Sunday, March 23, 2014

My top 5: 1975 Topps

It's finally done.  I have all 660 cards of the '75 Topps baseball set in my possession, and yes it's a very colorful and wonderful set. 

When going through the set to determine the top 5 cards (in my opinion), I look through the entire set twice.  If I were to look at the set only once, I would surely miss something that would merit consideration.  True to form, I did miss something and it actually shows up in this countdown. 

Another thing that I noticed about the set is that there aren't a lot of action shots.  The majority of the cards are posed shots, standard stuff you would see in spring training shots.  It kind of surprised me to be honest.

OK, enough chatter.   Here are my top 5 cards in the set. 

5.  #80 Carlton Fisk

Yes, this is your basic stand there with the bat in your hands and look like you're ready to hit pose.  What struck me is the background.  Tell me that isn't some random apartment/office building in Winter Haven, FL (that's where the Sox spent spring training in the 70's).   Were they taking photos at some playground/little league field back then?  The card is so off the wall it's cool, that's why it makes #5.

4:  # 30 Bert Blyleven

This is the card I almost missed the first time through the set.   It never fails, I always end up going too fast and miss something.  Who doesn't love a card with someone blowing a bubble on it?   I'm guessing that those are hooks on the wall in the dugout, and is that graffiti on the wall to the left?   The card also makes you wonder who he was planning on giving the hotfoot to next.

3.  # 6  '74 Highlights Mike Marshall

Why this card in the top 5?  Because the accomplishment is amazing.  A reliever pitching 2 out of every 3 days.  Marshall pitched 208.1 innings, all in relief, that season.  He finished 83 of those games.  Only 4 pitchers since then have appeared 90 times, and the only AL pitcher to do it since '74?  Yep, Mike Marshall himself with 90 games in 1979.  Only rubber armed Kent Tekulve has appeared in 90+ games in 3 seasons. 

Look at the death stare he's giving Walter Alston.  It's almost as if he's saying, "you're not taking me out of this game".  That's what makes this card even greater as far as I'm concerned.

2.  # 625   Boog Powell

You're right, on 99 out of 100 other people's lists, this card would easily be #1.  It is a great card, but I have my reasons for my choice.  The expression on Powell's face is priceless on this card, searching for the ball on what appears to be a very sunny day is great.  Powell actually played the '75 season in Cleveland, enjoying a bit of a renaissance with 27 HRs and a .297 average. 

1.  # 640  Harmon Killebrew

Love the old school light blue Twins jersey.  Love that he's signing a program for a fan, and there's something about players being photographed while taking time out for the fans that I really enjoy.  I've said that on this blog many times before, and will keep on saying it as long as I keep seeing these types of cards.  Even the brown on top, orange on the bottom color scheme is great.   Killebrew wound up spending his final season in '75 playing for the Royals, hitting 14 HRs.  The Twins actually retired his number during the '75 season, while he was still playing.  Now that's respect.

Honorable mention:  Ralph Garr, Joe Ferguson, Rollie Fingers, Rick Monday, Fergie Jenkins

And that's my top 5.  Love em or leave em.

Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. Great cards, love the Flying Dutchman !!

  2. The 1975 is my absolute favorite, it being my birth year and so damn colorful. And I must say, that is a great top five, although I think the Garr would break my top 5, along with the famous/infamous Herb Washington card. I might also swap the Ron Cey for the Pudge, though that is a tough call.

    Funny that you like that Killer card as I have been looking at it all day; it figures prominently in a post that I have scheduled for March 29th. Check it out to see what I am babbling about.

  3. The blyleven and boog are great. I thought this was a night owl post at first

  4. Congrats on completing the best set of all-time.

    I don't think there's anything I could miss in that set since I have almost all of the players' card numbers memorized.

    And Ron Cey has the best card in the set ... sheesh.

  5. The "Killer" is definitely in my Top Five for '75 as well. Last card AND a shot of him signing autographs? That's definitely something special.

  6. Congrats on getting that one done! It's always great to put a big old set to bed. I do like the Powell.