One of the most Iconic Baseball Card Sets in History
1952 Topps Andy Hansen Card
Andy Hansen, a name engraved in the hearts of baseball enthusiasts, is best remembered through Topps' card number 74, issued in 1952. This was the year when Topps baseball cards first flourished, and their unique style, design, and iconic wax packaging remain an integral part of baseball nostalgia. One of the iconic cards in this set features Hansen, a talented pitcher whose career spanned over a decade in Major League Baseball (MLB).
Born Andrew John Hansen on December 5, 1924, in Woodsville, New Hampshire, Hansen spent his early years in the small town before making his mark on the grand stage of the MLB. His professional career began with the New York Giants in 1944 before reaching its pinnacle with the Philadelphia Phillies in the mid-1950s.
As a right-handed pitcher, Hansen's statistics during his professional career reflect a determined player, known for his consistency and resilience. Some of the notable statistics from his career include:
- Ten seasons in the MLB from 1944 to 1953
- 752.2 innings pitched
- A career record of 38 wins and 50 losses
- A career Earned Run Average (ERA) of 4.42
- Achieved 288 strikeouts
- Played for teams like New York Giants (1944-1946, 1949-1950), St. Louis Cardinals (1951), and Philadelphia Phillies (1952-1953)
Outside of the ballpark, Hansen led a fulfilling personal life. He was a family man, married to Audrey Mae Shaw, with whom he had two children. Despite his commitment to the sport, Hansen always found time for his family, setting an example of work-life balance for many young players. After retiring from the MLB, Hansen relocated to his home town of Woodsville, where he lived a quieter, yet equally fulfilling life until he passed away on November 21, 1998.
Now, let's turn our attention to the star of this article - the 1952 Topps Andy Hansen card number 74. This trading card is unique as it captures the early years of Hansen's career with the Philadelphia Phillies. The card features a picture of Hansen in his Phillies uniform, with a youthful yet determined look on his face. The back of the card displays his career statistics up until 1951, encapsulating the journey of a promising player.
The 1952 Topps Baseball card set is noteworthy for being the first comprehensive set released by Topps and featuring most of the MLB players of the era. The cards were produced using a groundbreaking printing technique for the era, which produced vibrant, full-color images, a stark departure from the predominantly monochrome cards that had been prevalent previously. Card number 74 is no exception, featuring Hansen in a striking pose against a beautifully painted background.
The estimated value of a 1952 Topps Andy Hansen card can vary based on the condition of the card and market demand. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, a card in near-mint condition can fetch anywhere from $200 to $500. However, for a card in less-than-perfect condition, the price could fall below $100. Given the age and historical significance of these cards, they are a desirable piece for any baseball card collector, and their value may continue to appreciate over time.
In summary, the 1952 Topps Andy Hansen card number 74 is not merely a collectible item; it's a tangible piece of baseball history. It represents a talented player who graced the fields of the MLB, balancing his passion for the sport with his commitment to his family. And despite his passing, the legacy of Andy Hansen lives on. The card has become an enduring emblem of his career, a nostalgic relic for many baseball fans who remember the era with fondness.
The card, just like Hansen, had humble beginnings. Produced as part of the Topps' inaugural extensive baseball set in 1952, it was initially just another piece in a kid's collection. But with the passage of time, as Hansen's career unfolded and the aura of the 'Golden Era' of baseball set in, this card assumed greater significance.
Paying attention to the small details of the card, one could see a young, focused player, standing tall, looking into the distance, ready for the challenge ahead. The vibrant backdrop against Hansen's form captures the sense of optimism and aspiration, reflective of the player himself and the spirit of baseball during that time.
Over time, the card, just like its human counterpart, has weathered many storms. From the palms of young fans to the shelves of collectors, it has journeyed across the country, even as Hansen traveled from team to team. Its creases, if any, bear testimony to the games it was a part of, just as Hansen's statistics recount his performances on the field.
In the realm of sports memorabilia, the 1952 Topps Andy Hansen card is an invaluable artifact, serving as a testament to the player's commitment to the sport. It is also a tribute to the era it was a part of, a time when baseball cards were not merely collectibles, but treasures that could evoke memories of nail-biting matches and iconic players.
For collectors, owning this card means being a part of a larger narrative - one that cherishes the grit and determination of players like Andy Hansen, and the glory days of baseball when every pitch, every hit, and every catch was a thrilling spectacle. The value of the 1952 Topps Andy Hansen card, therefore, transcends monetary worth; it holds a sentimental value, steeped in the rich history of baseball, and the remarkable life and career of Andy Hansen.
In conclusion, Andy Hansen's professional career, personal life, and the 1952 Topps card number 74 paint a full picture of a man dedicated to his sport and his family. His legacy, immortalized through this iconic card, continues to inspire future generations of baseball enthusiasts. Whether held in hand or displayed proudly on a collector's shelf, this card is more than a piece of cardboard; it's a testament to the enduring spirit of baseball and the players who made the sport what it is today.