Who invented Topps baseball cards?

Who Invented Topps Baseball Cards?

Topps Baseball cards are a beloved part of American culture and have been around since the 1950s. These iconic pieces of memorabilia have been collected, traded, and cherished by generations of baseball fans. So, who invented Topps baseball cards?

The answer is Sy Berger. Sy was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1912 and grew up to become a legendary figure in the world of sports memorabilia. He joined the Topps Chewing Gum Company in 1941, and it was his idea to create baseball cards and put them in packs of chewing gum.

Sy Berger at Topps

Sy was an integral part of the Topps team from the start. He was the one responsible for coming up with the idea to include baseball cards in packs of gum and he was also the one who developed the designs and artwork for the cards.

Sy was also the one who named the “Topps” brand. He chose the name because it was a play on words – the word “tops” in the company’s name being a nod to the fact that the company produced the “top” sports cards at the time.

The First Topps Baseball Card Set

In 1951, the first Topps baseball card set was released. The set included 407 cards featuring the players and teams of the National and American Leagues.

The cards were printed on heavy cardboard stock and featured a black-and-white photograph of the player or team on the front. The back of the card featured a brief biography of the player or team, as well as some interesting facts about them.

The set was so successful that Topps quickly followed it up with several other sets in the years that followed, including the 1952 Topps set, which included the iconic Mickey Mantle card.

Sy Berger and the Rise of Topps

Sy Berger was the driving force behind the success of the Topps brand. He was the one who came up with the idea for the cards, designed the artwork, and named the company. He was also the one who worked with the players and teams to get them to sign exclusive contracts to be featured on the cards.

Sy was a visionary when it came to sports memorabilia and he was the one who helped Topps become the leading manufacturer of sports cards. He was also the one who came up with the idea to include “stickers” in the packs of gum – which were hugely popular with kids at the time.

The Future of Topps

Topps is still going strong today, more than 70 years after the first sets were released. They continue to produce high-quality baseball cards, as well as cards for other popular sports and entertainment.

Sy Berger passed away in 2014 at the age of 101, but his legacy as the inventor of Topps baseball cards lives on. He was an innovator in the world of sports memorabilia and his contribution to the industry has been recognized and appreciated by fans around the world.

The Different Types of Topps Baseball Cards

Topps has released many different types of baseball cards over the years. Here is a list of some of the most popular:

Commemorative Cards

  • Hall of Fame Series – These cards feature retired players who have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • All-Star Series – These cards feature current players who have been selected to play in the All-Star game.
  • Legends Series – These cards feature players from past eras who have made a lasting impact on the game.

Parallel Cards

  • Chrome – These cards feature the same player or team on the front, but with a different background and design on the back.
  • Gold – These cards feature a gold-colored background and are rarer than the regular cards.
  • Silver – These cards feature a silver-colored background and are even rarer than the gold cards.

Insert Cards

  • Autograph Cards – These cards feature a player’s autograph and are very valuable.
  • Memorabilia Cards – These cards feature a piece of memorabilia, such as a jersey or a bat.
  • Game-Used Cards – These cards feature a piece of game-used memorabilia, such as a ball or a bat.

Collecting Topps Baseball Cards

Collecting Topps baseball cards is a great hobby for any fan of the game. There are many ways to collect cards, such as by team, by player, by set, or by type.

The most valuable cards are often the ones that feature rare players or rare designs. Collectors can also look for rare cards that have been graded by a professional card-grading company.


Topps baseball cards have been a part of American culture for over 70 years. While Sy Berger may not have been the first to come up with the idea for baseball cards, he was the one who made them popular and he was certainly the one who created the iconic Topps brand.

Sy Berger’s legacy as the inventor of Topps baseball cards will live on for generations to come. His impact on the world of sports memorabilia is undeniable and his contribution to the industry will be remembered for years to come.