Even though the 1972 set is an extremely large 797 cards, 47 cards is still a crap-ton of cards for one team.
I got curious about how this compares to other teams,and I did some queries against my collection’s database —
Disclaimer time: The 1972 Topps data I use originally came from a software package that had several errors in it (i.e. Joe Torre with the Mets, Jim Fregosi “Traded” with the Angels), and while I corrected those errors, there’s always the chance that there are more that I missed. Take these results with a grain of salt.
— it looks like the four largest team sets in 1972 are the Mets, the Pirates (46 cards), Orioles (40 cards) and A’s (40 cards). What I found in how the sets break down was interesting enough to make another post, which I’ll write as soon as I get a chance (ideally later this week).
Quick aside: I’m sorry about the photos; they’re not up to my usual standards – and WordPress insists on rotating two of them to make them Landscape instead of Portrait — but I incorrectly thought photos would be quicker than scanning the cards. HAH!
I’m going to make a couple of guesses at why the Mets, a team that finished 3rd the year before and wasn’t excessively loaded with stars, ended up as the biggest team in the set…
Tom Seaver: Tom Terrific single-handedly contributes 6 cards to the team set — His regular card, his “In Action” card, his “Boyhood Photo” card and three League Leader cards.
General popularity and lingering “Miracle Mets” goodwill: Remember, 1972 is just a couple of years after 1969, and the Mets maintained the “warm & fuzzies” of their World Championship by staying reasonably competitive (3rd place and 83-79 in both 1970 and 1971).
Photographers Who Worked Out Of Shea Stadium: Topps is based in New York and Shea Stadium had long been a hub of Topps photography. How else can you explain Tim Foli and Ray Sadecki getting “In Action” cards while Frank Robinson doesn’t?
1972 Topps is such a big and innovative set that I had to be careful that I truly had all of the Mets cards. I ended up checking several different resources, including PSA team set registries, to make sure I didn’t miss any. I have to admit, there were several cards that I almost —
Oh. Uhhh…… sorry, lost my train of thought. Where was I? Oh, yeah, I was talking about how I had to be careful not to overlook the League Leader cards which feature Tom Seaver –
…Seaver… uuhhrrrr… which… feature…
Jeez, I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I keep trying to finish a thought and I get these images flashing in front of my ey—
Whoa, there it goes again! It’s bizarre, it’s like there’s something on the edge of my consciousness, something I need to remember…
I forgot the CARD BACKS.
The “In Action” cards in the later series have backs which make up pieces of a puzzle, and “Puzzle D” features TOM SEAVER. That’s six cards I hadn’t taken into account. They don’t fit into the standard definition of a “team set”, but how can I include the League Leader cards and not count the puzzle pieces?
I’ve already got 2, but that means I still need the other 4.
…And one of them is Rod Carew.
Hall-of-Famer Rod Carew.
High-numbered Hall-of-Famer Rod Carew. Happy happy, joy joy.
OK, so to summarize:
> I’ve completed the PSA Set Registry definition of a 1972 Mets team set! Yay!
> I’ve never listened to PSA before, why should I start now?
Sooooo…. I’ve got 4 new cards on my want list. You’ll be hearing more about this soon.
For the record, here’s what PSA and I have determined to be the 47-card set without the puzzle…
16 MIKE JORGENSEN
31 CLEON JONES
32 CLEON JONES IN ACTION
53 BUD HARRELSON
54 BUD HARRELSON IN ACTION
91 N.L. ERA LEADERS (SEAVER)
93 N.L. PITCHING LEADERS (SEAVER)
95 N.L. STRIKEOUT LEADERS (SEAVER)
105 GARY GENTRY
127 DUFFY DYER
141 METS ROOKIE STARS (CAPRA/STANTON/MATLACK)
163 TUG MCGRAW
164 TUG MCGRAW IN ACTION
181 ED KRANEPOOL
182 ED KRANEPOOL IN ACTION
245 TOMMIE AGEE
269 DON HAHN
293 DANNY FRISELLA
294 DANNY FRISELLA IN ACTION
305 KEN BOSWELL
306 KEN BOSWELL IN ACTION
346 JIM FREGOSI BOYHOOD PHOTO
347 TOM SEAVER BOYHOOD PHOTO
362 METS TEAM
388 CHARLIE WILLIAMS
407 CHUCK TAYLOR
425 KEN SINGLETON
426 KEN SINGLETON IN ACTION
445 TOM SEAVER
446 TOM SEAVER IN ACTION
465 GIL HODGES
496 BUD HARRELSON BOYHOOD PHOTO
518 WAYNE GARRETT
544 TED MARTINEZ
563 RAY SADECKI
564 RAY SADECKI IN ACTION
594 JIM BEAUCHAMP
655 JERRY GROTE
673 DAVE MARSHALL
697 JERRY KOOSMAN
698 JERRY KOOSMAN IN ACTION
707 TIM FOLI
708 TIM FOLI IN ACTION
722 BILL SUDAKIS
741 MAJOR LEAGUE ROOKIES (HUTTON/MILNER/MILLER)
755 JIM FREGOSI TRADED
781 JIM MCANDREW
…and here are the 6 cards that make up the Seaver puzzle:
692 Curt Blefary In Action
694 Alan Gallagher In Action
696 Rod Carew In Action
700 Bobby Murcer In Action
706 Pat Corrales In Action
710 Jim Kaat In Action