Manufacturers have reprinted certain vintage baseball sets looking to cash in on the original’s popularity. And the interesting thing is, some of these reprint sets have become pricier and more collectible than you would think. So here are five baseball reprint sets you might not know a lot about.
1983 Topps 1952 Reprint Set
These 1952 Topps reprint sets came out in 1983 and were the first reprints issued by Topps. Topps sold them by the case directly to dealers. An estimated 10000 sets were produced (~425 cases). Each case had 24 sets that came in blue boxes.
The blue box is pretty attractive and closed with a gold seal sticker.
Untampered boxes still sell for a few hundred dollars (but far less than a real 1952 Topps set, of course). The reprint set only has 402 cards because Topps couldn’t acquire Billy Loes, Dom DiMaggio, Saul Rogovin, Sonny Hemus, or Tommy Holmes rights. The cards have “Topps 1952 Reprint Series” on the back to ensure no one thinks they are the real thing – along with being 2.5×3.5 inches in size.
Here’s an article from the December 2012 Beckett Baseball Magazine written by Reed Kasaoka about the set.
1973 Topps 1953 Reprints
These 1973 Topps 1953 Topps reprints are a sort of test issue.
BaseballCardPedia says Topps Development head Woody Gelman commissioned them and gave them away at a Topps-sponsored banquet. The 8-card set features Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Carl Furillo, Al Rosen, Hal Newhouser, Clyde McCullough, Peanuts Lowrey, Johnny Mize with the original 1953 Topps artwork, but in the 1934-36 Diamond Star Style. Unfortunately, these aren’t for the budget-focused collector, as Topps printed fewer than 300 sets.
1953 Topps Archives
The 1953 Topps Archives (Reprint Baseball Card Set) has 330 cards that are slightly smaller reprints of the original 1953 Topps Set.
The set came out in 1991 and was dubbed the ultimate 1953 set with all 274 original cards and 57 cards that “never were,” including Dizzy Dean, Al Simmons, Hank Aaron, and Eleanor Engle.
1988 T206 The Monster Set
There are quite a few T206 reprint sets, but the 1988 Card Collectors Company Reprint Set is the most famous. The reprint set cards measure a larger 1½” by 2¾”.
Since the monster is almost impossible to complete with even common cards commanding upwards of $50-75, the reprint set is a great alternative to admire the artistry of the originals.
Topps Legends of the 60s Collection
In late 1996 Topps released a special edition Bronze Medallion set of 12 Topps reissues from the 1960s featuring Including Juan Marichal, Bob Gibson, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams, Frank Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski, Harmon Killebrew, Hank Aaron, and Don Drysdale.
It comes in a deluxe wooden case and sells for under $200. If you’re interested, there is also a Legends of the 50s Collection.
The five sets I covered are some of the most popular reprint sets on the market, but reprint sets are available of almost every significant baseball set ever made. The fact that there are so many reprints means you need to be particularly careful when buying raw originals. Do your homework and if you ever need any advice, reach out to me in the comments or the vintage sports card community over on Twitter.