for the 1952 and 1953 sampler sets, there really weren't any variations to worry about. 16 teams to represent, and that was it. in 1954, topps introduced a variety of backgrounds that were not team specific. there were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and white backgrounds, plus a combo card of sorts. here's how i completed my 1954 topps sampler
a lot of nice cards there, including the o'brien brother 'combo' card, but the tommy lasorda rookie is probably my favorite. i also discovered during my pursuit of these samplers that yankee cards from the 1950's are tough to find on the cheap. that's why the lone yankee here is also in the roughest shape.
here's a scan of the backs of the first 8 cards above.