December 15, 2014 / 8:13 PM / 4 years ago

Sy Berger, who designed modern baseball card, dies

(Reuters) - Sy Berger, a 50-year employee of the Topps Company and the man credited with creating the look of the modern baseball card, died of natural causes at the age of 91, the company said.

Berger’s design of the 1952 Topps set was a game-changer. It had color photos of the players with names, team logos, and positions on the front of the card, with statistics on the back, a form still used today.

Baseball cards had been around since the 19th century but it had not caught on as a popular hobby until the 1952 Topps set, said baseball historian Marty Appel.

“The Topps family is very saddened by the loss of one of its most cherished members - Sy Berger,” the company said on its website. “He has and will continue to put smiles on the faces of children, collectors and fans for generations.

“Topps extends its heartfelt condolences to the Berger family. Thank you, Sy!”

Berger died on Sunday at his home in Rockville Center, New York, the family said.

Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Eric Beech

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