One of the most Iconic Baseball Card Sets in History

1952 Topps Al Zarilla Card

The 1952 Topps Al Zarilla baseball card, card number 70, is a notable piece of baseball memorabilia that has captivated collectors for decades. Al Zarilla, a skilled Major League Baseball player, enjoyed a successful career as an outfielder. This article delves into Zarilla's personal life, his career statistics, and the value of the 1952 Topps Al Zarilla card.

Al Zarilla: The Man Behind the Card

Born on May 1, 1919, in Los Angeles, California, Alfonso Ramon "Al" Zarilla was the son of Mexican immigrants. Growing up, Zarilla developed a strong passion for baseball, which ultimately led him to pursue a professional career. Despite facing adversity as a Mexican-American, Zarilla persevered and became an essential player for the teams he represented throughout his career.

Nicknamed "Zeke" and "The Red Menace" due to his red hair, Zarilla married the love of his life, Mary, and together they had three children. Zarilla remained devoted to his family throughout his life, even as he traveled and played baseball. After his retirement, Zarilla and his wife settled down in St. Louis, where he focused on spending time with his family and friends.

Al Zarilla's MLB Career Stats

Al Zarilla's Major League Baseball career spanned from 1943 to 1953, with notable stints with the St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox, and the Chicago White Sox. The left-handed hitter and thrower excelled as an outfielder and contributed significantly to his teams' successes. Below are some key stats from his MLB career:

• Games Played: 1,233

• Batting Average: .276

• Hits: 1,084

• Home Runs: 61

• Runs Batted In (RBIs): 456

• Runs Scored: 504

• Doubles: 207

• Triples: 57

• Stolen Bases: 34

• Walks: 402

• Strikeouts: 322

Zarilla's notable accomplishments include:

• 3-time All-Star selection (1948, 1950, 1951)

• Led the American League in triples in 1948 with 17

• Finished 22nd in the American League MVP voting in 1948

The 1952 Topps Al Zarilla Card: A Vintage Collectible

The 1952 Topps Al Zarilla card holds significant value due to its vintage nature, the player it features, and the Topps brand. In the early 1950s, Topps began producing baseball cards that quickly gained popularity among collectors. The company used a more colorful and artistic approach to card design, incorporating the player's photograph, team logo, and facsimile signature. This innovative design helped Topps stand out in the market and become a prominent baseball card producer.

The Al Zarilla card is part of the 1952 Topps baseball set, which is considered one of the most iconic and sought-after card sets in the hobby. The set is notable for its striking designs and the inclusion of several legendary players, such as Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, and Willie Mays. The 1952 Topps Al Zarilla card is part of the first series of cards within the set, which were released in smaller quantities than subsequent series, making it a rarer find.

Value of the 1952 Topps Al Zarilla Card

The value of the 1952 Topps Al Zarilla card depends on several factors, including the card's condition, rarity, and demand among collectors. The Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) grading system plays a significant role in determining the card's value. Cards with higher grades (such as PSA 8 or 9) typically command higher prices due to their excellent condition. 

The 1952 Topps Al Zarilla card has experienced appreciation in value over the years. While not as valuable as cards featuring superstar players, it remains a desirable collectible for vintage card enthusiasts and Al Zarilla fans. The value of the card can range from around $50 for a low-grade example (PSA 1-2) to over $1,000 for a high-grade example (PSA 8-9). It is essential to note that card values can fluctuate, and these figures may not represent the current market value.

Factors That Impact the Value of the 1952 Topps Al Zarilla Card

1. Card Condition: The card's condition has a significant impact on its value. Cards with sharp corners, vibrant colors, and no creases or surface wear are more desirable and valuable. Cards with lower grades will have a lower market value.

2. Rarity: As previously mentioned, the Al Zarilla card is part of the first series of the 1952 Topps set. These cards were produced in smaller quantities than subsequent series, making them harder to find and increasing their value.

3. Demand: The demand for a specific card among collectors also impacts its value. While Al Zarilla may not have the same level of popularity as Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays, his card still holds appeal for vintage card collectors and those interested in the history of the game.

4. Grading: Obtaining a professional grade from a reputable company like PSA or SGC can significantly impact the card's value. Cards with higher grades are considered more valuable, as they reflect a better overall condition.

The 1952 Topps Al Zarilla card remains an essential piece of baseball history, representing a skilled player who contributed significantly to the game during his career. With its vibrant design and inclusion in the iconic 1952 Topps set, this card holds significant value and appeal for collectors. While not as valuable as some other cards in the set, the Al Zarilla card is a cherished collectible that reflects the passion and dedication of a talented player who overcame adversity to make his mark on the baseball field.

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