In 1983 Topps Ireland (of Tiffany fame) introduced a set that in my opinion was the greatest reprint set in history at the time.  Let’s take a trip back in our way-back time machine.  It’s 1983 and I know a lot of my readers weren’t even born yet, but I was a 12 year old chemgod, happily collecting any card I could find.  My dad stumbles across an ad in the New York Times for a reprint set of the most desired at the time 1952 Topps.

Back then we didn’t get a whole lot of reprint cards like we do today.  In fact it was pretty damn difficult to get any official reprint sets.  I’d like tot think that this was the precursor which to the Tiffany sets since those would start a year later.  The sets sold for about $35, so my dad decided, what the hell let’s get two. Here is what it looked like:

Sure the box is a bit worn, but hey its almost 30 years old.  The cards themselves were beautiful, but in order to delineate it from the original set Topps made the cards the traditional 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″  instead of the original 3 3/4″ x 2 5/8″.  Still though what a specimen when cracked open and went through.  My dad kept telling me to keep it sealed, that it would hold it’s value longer.

I wouldn’t have it though, I cracked that bad boy open and started looking at card after card. finally stopping on the Mickey Mantle that at the time was the center of the baseball card universe.  It was just such a simple yet amazing card, even as a reprint.  I remember how I used to love all the old time logos and the stars that surrounded the player’s name.  I also remember wondering if that was really what their autograph looked like.

Sadly after 1983, my interest in card collecting went into hibernation as my interest in girls took over.  It wouldn’t be until 1986 that I would get into collecting again.  As for the 1952 reprint set? It remained in a crate in my childhood closet until I moved down south.  I unearthed it as I was loading up my childhood collection and the memories started flooding back.  Sadly once I got down to my new digs, it again ended up in a crate in the closet where it would sit until I moved to my house.

Once the man room was established, the entire collection came out for prominent display including this famous reprint set.  It wasn’t until about 2008 that I started to thumb through the cards again, roughly 25 years after I first went through them.  Nothing has changed, I still love the design of the card and the fact I have almost all of them (minus the four players who wouldn’t agree to the reprinting of their card). Every time I see it now, I think about to 1983 when my dad and I got them in our grubby little hands.  I don’t think he has his anymore, at some point he sold it. I have mine though and sometime my children (when they come along) will have them too.

The 1952 set is the gateway set, the one that bridged everything before it with modern sets of today.  Anyone who collects cards knows the value of the set and it’s importance.  Even as a reprinted set it still stands apart from any other set you have ever seen.  If you are a card collector I would mark this as a must have set, even if it might set you back between $100 and $150.

Anyone else have this reprint set? What do you think of it?


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