Celebrating With Some 1970 Topps!

So what am I celebrating?

First off, I’m celebrating the recent announcement by the Chachi Set Planning Committee over at The Phillies Room that the 1970 Topps design would be used in 2016 for their world-famous custom card set.  Sure, I voted for 1978, but I didn’t expect that to win (and it didn’t come close), but 1970 was a surprise runaway winner in the voting, getting more votes than the other three candidates combined.

The other thing I’m celebrating?  The fact that I have an obvious and easy topic for today’s post.  I’ve got plenty of other ideas, but I never quite have time to write them, research them, design them, etc. etc.  Posts that have the theme of “Hey, look!  A bunch of cards!” are much easier to do.

Gotta kick things off with a Met, right?  …And I’ve always liked this Ed Kranepool card.
1970 Topps Ed Kranepool

It’s Harmon Killebrew by a bat rack. What’s not to like?
1970 Topps Harmon Killebrew

One of the iconic cards of 1970, Lowell Palmer and his shades.
1970 Topps Lowell Palmer

There’s something in particular I want to point out about this card… Hint, look at the stirrups…
1970 Topps Rich Morales
Yes, the White Sox wore white socks… well, white stirrups. Close enough for government work. I thought that was the coolest thing in my younger days. Now, it looks odd to have white stirrups and blue sanitaries, but it’s still cool.

The other notable thing about the Morales card – it’s a 1st Series card that does not have the little white bar between the player’s name and position.  That little difference escaped me for most of the past 40 years, and I’m not sure how I’d never noticed it.

I guess Tony Perez is following through on his fake swing, but it looks kind of awkward.  It looks more like he’s chasing something or someone with that bat.
1970 Topps Tony Perez

This is a card I just like, and I only recently discovered his last name is pronounced “DEE-dee-eh”, and not the “Dih-dye-er” I called him as a kid.
1970 Topps Bob Didier
Didier played only 13 games in 1972, and he still made it on a 1973 card (helped along by the fact that it’s an awesome action shot involving Cleon Jones sliding home). In 1973, he appeared in only 7 games as a Tiger, and he still got into 1974 Topps. Maybe someone in Didier’s family worked for Topps.

The next two cards have something noteworthy about them that I only just noticed the other day…
1970 Topps Bob Locker

1970 Topps Dick Hall
Almost all of the cards in 1970 Topps have the team name in black, white, red, blue or yellow… and yet these two have the team name in green! And it’s not even the same shade of green! That blew my mind just a tiny little bit. Does anybody know of any other 1970 Topps baseball with green?

While whipping up this post I went to see how many cards I have from this set, and I was a little surprised to find out that I have nearly 500 cards.  I started to think that maybe I should make a run at a complete set… Until I looked at some of the key cards from the set and I realized that I still need Nolan Ryan and Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente and Thurman Munson and Frank Robinson and Johnny Bench and………

……..And that’s pretty much where I said “Yeah, maybe sometime down the road” and went back to organizing my 1990’s cards.

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12 thoughts on “Celebrating With Some 1970 Topps!

  1. Great post. I love the 70 set. It was the first set of my baseball card consciousness. Two of my childhood friends showed them to me and I was hooked. I love the bright backs on whitish card stock which was probably the last topps set to use that material. I learned so much studying the player records including their minors stats. The grey borders are almost invisible and remind me of polaroid pictures or the square instamatic photos that were popular at the time. And lastly I love the Baseball Centennial patch that is so prominent on many of the players sleeves.

    Many people compared the 1983 Fleer set to this one for the similarity to the simple design and styling.

    By the way, the Perez photo was cropped and re-used on the 1971 NL RBI Leader card with Johnny Bench and Billy Williams.

  2. I will attempt to not let the world famous status of my custom Phillies baseball card set go to my head. And now I feel the need to flip through my 1970 set to see if there are any other green-tinted team names!

  3. Great stuff! The 1970 set had some awesome cards in it. People need to get past the rather mundane design and appreciate cards like the Kranpool and Killebrew. I personally love the Ron Santo card as well as Stargell and Reggie Jackson.

  4. Two items of interest are that in those days I was working Spring Training in West Palm Beach, Florida, at Municipal Stadium, home of the Braves and Expos, where you will find many Topps cards were taken in those days as we always had Topps photographers around on a daily basis from pre-game time through the end …
    Was actually standing nearby on day the Bob Didier photos were taken, the only real mistake being to place the stands behind him rather than other way with open sky and maybe fence and light tower behind as photo is too busy …
    Additionally, Topps was always very bad at taking too many photos with people behind as can be seen on left and on top of hat of Didier …
    Photoshop would have been a tremendous help then …
    Over the years, I actually appear in the background of about 8 or 9 cards, some on field and some in stands directly over dugout at far left end …
    The Dick Hall card photo was actually taken a few days before the late 6′ 5″ Gene Brabender, wearing # 32 behind on left, was gone to Seattle Pilots then Brewers in 1969 and 1970.
    Am uncertain who other Orioles player is wearing # 9 but that was worn by Don Buford from 1968-1972 and that is not him, for obvious reasons.

      • I stand corrected, you are absolutely right, that is Russ Snyder and I should have looked closer at the card as you can see the S and N with right spacing to curve over the 9.

  5. Lou Klimchock of the Indians also had a green team name.

    You mention blue as one of the team colors, but if I’m not mistaken, blue was as rare as green. I think there were 5 cards or less of each blue and green team names. Ken Tatum of the Angels was one with blue.

    I agree with Tony L, the 1970 set was also my introduction to baseball cards through a friend and the 1970 and 1971 remain my 2 favorite sets for that reason.

  6. I love this set because it features the Seattle Pilots. I am four cards away from finishing the set in EX or better condition and they are all biggies: Munson, Bench, Clemente, and Ryan. Being the completist that I am, it wasn’t enough to just get the Pilots cards. I had to have them all! Thinking about tackling the 1969 set next…

    • I tend to unintentionally “undersell” the Pilots in this set, but that’s absolutely one of the top selling points of the 1970 set. I finished most of my Pilots team set years ago (except for Rich Rollins who got missed somehow), so I often forget to go back and feature those cards. I think I’m overdue for a Pilots post…

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