Monday, October 2, 2017

Dissecting the 1970 Set

Today I'm wrapping up a 5-part series where I look at the players who had multiple positions listed on their cards. We have already seen the 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969 sets, now here is the 1970 set.

The 1970 Topps set had 720 cards. Team cards (24) returned after a 1-year absence. There are also 24 manager cards, 40 rookie stars cards, 12 league leader cards, a whopping 14 post-season cards (now that we have two LCS series), 20 All-Star cards, and 7 checklists. With all the additional post-season and team cards, there are no multi-player cards in the set. This leaves 579 cards of individual players.

Here is the position breakdown of the 579 player cards.
234 cards for Pitcher
57 cards for Catcher
22 cards for 1st Base
26 cards for 2nd Base
38 cards for Shortstop (38!)
29 cards for 3rd Base
18 cards for Infield
123 cards for Outfield

That's a total of 547 cards. The remaining 32 cards featured players at more than 1 position. Unlike the previous 4 sets, there are hardly any cards with opposite position combinations (for example, we have many 1B-OF, but no OF-1B). Below is a sample of each position:

The 1B-OF combination appears the most (like it always does), but this time there are ELEVEN players: Willie Stargell, Frank Howard, Ken Harrelson, Ron Fairly and Bob Bailey (both on the Expos), Joe Pepitone, Tito Francona, Curt Blefary and Pete Ward (both on the Yankees), Andy Kosco, and Greg Goossen. Jim Stewart is the only player with the INF-OF position.

Joe Torre and John Boccabella are the C-1B players, while only Orlando "Marty" Martinez checks in with C-INF.

Carl Taylor and the Yankees' Frank Fernandez have C-OF on their cards. Mickey Stanley is the only SS-OF (despite not playing very much at shortstop over the 2nd half of 1969).

This is the only position combo that is featured both ways. Dalton Jones and the Pirates' Bob Robertson have the 1B-3B position, and Harmon Killebrew is the lone player with 3B-1B.

Angel Hermoso, Ron Hansen, and Steve Huntz all show 2B-SS, although for some reason Topps is abbreviating "Shortstop" as "S.S." on Hermoso's card. There are 5 players with a 2B-3B combination: Tony Taylor, Jim Lefebvre, Dave Campbell, Wayne Garrett, and the White Sox' Rich Morales.

Rick Renick and Jose Pagan are the 2 players having the 3B-SS position. Graig Nettles is the only 3B-OF player in the set.

Weird stuff 'bout the 1970 set: 

In addition to Angel Hermoso above, Topps also decided they needed periods to abbreviate these two players' positions.

There are only 2 outfielders for the Pirates and 3 for the Cardinals, but the Cubs and Giants each have EIGHT outfielders. (I thought that extravagance was reserved for the Angels!)

With all those outfielders, there was only room for 6 Cubs' pitchers. The White Sox have 7 pitchers, while most teams have 10 or 11.

The Red Sox have FOUR catcher cards!

I also noticed that Topps misspelled Gil Garrido's name as Gill Garrido (on the front only - the back is correct), and was now calling Clay Dalrymple "Clayton".


ImBLOSSY said...

I love this set. I am currently collecting a hand picked complete set and am up to 100+ cards with many stars (aside from Ryan, Bench, Jackson, Munson, who all these premium cards would like to get psa 6 average). I am aiming on a ex-mt set within a few years. My favorite cards are the League Leaders. The Killebrew & Jackson (al ba), Carew & Oliva (al ba), McCovey & Aaron (nl hr), Rose & Clemente (nl ba), Marichal, Carlton & Jenkins are among my favorites. I always have wondered why these cards don not hold the same values as the singles. I think having numerous hall of famers on one card would be a great market for collectors. I have always wanted to collect just these cards between 1960 and 1970 as there are some with Mantle, Mays, Aaron, Maris and many others. The subject matter is wonderful. My only issue is there are alot of third party sellers selling reprints. I think Topps needs to protect their copyrights and the consumers and be more vigilant on weeding out these thieves. All it takes is for topps to have a couple of low paid employees to send messages with a warning of a lawsuit if there listing are not removed. They just have to check the ebay and etsy markets and 80% of these knockoff will be removed from the market. I did notice topps has brought back the 1970 design in the new 2019 set to celebrate 50 years. I think it has brought some new interest in the originals.

ImBLOSSY said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I am collecting the set for fun as a hobby and am going to complete it and leave it to my son to enjoy when he grows old enough to appreciate it and as a family heirloom. Maybe when this one is complete, I has always been partial to the 1968 set. Maybe we can collect that one together when he is 5 or 6 as he is only turning 3 years old this May. I am from the early 90's generation of collecting and have took up the hobby again a few months back. My father and I collected and 1956 topps mn partial set (including a near mint Mantle (Mantle alone valued at $2,200 at the time and that set my father sold for $5,600 as a down payment for our family home) and a partial 1972 topps set. I am only interested in the pre-1975 cards. All the new cards subject matter is too busy and flashy. I like the ol cardboard with the vintage smell.