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Friday, January 29, 2010

1975 Topps Baseball Cards and 1975 Topps Mini’s

The 1975 Topps Baseball Card Set, with its bright multi-colored cards and posed-action shots, was an exciting change from the cards of the previous two years and has become the most popular set of the 1970’s.  Because the color borders of the cards are very vulnerable to dings and nicks, the 1975 Topps cards are also the most condition sensitive set of the 1970's.

The 1975 Topps set included many innovations.  1975 Topps Baseball Card Set had team cards with each squad’s checklists on the back, 7 Highlight cards, the Topps 1951 through 1974 MVP cards, as well as Rookie Cards for four future Hall-of-Fame players.  Robin Yount and George Brett are THE best rookie cards of the decade, as they are regular sized cards and not the standard rookie cards that contained pictures four guys crammed onto one card.

By 1975, Topps had refined the production process to maximum efficiency. The 1975 Topps Set was printed in five different 132-card press sheets.  The cards were printed in equal quantities, had no high numbers, short prints or variations of any kind.

The 1975 Topps Baseball Card Set was just the second time that the entire 660 card set was issued all at the beginning of the season, instead of the of the series format used by Topps from 1952 to 1973.  The good old days of collectors chasing the new series issues as they surfaced were over.  Previously, we would check the local stores every other day or so to see if they received the newest series of cards.

Topps also produced a test 1975 Topps Mini Baseball Card issue that was distributed in Michigan and on the west coast.  The 1975 Mini’s were exactly the same as the regular set in everything but the card size.

At the in the time, the country was in the middle of a recession and Topps was looking for ways to reduce production costs and a way to lower the price of the cards.  Many of these 1975 Topps Mini’s were sold out of vending machines in an effort to bypass the retailers.

In 1975, most of us collectors were unaware that Topps issued a mini-sized card.  The Mini cards were basically ignored by collectors for several decades.  Over the last few years, as parallel sets have been introduced and become accepted, the 1975 Topps Mini Baseball cards have been steadily gaining popularity with collectors.

The MVP cards (#189-212) of the 1975 Topps set were my favorite innovation in that it gave collectors their first chance in many years to own cards that had Mantle, Campanella and Berra on them.  It also introduced us to past players and featured their MVP seasons.  It was our first real exposure to “Retro” Cards from Topps.

The 1975 Topps (& Mini) Baseball card set facts:
  • 660 cards, issued in a single series
  • Card Size: 2 ½” x 3 1/2”
  • 1975 Topps Mini Card Size: 2 ¼” by 3 1/8”
  • Innovations: Team cards with team checklists, Highlight cards, MVP cards, and All-Star Designations on the player’s regular card.
  • Hall-of-Fame Rookie cards: #223 Robin Yount, #228 George Brett, #616 Jim Rice, & #620 Gary Carter.
  • Most Expensive Card: #228 George Brett RC
  • Strangest Card: #407 Herb Washington (Position: Pinch Runner)
  • HOF Player’s Worst Card: #660 Hank Aaron
  • HOF Player’s Best Card: #228 George Brett

Click here to buy 1975 Topps Baseball Cards at Dean's Cards