Saturday, November 24, 2012

Exploring '73 Topps

In a previous post, I mentioned I picked up a few cards from the 1973 Topps set at a local card show recently. Other than a solitary Vida Blue card, I had no other representatives in my collection from this vintage set.  For that reason, '73 Topps possess a mysterious aura to it.  One that has given me the itch to discover the many wonders that have been heretofore hidden to me.

Thus, last at Sunday's show I made it a point to search out some affordable '73s.  I found one dealer that had three tables full of neatly organized boxes of Topps cards from the early '60s to mid '70s, mostly commons, but all basically in pack-fresh shape.  So, I dug in.

The first card I came across that captured my attention was the above Jim Fregosi card.  Now, even though I'm not overly familiar with this year of Topps cards, I had gathered from the many wonderful blogs out there that '73 Topps features some of the best and most unique photography from this era of cards.  The Fregosi card provides pretty solid proof of that.  This is such a terrific action shot.  There's so much going on, from the field to the dugout to the stands.

Off to a great start!

Here are my other acquisitions...

These two cards were no-brainer purchases, for me anyways.  While Tom Seaver was and is The Franchise of the Mets, Ed Kranepool represented the team's ironman, if you will.  He debuted as a 17-year-old on the original Mets in 1962 and played 18 seasons in Flushing -- a record that will never be bested.  Meanwhile, Dave Kingman, an ornery figure to say the least, swatted 442 homers playing for seven teams over 16 years.

Another tremendous picture, this one from a curious angle.  Where exactly was this photog perched?  In any event, we see Patek -- who led the AL in putouts and double plays in 1971 -- turning the trick here.

Gotta love the old Braves uniforms.  This Evans card is from early in his career.  He had established career-highs with 19 long balls and 71 RBIs in 1972.  Petrocelli, on the other hand, was already a well-established major leaguer.  He carved out a nice 13-year career in Boston which included a 40-homer campaign in 1969.

This might be my favorite card of the lot.  Awesome photo of a very good major leaguer.  Simmons, who would craft three 100-RBI seasons over the course of his career, was coming off a 16 homer, 96 RBI season for the Cards -- his third full year in the bigs.  He was an All-Star and finished 10th in NL MVP voting in '72.

Last, but certainly not least, comes a card which perfectly captures the essence of what I was hoping 1973 Topps would represent:

The back of the card lets us know that Mr. Day's real first name is Charles.  It does not, however, provide any clues as to this one-of-a-kind nickname.  Regardless, looks like ol' Boots is caught in a pickle here.  A rundown, perhaps?  I love how we also get an out of focus look of the catcher in the foreground, as he jogs down the line to provide backup.  Great card, great name!

While it's not a huge start, these seven cards have provided me with enough to want to continue my journey through the world of 1973 Topps.  I'm certainly in no rush with this project, but I'll absolutely be on the lookout for more vintage boxes at future cards shows.  



  1. I've often wondered where the photographer had to be stationed to get some of these shots as well, especially in the case of that Patek card.

    You should keep your eye out for the '73 Luis Alvarado at future shows, arguably the best photo of the entire set.

    1. Oh wow, I see what you mean! That's a great one!

  2. The '73 set is one of my favorites, not only for the great photos on the front but for the backs of the cards. Not exactly sure why I love the backs of those cards, but for me they were the first feature of the set that made me want to collect it.

  3. Always looked like Tito Fuentes was giving the middle finger to Boots.

  4. '73 is one of my favorite sets that I've discovered since joining the blog community (along with '71 and '63). My favorite card that I've seen (but don't own yet) is Pat Corrales #542.