Thursday, January 30, 2020

Which 70s Set Should I Build? 1971 Topps edition

I've been trying to decide which 1970s set to start building for my next vintage set build, but I can't seem to make up my mind. So, I'm going to take a little closer look at what I already have in my collection and try to narrow it down.

I have a 1971 Wantlist, but it's not to complete the full set, it's just a list of cards I thought I'd like to add to my collection at some point.

1971:  9, 14, 59, 77, 125, 129, 132, 135, 167, 230, 248, 278, 290, 310, 355, 367, 380, 445, 459, 480, 508, 509, 513, 514, 523,  544, 554, 560, 590, 640, 655, 659, 664, 688, 709, 744, 745

The key rookies in the set beyond this Bert Blyleven? Dave Concepcion, Ted Simmons, Bobby Valentine, Bobby Grich, Steve Garvey, Greg Luzinski, Al Hrabosky, Dusty Baker/Don Baylor,

I only have about 60 cards out of 752, so I am a long long way from being close to completing this set.

Speaking of a long way away, these shots are all pretty far away from the subject! Action shots were still a fairly new concept for cardboard, so I bet it was pretty jarring to see cards like these for the first time.

Here's a page of my favorites from my collection. You can probably tell I wouldn't be a stickler for perfect edges or sharp corners, which would be one of the biggest hurdles for this set. Chipping and dings are very noticeable on 1971 Topps, I imagine a person could go crazy trying to build a NM set. It hadn't really occurred to me before, but the 71 set feels like a slightly better version of the 1970 set. In my opinion, the black border combined with the colorful nameplate just works. They went back to 1959 all lowercase jam, and the facsimile signatures are a nice touch. The introduction of action shots and the re-introduction of horizontal images makes it stand out to me.

The inserts? Coins and a Scratch Off game, I happen to not have any of either one at the moment to show.

What do you think are the Pros and Cons of the 1971 Set? I'd love to hear your opinion!


  1. The high numbers are the toughest part. My last card was (a 2nd) Vida Blue. You've got Munson, Clemente & Reggie, so there's three big stars off the list.

    Chipping vulnerability aside, the black borders make '71 one of the best sets ever. Plus if you do them this year, you can pair them with the Heritage tribute!

    Hit me up if you go with this one - I have '70 thru '72 extras that will fit in with what you have.

  2. Solid set with some amazing cards (Manson was so awesome I bought one).

  3. Only con I can think of is the condition issue you mentioned (which is never a concern with me). There's so many great cards in the '71 set that sometimes I kinda forget about one and then fall in love with it all over again -- after this post I'm off to admire my own copy of that Vada Pinson for a bit.

  4. The pros would be excellent (borderline iconic) photography on some of those action shots. Can't really think of a con, other than it is condition sensitive.

  5. The action shots in this set are my favorite action shots from any baseball set ever.