One of the most Iconic Baseball Card Sets in History

1952 Topps Tom Upton Card

The 1952 Topps baseball card set is considered one of the most iconic and valuable collections in the hobby. Card number 71, featuring Thomas Walker Upton, aka Tom Upton, has its own unique story and holds a special place in the hearts of collectors. In this article, we will delve into the life and career of Tom Upton, as well as the value of his 1952 Topps baseball card.

Who is Tom Upton?

Thomas Walker Upton was born on September 29, 1926, in Norfolk, Virginia. Tom grew up in a baseball-loving family, and his passion for the sport was evident from a young age. He attended Maury High School in Norfolk, where he excelled as a shortstop. Upon graduating high school, he signed with the New York Yankees organization as an amateur free agent in 1944.

Upton's journey in professional baseball was briefly interrupted when he was drafted into the military during World War II. After serving his country, he returned to the game he loved and continued to climb the ranks of the minor leagues. Eventually, he made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut for the New York Yankees on April 20, 1950.

Personal Life

In his personal life, Tom Upton was a family man, marrying his wife, Mary, with whom he had three children. He was known for being a humble and hardworking individual, both on and off the field. After retiring from baseball, he worked as a salesman and later became a supervisor at a beer distributorship in Virginia. Upton passed away on November 4, 2011, at the age of 85.

Tom Upton's MLB Career Stats

Throughout his time in the MLB, Tom Upton played for three teams: the New York Yankees, the St. Louis Browns, and the Washington Senators. His MLB career spanned from 1950 to 1952, and he primarily played shortstop, though he occasionally took on second base and third base roles. Here are some of his career highlights and stats:

- MLB debut: April 20, 1950, with the New York Yankees

- Final MLB appearance: September 28, 1952, with the Washington Senators

- MLB seasons: 3

- Total games played: 231

- At-bats: 616

- Runs: 73

- Hits: 125

- Doubles: 17

- Triples: 3

- Home runs: 3

- Runs batted in: 49

- Stolen bases: 2

- Walks: 70

- Strikeouts: 91

- Batting average: .203

- On-base percentage: .283

- Slugging percentage: .258

- Fielding percentage: .951

The Value of the 1952 Topps Tom Upton Card

As mentioned earlier, the 1952 Topps baseball card set is highly sought after by collectors due to its historical significance and attractive design. The Tom Upton card, numbered 71 in the set, is no exception.

The card features a portrait of Upton in his Washington Senators uniform, along with a facsimile autograph, his name, and his position. The card's reverse side contains biographical information, statistics, and a short comic or fact related to Upton.

The value of a 1952 Topps Tom Upton card can vary widely depending on its condition, and it is generally more affordable than the high-profile cards in the set, such as the iconic Mickey Mantle card. However, it still holds its own in terms of desirability and value. Collectors appreciate the historical significance of this card, as it represents a snapshot of Upton's career during a fascinating era of baseball history.

The value of the card is determined by several factors, including its condition, centering, color, and overall eye appeal. Cards in mint or near-mint condition, graded by professional grading services such as PSA or Beckett, will command a higher price than those in lesser condition.

Here is a general breakdown of the card's value based on its condition:

- Gem Mint (PSA 10 or BGS 10): $2,000 - $2,500

- Mint (PSA 9 or BGS 9): $400 - $600

- Near Mint-Mint (PSA 8 or BGS 8): $150 - $250

- Near Mint (PSA 7 or BGS 7): $80 - $120

- Excellent-Mint (PSA 6 or BGS 6): $50 - $75

- Excellent (PSA 5 or BGS 5): $30 - $50

- Very Good-Excellent (PSA 4 or BGS 4): $20 - $30

- Very Good (PSA 3 or BGS 3): $10 - $20

- Good (PSA 2 or BGS 2): $5 - $10

- Poor to Fair (PSA 1 or BGS 1): $2 - $5

Please note that these values are approximate and can fluctuate based on market conditions, the card's specific eye appeal, and other factors.

The 1952 Topps Tom Upton card is a fascinating piece of baseball memorabilia that represents a time in history when the sport was enjoying immense popularity. Collectors appreciate the card's connection to the golden age of baseball and its striking design. While Tom Upton's career may not have been as storied as some of his contemporaries, his card remains a cherished item for many baseball enthusiasts.

Collecting cards like the 1952 Topps Tom Upton is not only a hobby but also a way to connect with the past and preserve the history of the sport. Whether you are an avid collector or someone who simply appreciates the nostalgia and stories behind these cards, the Tom Upton card serves as a wonderful reminder of the rich history of baseball and its enduring impact on our culture.

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