One of the most Iconic Baseball Card Sets in History

1952 Topps Virgil Stallcup Card

The 1952 Topps baseball card set is often considered one of the most iconic and valuable collections in the hobby. One of the key cards from this classic set is card number 69, featuring Virgil Stallcup. The card stands out due to its unique design and the intriguing story of the man it represents. In this article, we will delve into the life and career of Virgil Stallcup, his Major League Baseball (MLB) career statistics, and the value of this highly sought-after card.

Virgil Stallcup: The Man Behind the Card

Virgil Orvid Lee Stallcup was born on January 3, 1922, in Ravensford, North Carolina. Raised in a humble family environment, Stallcup developed a love for baseball from an early age. His father, a skilled craftsman and an avid baseball fan, inspired young Virgil to pursue a career in the sport.

Stallcup attended Western Carolina University, where he honed his skills on the baseball field. After a successful collegiate career, he signed his first professional contract with the Cincinnati Reds organization in 1942. However, his budding career was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1945. After returning from the war, Stallcup resumed his baseball career and quickly climbed through the ranks of the minor leagues, eventually making his MLB debut in 1947.

Personal Life

Virgil Stallcup married his high school sweetheart, the former Margaret Louise Smith, in 1941. The couple had three children together: Gary, Pamela, and Cynthia. Stallcup was known for being a devoted family man, and he often credited his wife for providing the stability and support necessary for his success on and off the field. After retiring from baseball, Stallcup moved his family to North Carolina, where he worked in various occupations, including a stint as a minor league manager and as an employee at a textile mill. He passed away on May 2, 1989, in Sylva, North Carolina, leaving behind a legacy that continues to captivate baseball card collectors and historians alike.

Major League Baseball Career Statistics

Below are the career MLB statistics for Virgil Stallcup, who played primarily as a shortstop:

- MLB seasons: 8 (1947-1953, 1957)

- Games played: 929

- At-bats: 3,039

- Runs scored: 270

- Hits: 698

- Doubles: 101

- Triples: 21

- Home runs: 29

- Runs batted in (RBI): 277

- Stolen bases: 9

- Walks: 184

- Strikeouts: 273

- Batting average: .230

- On-base percentage (OBP): .274

- Slugging percentage (SLG): .314

- Fielding percentage: .967

The Value of the 1952 Topps Virgil Stallcup Card

The 1952 Topps Virgil Stallcup card (#69) is a classic example of the early 1950s baseball card design. It features a striking color portrait of Stallcup in his Cincinnati Reds uniform, along with his name, position, and team logo at the bottom. The card's reverse side contains biographical information about Stallcup, a brief career summary, and a cartoon illustrating an interesting baseball fact or trivia related to the player.

The value of the 1952 Topps Virgil Stallcup card depends on several factors, including the card's condition, rarity, and the demand among collectors. While not as valuable as some of the other cards in the 1952 Topps set, such as the iconic Mickey Mantle rookie card, the Virgil Stallcup card still holds significant value for collectors who appreciate the history and nostalgia of baseball's golden era.

In terms of condition, cards that are well-centered, have sharp corners, and display vibrant colors will generally fetch higher prices. The card grading scale ranges from "Poor" (1) to "Gem Mint" (10), with higher grades commanding higher values. Here is a general breakdown of how the 1952 Topps Virgil Stallcup card value can vary based on its condition:

- Poor (1) to Fair (1.5): $20-$50

- Good (2) to Very Good (3): $50-$150

- Very Good-Excellent (4) to Excellent (5): $150-$400

- Excellent-Mint (6) to Near Mint (7): $400-$1,000

- Near Mint-Mint (8) to Mint (9): $1,000-$3,000

- Gem Mint (10): $3,000 and up

It is essential to note that these values are approximate and can fluctuate based on market trends, the individual card's eye appeal, and the demand among collectors. Additionally, professionally graded cards by reputable grading companies such as PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) or SGC (Sportscard Guaranty) tend to fetch higher prices due to the increased confidence in the card's condition and authenticity.

The rarity of the 1952 Topps Virgil Stallcup card is relatively moderate compared to other cards in the set. However, finding a high-grade example can be challenging due to the card's age and the fact that it was produced using printing technology that often resulted in off-centering, rough cuts, and other manufacturing flaws. As a result, high-grade examples of the Virgil Stallcup card can command a premium price among collectors.

In conclusion, the 1952 Topps Virgil Stallcup card (#69) is a treasured piece of baseball history that represents a fascinating era in the sport. The card captures the essence of a player who, despite not having Hall of Fame credentials, left an indelible mark on the game and continues to captivate baseball card collectors and enthusiasts. The value of the card is influenced by its condition, rarity, and the demand among collectors, making it a sought-after piece in the world of baseball memorabilia. Whether you are a seasoned collector or new to the hobby, the 1952 Topps Virgil Stallcup card is a timeless reminder of the golden age of baseball and a prized possession for those who appreciate the rich history of the sport.

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