1970 Topps: Series 2 Completed

1970 Topps isn’t a set I’m trying to build.  Not exactly.  For several decades it’s been just a set I’d acquire here and there with a sense of semi-nostalgia – I started collecting in 1974 so 1970 cards were ones I could fairly easily get through my “vintage” sources like garage sales and friends with older siblings.

Although I’m currently taking something of a break from acquisition in order to figure out where I want my collection to be, 1970 Topps always falls into the category of “a low-priority non-budget-breaking accumulation”.   I honestly don’t know how far I want to go with it, but when the opportunity presents itself I’m more than happy to keep adding and see how far I get.  Series 1 has been completed for a little while, as have my Expos and Seattle Pilots team sets.

With my latest COMC shipment, I’ve completed Series 2.  Hey, I take my wins where I can get them.

Reggie Jackson was the key card for this series, I picked up this relatively cheap, creased, “Poor to Fair” card which is more than sufficient for my purposes.  There’s always a part of my brain that can’t accept this clean-shaven guy with no eyeglasses and a sleeveless 1960s A’s uniform as Reggie Jackson.

From looking at old photos online, it appears the progression might have been facial hair first, awesome 1970s A’s uniforms second and non-sunglasses eyewear third.  This was not exhaustive research, so take it with a grain of salt.

When the Reds hired Sparky Anderson as their new manager he had been a San Diego Padres coach with no managerial experience higher than the Double-A Southern League.  He was also 36 years old when this card came out

I’m going to take another semi-educated stab and say that this was a Padres photo where they blacked-out the hat and ramped up the cyan for the background.

Willie McCovey was another card which came at something of a premium. Willie Mac was coming off a 1969 MVP season where he lead the league in homers, RBI and slugging % for the 2nd consecutive year. 1969 also saw career-high totals of 45 home runs and 126 RBI.

Paul Popovich at Shea Stadium! A decent shot of the Shea scoreboard is all I need to get excited about a card.

Popovich is from Flemington, WV: Current population of three hundred and eleven! Saaaaaaaaaalute! Needless to say, Popovich is the only Flemington High School alumnus to show up on baseball-reference.com


10 thoughts on “1970 Topps: Series 2 Completed

  1. I always liked the Topps 1970 baseball cards, don’t know why people criticize this set? To me its a clean looking set front & back, very easy to read. Like most sets from 70’s on back, the cards are hard to find. I have about 50% of this set of the 720 cards to be completed. Mostly need cards from card #300 on up. But I’m always looking for the best looking cards at a good price. I like to check the cards with card number on it in your articles to see if I need it for my collection of Topps cards. Enjoy your report.

  2. Hey, completing a series from a 1970 set is a pretty decent accomplishment!

    Your mentioning a cleanshaven Reggie reminds me that this weekend I picked up some of the Mets from 2022 Update, including the deeply weird sight of a cleanshaven Luis Guillorme. You may recall he shaved his beard during the season but quickly started growing it back. Topps immortalized his brief beardlessness. Kind of neat.

  3. I AM collecting 1970 Topps because I need to finish off those ’70s sets. It’s a pain and I’m so glad I got ’71 and ’72 done a couple years before prices went mad. … I have all of Series 2 ones except the Nolan Ryan NLCS card.

  4. I’ve been working on completing the ’70 set too with variations.Just need 17 cards to complete the set along with 33 variations (print flaws). Of course I could have this done sooner but I prefer my vintage in NM condition (I’m kind of stupid like that, lol).

  5. I am also a fan of the 1970 Topps design. As noted in previous comments, it’s a clean look, the stats on back are highly legible and the color palette of these cards is radically different than any Topps cards before — or after. Being a Chicago Cubs fan my entire life, I will also point out a feature of the Cubs photo of Paul Popovich that I adore: the addition of the players’ jersey number inside the big C on the batting helmet. To my recollection, 1969-1970 were the only seasons that the Cubs labeled each batting helmet with the players’ number in such a manner. Always loved that little touch and can always tell what year a player photo is from when I see that uniform number stenciled inside the big C.

  6. For a long time, I thought Sparky Anderson was a grizzled old man when he first started as a manager. I only recently learned he was in his mid-30s and that completely boggles my mind because he looks about twice that!

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