One of the most Iconic Baseball Card Sets in History
1952 Topps Wayne Terwilliger Card
The 1952 Topps Wayne Terwilliger card, number 7 in the set, is a classic piece of baseball memorabilia that not only highlights the career of a talented player but also stands as an emblem of the sport's golden age. This article will delve into the life and career of Wayne Terwilliger, provide an overview of his major league baseball stats, and discuss the value of this iconic card.
Wayne Terwilliger: A Life Lived for Baseball
Wayne Terwilliger, born on June 27, 1925, in Clare, Michigan, was a versatile second baseman who enjoyed a decade-long career in Major League Baseball. Nicknamed "Twig," Terwilliger played for five different teams between 1949 and 1960, earning a reputation for his quick reflexes and aggressive playing style. Beyond his playing career, Terwilliger became a respected coach and manager, dedicating over six decades of his life to the game he loved.
Terwilliger's journey to the big leagues began when he was spotted by a Brooklyn Dodgers scout while playing baseball for Western Michigan University. After serving in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, Terwilliger signed with the Dodgers and made his MLB debut in 1949.
Over the course of his playing career, Terwilliger was known for his exceptional fielding skills, making him a valuable asset to any team he played for. After retiring as a player, Terwilliger transitioned to coaching and managed several minor league teams. He later returned to the major leagues as a coach for the Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, and other clubs, contributing his knowledge and experience to the development of numerous players.
Wayne Terwilliger passed away on February 3, 2021, at the age of 95. His passion for baseball never waned, and he continued to work in the game until the age of 88, ultimately leaving behind a legacy that spans more than six decades in professional baseball.
Career MLB Baseball Stats
Wayne Terwilliger's career statistics reflect his consistent performance as a reliable second baseman and his longevity in the game. Some of his key stats include:
Games played: 1,092
Runs scored: 456
Home runs: 22
Runs batted in: 242
Stolen bases: 50
Batting average: .246
On-base percentage: .320
Slugging percentage: .316
While Terwilliger was never an offensive powerhouse, his fielding abilities and tenacity on the field made him a valuable asset throughout his career. His baseball journey is a testament to his dedication to the sport and his ability to adapt and contribute in various roles over the years.
1952 Topps Wayne Terwilliger Card: Value and Significance
The 1952 Topps Wayne Terwilliger card is a treasured piece of baseball memorabilia, not only because of its subject but also due to the set's historical significance. The 1952 Topps set is considered one of the most iconic and sought-after card collections in the hobby, as it marked a new era in baseball card design and production. This set was the first to introduce the now-standard card size, measuring 2.5 x 3.5 inches, as well as the first to feature player photographs instead of illustrations.
As card number 7 in the set, the Wayne Terwilliger card is part of the low-number series, which consists of cards numbered 1 to 80. This series is generally easier to find and in better condition compared to the high-number series, which features cards numbered 311 to 407. The latter series is known for its scarcity and includes the iconic Mickey Mantle card, which is considered one of the most valuable baseball cards of all time.
The front of the 1952 Topps Wayne Terwilliger card features a colorized photograph of the player in his Chicago Cubs uniform, poised to throw a baseball. Terwilliger's name and team are displayed prominently below the image, with his facsimile signature overlaid on the photograph. The card's reverse side features a brief biography, a cartoon illustrating a baseball fact, and Terwilliger's 1951 season stats, as well as his career statistics up to that point.
The value of the 1952 Topps Wayne Terwilliger card depends on its condition and rarity. Although Terwilliger was never a superstar player, his card is still sought after by collectors due to its association with the iconic 1952 Topps set. In excellent condition, this card can fetch prices ranging from $100 to $300, while mint or gem mint examples can command prices upwards of $1,000. Cards with lower grades or notable flaws will typically have lower values, often in the $20 to $50 range.
The Wayne Terwilliger card's significance goes beyond its monetary value, as it represents a piece of baseball history and a nostalgic reminder of the sport's golden age. Collectors appreciate the card not just for its place in the renowned 1952 Topps set, but also for the story it tells of a dedicated player who devoted his life to baseball.
The 1952 Topps Wayne Terwilliger card is a fascinating piece of memorabilia that offers a glimpse into the life and career of a talented and passionate baseball player. Although Terwilliger's stats may not have placed him among the all-time greats, his dedication to the game and impact on the players he coached are an important part of baseball's rich history. For collectors, the card serves as a valuable reminder of the sport's past and a testament to the resilience and determination that define the spirit of baseball.