Vintage Baseball Cards: Topps 1952

1952 Bob YoungIn celebration of the 65th anniversary of Topps baseball cards, my collection is going to be the subject of this year-long series.

Shortly after starting my obsession in 1971, the goal was to have at least one Topps card from every year.

Featured here from the 1952 set are Bobby Young and Jim Konstanty.

Young’s card was the first one from this set that I ever purchased. Although he really didn’t have a notable career, the card is special to me because I found it in a shop in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Starting his career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1948, Young was traded to the St. Louis Browns a year later.

As a rookie in 1951, Young was the starting second baseman for the Browns.

In 1952, Young hit four homers with a career-high 39 RBI with a .247 batting average.

After the 1953 season in St. Louis, the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles.

According to several sources, Young’s claim to fame in Baltimore is that he was first player ever signed by the Orioles. That year in 130 games, he hit four homer and knocked in 24 runs, while batting .245.

He was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 1955 and eventually ended his big league career with Philadelphia Phillies in 1958.

A Pitching Whiz

1952 Jim KonstantyKonstanty was two years removed from being the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1950 after leading the Phillies to the World Series for the first time in 35 years.

The right-hander was 16-7 for the “Whiz Kids” who were swept in the Fall Classic by the New York Yankees.

An all-star in 1950, Konstanty appeared in 74 games all in relief. Ironically, he started the opener of the World Series as the Phillies lost 1-0. In his longest out of the year, he worked eight innings and gave up four hits.

In 1952, Konstanty finished 5-3 with two starts in 42 games. On Aug. 31, Konstanty threw a three-hit shutout against the Boston Braves as the Phillies scored four times in the ninth to win 4-0. The first two runs of the frame came on a double by Konstanty.

Over 11 seasons, Konstanty was 66-48 with the Cincinnati Reds (1944), Braves (1946), Phillies (1948-1954), Yankees (1954-1956) and the Cardinals (1956).

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