A Guide to 1970-1974 Topps Baseball Cards

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A Guide to Topps Baseball 1970-1974

Introduction

The purpose of this guide is to help familiarize consumers with the popular Topps Baseball card issues ranging from 1970 to 1974. 

The 4 main reasons that cards from the early 1970s currently make a good investment are:

  • Affordability of major HOF legends at the end of their career
  • Interesting and attractive designs
  • Increased pop culture interest in the 1970's
  • Short Printed high number cards (1970-1972)

1970 TOPPS  

The 1970 Topps set has grown in popularity over the last few years, and is a solid investment.  The 1970 Topps set features an attractive and unique design - the attractive grey borders work well with the simple and elegant graphic elements of the cards.  The 1970 Topps set is very difficult to complete because it was issued in series.  The last series issue (Series 7) and the second to last series (Series 6) are more rare than cards from the rest of the set.   Below is a list of key cards from the 1970 Topps set, their near mint book value and their current market status.

  • #140 Reggie Jackson Near Mint Book $50.00 - WARM
  • #189 Thurman Munson RC Near Mint Book $80.00 - HOT
  • #350 Roberto Clemente NM Book $60.00 - WARM
  • #500 Hank Aaron NM Book $50.00-WARM
  • #580 Pete Rose NM Book $60.00-WARM
  • #600 Willie Mays NM Book $80.00-WARM
  • #640 Al Kaline High Number NM Book $50.00-COLD
  • #660 Johnny Bench High Number NM Book $80.00-HOT
  • #700 Frank Robinson High Number NM Book $50.00 - COLD
  • #712 Nolan Ryan High Number NM Book $200.00-WARM
  • Complete Set NM Book $2000

Status Key

  • HOT - Currently realizing high prices based on increased demand
  • Warm - Stable - the demand may occasionally fluctuate but there has always been a steady demand
  • Cold - Currently selling below the norm indicating lower popularity, however a good investment because of decreased cost

1971 Topps 

The 1971 Topps Baseball set is not only the hottest set of the 1970's, it is likely the most consistently hot set ever produced by Topps.  The black borders make the set almost impossible to complete in Near Mint-Mint condition because they chip easily.  Similar to the 1970 Topps set, the 1971 Topps set was produced in series, the last of which was mostly single printed making the cards extremely rare.  Unfotunately none of the marquis names of the time are found in the final series, but many marquis names can be found in the second to last series which is far more rare than the series that proceed it.   Below is a list of key cards from the classic 1971 set.

  • #5 Thurman Munson NM Book $120 - HOT
  • #20 Reggie Jackson NM Book $50-WARM
  • #100 Pete Rose NM Book $80-HOT
  • #250 Johnny Bench NM Book $50-WARM
  • #341 Steve Garvey RC NM Book $40-HOT
  • #400 Hank Aaron NM Book $60-HOT
  • #513 Nolan Ryan NM Book $150-HOT
  • #525 Ernie Banks NM Book $50-Warm
  • #600 Willie Mays NM Book $100-HOT
  • #630 Roberto Clemente NM Book $150-HOT
  • #709 Dusty Baker RC/ Don Baylor RC SP NM Book $80 -WARM
  • Complete Set NM Book $2500

1972 Topps    

No set of sports cards captures the time period in which they were produced in better than the 1972 Topps baseball set.  The set sports Peter Maxesque graphic elements and has been referred to by many collectors as the Magical Mystery Set.  Topps use of colors and design work well throughout the set.  Similar to the two previous sets the last series is extremely rare.   Below is a list of key cards.

  • #49 Willie Mays NM Book $40 - WARM
  • #79 Carlton Fisk RC NM Book $50-COLD
  • #299 Hank Aaron NM Book $40-WARM
  • #309 Roberto Clemente NM Book $50-HOT
  • #559 Pete Rose NM Book $50-HOT
  • #595 Nolan Ryan NM Book $80-HOT
  • #686 Steve Garvey High Number NM Book $40-WARM
  • #695 Rod Carew High Number NM Book $50-WARM
  • #751 Steve Carlton Traded High # NM Book $40-WARM
  • #752 Joe Morgan Traded High # NM Book $40-WARM
  • #754 Frank Robinson Traded High# NM Book $40-WARM
  • Complete Set NM Book $1500

 

1973 Topps 

  • #1 Ruth/Aaron/Mays NM Book $40 - WARM
  • #50 Roberto Clemente NM Book $40 - HOT
  • #100 Hank Aaron NM Book $40-WARM
  • #130 Pete Rose NM Book $30-WARM
  • #220 Nolan Ryan NM Book $50-WARM
  • #305 Willie Mays NM Book $40-HOT
  • #615 Mike Schmidt RC NM Book $150-HOT
  • Complete Set NM Book $700

1974 Topps     

  • #1 Hank Aaron NM Book $40-WARM
  • #20 Nolan Ryan NM Book $40-COLD
  • #250B Willie McCovey Washington Variation (Error) NM Book $25-HOT
  • #283 Mike Schmidt NM Book $20-COLD
  • #300 Pete Rose NM Book $25-WARM
  • #456 Dave Winfield RC NM Book $40-WARM

 

 

 

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