseball card set ever...1952 Topps! 2 down...405 to go! http://journeyto407.wordpress.com 
#12




I'm not buying it
No offense to Dave and Bob ... but those numbers don't pass the smell test.
IF there were 151,500,000 total cards sold .... that would mean on AVERAGE (ignore DP and SP, which is the wrong way to think about it anyway, for a minute) that 372,236 copies were printed for every single card in the set. And actually, it has to be more than this, because there are uncut sheets that were not sold ... and cards which were given away out of the back of the trucks ... and most famously cards dumped in the harbor. Now let's look at population reports of graded cards. We know that PSA has graded 1,194 Mickey Mantle cards, and SGC has graded another 346. There are probably a few more of these in random holders, or still raw ... but there aren't going to be that many ... so it's pretty generous to say that roughly 2,000 Mickey Mantles have been graded (by all the services). And then let's remember that Mantle was a DP for his series ... meaning that if he was a single print he would have about 1,000 cards. And that's still high when we look at 563 for Mathews, 432 for Dickey, 455 for Reese, 522 for Campy, etc. Now we know that large quantities of the high numbers were never distributed ... but we know that there should have been roughly 100,000 (1,000*100 players(counting Mantle, Jacke and bobby twice)) of the final series cards distributed. This number may be low given that many cards got thrown away ... so for giggles ... let's double this already generous number and say 200,000 high numbers were distributed. That means that instead of an average of 372,236 per card, we're now looking at 488,065 per non high number card ((151,500,000 200,000)/310. [And even we tripled my estimate for high numbers distributed, you're still talking about 475,000+ cards per player.] Out of this half million copies per card, we have 1,448 graded Willie Mats cards at PSA and another 309 at SGC. Now there are a lot of ungraded Mays' cards out there ... but if we multiply this by 4 (to be generous) you're saying that there are 8,000 copies in existence today. So you're trying to tell me ... that Willie Mays ... one of the most popular players of that era .... had 480,000 cards thrown away by parents ... and only 8,000 now remain? That means that only 1.6% of the Mays that were originally printed survived. Sorry. Those numbers just don't pass the smell test to me. (And lest you want to say ... well, maybe not 1.6% survived ... but I could see 5% ... that would mean that 160,000 Mays cards were originally printed ... not the 488,065 claimed above. And if you start going up from 5% ... this looks even more ridiculous). Cheers, Patrick Last edited by SMPEP; 07022014 at 03:33 PM. 
#13




A follow up
Oh, and on the SP versus DP issue ... that is a nonensical term with regard to this set.
You could talk about SP and DP per SERIES ... but not across the whole set ... because there were different amounts of each series printed/distributed. But if you really want to talk about this you should be comparing DPs to TPs and QPs per SERIES ... because there is no such thing as a SP in this set (actually it is mathematically possible for a SP in the first series, but statistically it is very unlikely). Cheers, Patrick 
#14




Actually I was a little low, it's more like 30 Million per low numbered series and 15 Million apiece for the higher two to get to the overall figure. That brings us back to about 150 Million total. The yield is then 300,000 per slot in the first four series and 150,000 in the last two.
Patrick the question was print runs, not surviving cards and the sales figures came from evidence introduced at the FTC hearings, so what sort of smell test would you want? I mean I could randomly throw out numbers like you just did...... Last edited by toppcat; 07022014 at 05:09 PM. 
#15




Numbers
I remember reading a lot of FTC cases about Topps sales and sales practices in researching whether Topps really took any legal action to stop the 1963 Fleer offering. To the best I know, they did not. I do not still have copies of those cases and do not recall sales or production numbers, but there were some as there were several FTC cases over a long period involving reviews of complaints about or by Topps, Bowman and Fleer about packaging and sale of baseball cards with another product, usually gum or candy on an exclusive basis. I do know a lot of Topps sales and production info show up in some of those cases as a result of FTC subpoenas .
Separately I find the question of what the survival rate is for Topps cards from 1952, or any older year to be an interesting one. I wonder if there has been any statistical analysis of that 
#16




Dave
Not sure if we're talking past each other here ... you just claimed 300,000 per slot for Series 14 and 150,000 per slot for series 56 ... but that's not what I'm talking about.
How many of each card does this mean were distributed? If you take 150 million cards and divide by 407 ... that's 368,551 per card on average. That isn't some number I made up. It's just the math. Now that number doesn't work because some cards were printed on the sheets more often than others. Some series were distributed more than others. But in essence, for your total number of cards printed to be correct, you have to claim that half million Bob Feller (for example) cards were printed. For that to be true .... we'd have to have single digit (low single digit) surviving rates for these cards. I can concede that that type of survival rate is possible for the high numbers (given most were dumped). I'm not buying it for the rest of the set. What seems likely is that the number from the case is inaccurate. Maybe it included more than cards. Not sure, but those totals just don't match the reality (99 out of 100 kids did not have their cards thrown away). Cheers, Patrick 
#17




And ...
... oh and ironically ... the survival rate for the high numbers is likely higher than the other series. Why? Because your number is distributed, not printed. The printed survival rate will be very low. But the distributed surviving rate is likely to be equal (or better becayse there were fewer and kids saved on of each example?).

#18




You should probably read my original post again.

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