One of the most Iconic Baseball Card Sets in History

1952 Topps Sam Jethroe Card

When it comes to baseball cards, few sets are more iconic than the 1952 Topps series. As the first comprehensive set of baseball cards released by the Topps Company, it has held a special place in the hearts of collectors for decades. Among the 407 cards in this set, card number 27 features Sam Jethroe, a trailblazing African-American player with a fascinating story. This article will delve into Jethroe's life, his MLB career, and the estimated value of his 1952 Topps card.

Who Was Sam Jethroe?

Samuel Jethroe, born January 23, 1917, in East St. Louis, Illinois, was a talented outfielder who broke barriers as one of the first African-American players in Major League Baseball. Nicknamed "The Jet" due to his remarkable speed on the field, Jethroe was a pioneer in breaking the color barrier, following in the footsteps of Jackie Robinson, who had shattered it just a few years prior.

Jethroe's journey to the major leagues was not an easy one. He began his professional baseball career in the Negro Leagues in 1938, playing for the Indianapolis ABCs, the Cincinnati Buckeyes, and the Cleveland Buckeyes. During his time in the Negro Leagues, he established himself as a standout player with impressive skills and a dedication to the sport. As racial integration began to take hold in MLB, Jethroe was finally given the chance to showcase his talents on a larger stage.

In 1949, Jethroe was signed by the Boston Braves and initially played for their minor league team, the Milwaukee Brewers. After a stellar season, he was called up to the majors in 1950. Jethroe played for the Braves from 1950-1952, making history as the first African-American player to suit up for the team. He later played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1954, wrapping up his major league career that same year.

Sam Jethroe's MLB Career Stats

Jethroe's time in the major leagues was relatively brief, but he made a significant impact during his tenure. His stats include:

• Games played: 442

• At-bats: 1,596

• Hits: 420

• Doubles: 71

• Triples: 16

• Home runs: 49

• Runs batted in (RBIs): 181

• Stolen bases: 98

• Batting average: .263

• On-base percentage: .337

• Slugging percentage: .425

In his rookie season, Jethroe quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with. He led the National League in stolen bases in both 1950 and 1951, swiping an impressive 35 and 35 bases, respectively. As a result of his outstanding performance, he was awarded the 1950 National League Rookie of the Year.

Estimated Value of the 1952 Topps Sam Jethroe Card

The 1952 Topps set is considered one of the most important in baseball card history, with its beautiful design and roster of legendary players. The Sam Jethroe card, number 27, is no exception. With its vibrant colors and captivating image of Jethroe preparing to swing his bat, it's a card that many collectors would love to add to their collection.

The value of a 1952 Topps Sam Jethroe card varies significantly depending on its condition. Like all vintage cards, factors such as centering, corners, surface, and overall eye appeal play a crucial role in determining the card's value . Professional grading companies, such as Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) and Sportscard Guaranty (SGC), use a scale from 1 to 10 to evaluate the condition of cards, with 10 being the highest grade possible.

Here's a general breakdown of the estimated value of a 1952 Topps Sam Jethroe card based on its graded condition:

• PSA 1 (Poor): $50 - $100

• PSA 2 (Good): $100 - $200

• PSA 3 (Very Good): $200 - $400

• PSA 4 (Very Good-Excellent): $400 - $800

• PSA 5 (Excellent): $800 - $1,500

• PSA 6 (Excellent-Mint): $1,500 - $3,000

• PSA 7 (Near Mint): $3,000 - $6,000

• PSA 8 (Near Mint-Mint): $6,000 - $12,000

• PSA 9 (Mint): $12,000 - $24,000

• PSA 10 (Gem Mint): $24,000 - $50,000+

Please note that these are only rough estimates, and actual selling prices may vary depending on factors such as market demand, scarcity, and recent sales. Additionally, the value of the card can be impacted by factors such as population reports, which detail how many cards of a specific grade exist in the market.

Sam Jethroe's story is one of perseverance and talent, breaking barriers as an African-American player in the early years of MLB integration. His 1952 Topps card, number 27, serves as a testament to his groundbreaking career and is a must-have for collectors interested in the history of baseball and civil rights. As the years pass, the card's value is likely to continue to appreciate, making it not only a cherished piece of sports memorabilia but also a potential investment for collectors.

Whether you're a seasoned collector or just starting out, the 1952 Topps Sam Jethroe card represents an important part of baseball history and serves as a reminder of the progress made in the fight for racial equality in sports. With its striking design and historical significance, the card is an essential addition to any baseball card collection.

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