One of the most Iconic Baseball Card Sets in History

1952 Topps Leo Kiely Card

Baseball cards have long been a popular pastime for collectors and fans alike, with some cards becoming particularly sought after due to their rarity, design, or the player they depict. One such card is the 1952 Topps Leo Kiely, card number 54. This card features a portrait of Leo Kiely, a professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues during the early 1950s. This article explores the life and career of Leo Kiely, as well as the unique features and value of his 1952 Topps card.

Leo Kiely: The Man Behind the Card

Born on November 30, 1929, in Hoboken, New Jersey, Leo Thomas Kiely was a left-handed pitcher who made his Major League Baseball debut with the Boston Red Sox on April 20, 1951. His career in the major leagues was relatively short, spanning only three years from 1951 to 1953, but he left an indelible mark in the world of baseball.

Leo Kiely MLB Stats:

• Win-Loss Record: 5-5

• Earned Run Average (ERA): 4.27

• Strikeouts: 51

• Walks: 53

• Innings Pitched: 112.2

• Games Played: 48

• Games Started: 7

• Complete Games: 1

• Shutouts: 0

• Saves: 2

Though his statistics may not have been exceptional, Kiely was a solid contributor to his team. During his time with the Red Sox, he served in various roles, including starting pitcher, relief pitcher, and even pinch-hitter. This versatility allowed him to remain an active part of the team throughout his short career.

Personal Life of Leo Kiely

Off the baseball diamond, Leo Kiely led an interesting life as well. He was a graduate of St. Michael's High School in Union City, New Jersey, where he excelled in baseball, basketball, and football. Kiely went on to attend Seton Hall University, a private Roman Catholic university in South Orange, New Jersey, before beginning his professional baseball career.

While playing for the Red Sox, Kiely married his high school sweetheart, Marie. The couple had three children together, and he was known to be a devoted husband and father. After his MLB career, Kiely continued to work in baseball, coaching and scouting for various minor league and independent league teams. He even spent some time as a minor league manager, guiding the Waterloo Hawks, a Class A affiliate of the Red Sox, in 1960. He later became a baseball coach at his alma mater, Seton Hall University.

Leo Kiely passed away on October 31, 1984, at the age of 54, after a battle with cancer. Despite his relatively brief time in the spotlight, his legacy lives on through his family and the lasting impact he had on the game of baseball.

1952 Topps Leo Kiely Card

The 1952 Topps Leo Kiely card is part of the iconic Topps Baseball Card series, which has become synonymous with baseball card collecting. The 1952 series, in particular, is known for its large, high-quality photographs and colorful design, making it one of the most sought-after sets among collectors.

Card number 54, featuring Leo Kiely, showcases a vibrant portrait of the young pitcher in his Red Sox uniform. The card's design includes a bright red background, which complements the team colors and adds to the card's visual appeal. The player's name and position are displayed prominently at the bottom of the card, while the iconic Topps logo sits in the top left corner. On the reverse side, the card features Kiely's statistics from his 1951 rookie season, as well as a short biography and a cartoon illustration.

The 1952 Topps series is known for its limited production run, which contributes to the rarity of these cards. In addition to this scarcity, many cards from the 1952 series were destroyed in a warehouse fire, further increasing their value. While the Leo Kiely card is not as famous or valuable as the legendary 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, it remains a sought-after piece for collectors, particularly those with an interest in the history of the Boston Red Sox or the early days of Topps baseball cards.

Estimated Value of the 1952 Topps Leo Kiely Card

The value of a 1952 Topps Leo Kiely card can vary greatly depending on its condition, centering, and other factors. As with all vintage baseball cards, those that have been well-preserved and show minimal wear command higher prices. Here are some estimated values for the 1952 Topps Leo Kiely card, based on condition:

• Poor to Fair Condition: $20 - $50

• Good to Very Good Condition: $75 - $150

• Excellent to Near-Mint Condition: $200 - $500

• Mint or Gem-Mint Condition: $750 - $1,500

It's important to note that these values are only estimates and can fluctuate based on market demand and other factors. For an accurate valuation, it is recommended to consult with a professional sports card appraiser or trusted dealer.

The 1952 Topps Leo Kiely card is a unique piece of baseball history, capturing a moment in time for a young player who left his mark on the game. The card's colorful design and the rarity of the 1952 Topps series make it a prized possession for many collectors. While Leo Kiely's MLB career may have been short-lived, his impact on the game, and the legacy he left behind, are commemorated through this classic baseball card.

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