One of the most Iconic Baseball Card Sets in History
1952 Topps Ellis Kinder Card
Who was Ellis Kinder?
Born in Atkins, Arkansas, on July 26, 1914, Ellis Raymond Kinder was a standout right-handed pitcher known for his durability and consistency during the 1940s and 1950s. A stalwart of Major League Baseball (MLB), Kinder served up his pitches with style, earning the nickname "Old Folks" due to his advanced age when he started his major league career.
A late bloomer in professional baseball, Kinder did not make his MLB debut until he was 31, with the St. Louis Browns in 1946. He would then go on to pitch for the Boston Red Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chicago White Sox, and the Cleveland Indians.
Ellis Kinder's MLB Stats
Over his career, Kinder accumulated some impressive statistics:
Win-loss record: 102-71
Earned run average (ERA): 3.43
Innings pitched: 1479.2
Complete games: 56
In his most notable season, 1949, Kinder, playing for the Boston Red Sox, posted a record of 23-6 with an ERA of 3.36, which earned him the 10th place in the MVP voting.
Kinder's personal life was just as interesting as his professional career. He was known for his jovial nature and love for the game. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his spare time, and he often spoke of his deep love for his home state of Arkansas.
Kinder was married to Irene Kinder, and they had one daughter, Linda. Even after retirement, Kinder remained a big part of the baseball community, always eager to share his wisdom with younger players and fans. He passed away in 1968, leaving behind a legacy of tenacity, resilience, and an enduring love for baseball.
1952 Topps Ellis Kinder Baseball Card
In 1952, Topps produced their first major set of baseball cards, and Ellis Kinder was featured as card number 78. The design of the 1952 Topps set was revolutionary at the time, with each card featuring a player's color photo, a small action illustration, their autograph, and their statistics from the previous season on the back.
The Kinder card itself features a close-up portrait of Kinder with a cap, against a bright red background. He is depicted in a traditional pitching pose in the smaller action shot. The back of the card features a cartoon about Kinder, illustrating his pitching skill, alongside his 1951 statistics and a brief bio.
The 1952 Topps set has since become one of the most highly sought-after sets in the hobby, due to the beautiful design and the inclusion of many key players from the era, including Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays.
Estimated Value of 1952 Topps Ellis Kinder Card
The value of vintage baseball cards can vary greatly based on condition, rarity, and the player depicted. Cards in mint condition will fetch the highest prices, while cards that show signs of wear will be worth less.
As of June 2023, an ungraded 1952 Topps Ellis Kinder card in good condition might sell for around $50 to $75, depending on the condition. A card in excellent or near mint condition might fetch a price from $150 to $300. Graded cards, particularly those with a high grade from a respected card grading company like Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), can sell for much higher prices. A PSA 8 (near-mint/mint) 1952 Topps Ellis Kinder card could sell for up to $500 to $800, depending on the buyer and the market demand.
However, it is important to note that the market for vintage sports cards can be unpredictable, and prices can fluctuate. Some factors that can impact the value include the overall popularity of the player, the scarcity of the card in high-grade conditions, and trends within the baseball card market.
The Legacy of Ellis Kinder
Ellis Kinder's baseball legacy extends beyond his own impressive playing career. He is a symbol of dedication and perseverance in the sport. His late debut in the MLB serves as an inspiration to many aspiring players, showing that it's never too late to start or achieve greatness.
Kinder's 1952 Topps card holds an iconic place in the world of sports memorabilia. The image of Kinder, forever frozen in time on a piece of cardboard, serves as a tangible connection to baseball's golden era, providing fans with a piece of history that they can hold in their hands.
While the monetary value of the card can fluctuate, the historical and sentimental value of Kinder's 1952 Topps card remains priceless. Whether held by collectors, fans, or family members, this card serves as a lasting tribute to one of the game's most respected players.
In conclusion, Ellis Kinder's career in the MLB left an indelible mark on baseball history. His personal journey, characterized by tenacity and a deep love for the game, continues to resonate with fans, players, and collectors alike. And for many, owning his 1952 Topps card is more than just a collector's item — it's a piece of Kinder's enduring legacy.