How to Buy 1952 Topps Baseball Packs 71 Years Later (Updated)

The 1952 Topps baseball card set is one of the most iconic sets ever made. Some collectors will argue that it’s even more iconic than the 1909-11 T206 set from American Tobacco. And most collectors will say its more iconic than the 1914 Cracker Jack set or the 1933 Goudey set. The 1952 Topps set now even has the world’s most expensive card auction after the $12.6 million Mickey Mantle sold in the summer of 2022.

And now there is an incredible find that is coming for auction in 2023. Morphy Auctions has up for grabs a group of 1952 Topps baseball card packs. It’s also not just some random packs here and there. Its a “brick” of 8 factory sealed and unopened 5-cent wax packs.

No Junk Wax Era woes here. There was a minimum $200,000.00 bid, and with 32 days the bid was made. UPDATE JAN. 22, 2023 — The current bid was $350,000 (after 14 bids) with more than 9 days remaining.

Morphy’s issued an estimate of $400,000 to $800,000 for the lot. Morphy’s addressed how this was found:

As baseball card collecting became more popular throughout the advancing decades, collectors increasingly focused on the 1952 set as the gold standard and any remaining unopened packs were quickly opened to reveal the cardboard gold inside. As is the case with modern day treasure hunters that comprise the card collecting community, the search continued for more of these amazing pasteboards in their original wax wrapped state, until 1991, when a small find of 1952 Topps packs was located in Seattle.

As for the brick of 1952 Topps wax packs itself, “Bricks” of 8 packs each were purchased from the original owner by 2 collectors. One of the collectors sold his packs individually — and opened a few himself. One of the pack pulls ended up becoming the only PSA 10 graded example of the #1 Andy Pafko card that is usually marred with rubber band marks and corner damage. Image below by Morphy Auctions.

1952 Topps unopened wax packs

Morphy’s noted that the other collector who held on to this “brick” of 8 factory sealed wax packs has effectively preserved them… “just as they were when they left the caring hands of Topps in 1952.”

Morphy’s has also gone on to identify which series of cards are likely here:

These 8 packs of 5 cards each are most likely from the 1st series based on the cards that have been revealed from those previously opened from this “find,” however there is no way to know for sure without opening, so any cards from the issue are possible. They are wrapped together in cellophane, and from what can be seen of those showing on the top and bottom, appear to be fresh as the day they were made.

So, how does Morphy’s come up with a $400,000 to $800,000 estimate? The auction house pointed out that an unknown series pack graded as PSA 7 has very recently sold for $100,000.00. And for a relative scarcity, Morphy’s also noted that only 19 of the 1952 Topps packs have ever been authenticated and graded by PSA. Of those 10 PSA packs, no pack has graded higher than PSA 8.

The packs are said to appear in outstanding condition Baseball Card Exchange owner Steve Hart has provided authentication. The description notes that one of the 1952 Topps wax packs has a wrapper that was applied slightly off-centered. One also appears to have a tiny corner fissure that is visible in the high resolution auction photos.

Well, there you go. Bid away, if you are free, willing and able.