The first and arguably most popular of the four Red Man Tobacco issues, the 1952 set is one of the premier card issues of the hobby’s Golden Age. Featuring large, full-color illustrations of 52 of the era’s most coveted players along with some brief biographical information, the oversized nature of the cards coupled with their method of distribution (tucked outside a package of tobacco, protected only by a thin layer of cellophane) make the issue particularly condition sensitive. In addition, each card featured a coupon that could be redeemed for a free baseball cap; as a result, cards with the coupons still attached are more scarce and valuable than those without. A total of 20 Hall of Famers including very popular cards of Ted Williams, Willie Mays and Stan Musial make this one of the most coveted card issues of the 1950s.
Presented is a gorgeous, high-grade complete set that, with a set score approaching 85 ranks #4 on the SGC Registry with a total GPA that would rank it #3 on the current PSA Registry. As a result, this is the #6 graded and registered 1952 Red Man set in the hobby. Each card in the collection grades SGC NM 84 or 86, with particularly close attention paid not only to the cards’ technical grades but also to overall color and image quality. Rarely, if ever, does a Red Man set of this quality become available for sale, and due to lower populations and higher demand for high-grade cards from this issue, assembling a set in this condition would be a long and time-consuming process.
A condition breakdown of the cards in the set are as follows: SGC NM+ 86 (20 cards): #2N (Richie Ashburn); 2A; 5A; 7A; 8N; 10N; 11A; 12N (Ralph Kiner); 15N (Willie Mays); 16A; 17N (Pee Wee Reese); 18A; 19N (Red Schoendienst); 19A; 20A; 21N (Duke Snider); 21A; 22A; 23N; and 26N. SGC NM 84 (30 cards): #1A (Casey Stengel); 1N (Leo Durocher); 3N; 3A (Yogi Berra); 4N; 4A; 5A; 6A (Larry Doby); 6N; 7N; 8A (Bob Feller); 9N (Monte Irvin); 9A (Nellie Fox); 10A; 12A; 13A (George Kell); 13N; 14A; 14N; 15A; 16N (Stan Musial); 17A; 18N (Robin Roberts); 20N (Enos Slaughter); 22N (Warren Spahn); 23A (Ted Williams); 24N; 24A (Early Wynn); 25N; 25A; 26A.
This is a remarkably consistent set, with no card graded below NM. Easily one of the top graded 1952 Red Man sets in the entire hobby, with only five current sets graded higher on either the SGC or PSA registries. 52 cards total.