Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Check Out My 1975 Topps

Did you know that I was working to complete a 1975 Topps set? I ask because I have been using a pretty loose definition of “working” the last few years when it came to this set build. Sure, I had a want list posted in case anyone was actually looking at it, and had some cards I needed. But I hadn't exactly been actively looking for cards for a while.

When I started building the set I was, naturally, able to add cards in big chunks. Buying lots 100 or 200 cards at a time would result in few duplicates, and was easy. Then, that sort of dried up. If I found a “lot” of even 50 cards, chances are I had more than half of them. That was thanks to my want list getting smaller, and the larger percentage of star cards I needed. Those tended to not show up in bulk lots. So, the hunt became more challenging. Not that I'm not up for a challenge, but it really slowed things down. I'm not even sure if I have a local card shop, let alone know how far away one might be. So, I was pretty much limited to eBay. Of course, the problem with buying small quantities of cards on eBay is paying to ship small quantities of cards. I could never bring myself to spend $1 plus $3 shipping for a common 1975 Topps. So, my quest slowly ground to a halt.

Until recently.

I finally decided that enough was enough. I was down to about 25 cards, and just needed to end the hunt. I decided to “check out” COMC since I had heard so many other bloggers talk about it. Bingo. I was able to combine all the single cards I needed into one shipment. Not only were the prices low, but the shipping didn't squash the deal. So I filled my cart and completed my set. Finally!

When the package arrived, I realized that the cards did a pretty good job of representing the reasons why I liked the set so much in the first place. So I thought it would be fun to explore that here.

Of course, we all know how much fun the design is. Those colors just draw the eye., As a Red Sox fan, the 1975 World Series was a big deal...an event I'm reminded of with these two cards from the Reds Machine. So that was a cool aspect of this set. I'm so glad that as Red Sox fans we've finally moved past saying we won that series three games to four.

Speaking of the World Series, this set had commemorative cards for the 1974 series. A subset that allows me to see that series whenever I look through the set.

My favorite subset is the MVP series. What a great way to not only relive baseball’s history, but also obtain affordable “cards” of so many hall of farmers. Robinson, Koufax, Gibson, Clemente, and more all show up on these really cheap cards. Some of my favorites.

Oh, and about the 1975 World Series, what Red Sox fan wouldn't love a set that had the rookie cards of the Gold Dust Twins? Have to wonder how that series would have turned out if Rice was able to play. I actually already had the Rice, but decided adding another at the price was a good idea. I actually also bought the Lynn on eBay before, but when I got the card I realized I had accidentally bought the mini. Oops.

Team cards! Not only a fun way to laugh at the uniforms from the seventies, but a way to get cards of great old-time managers like Anderson with the Reds or Martin with the Rangers.

Of course the set also has hall of famers. And great all-star cards.

League leaders cards are another way to grab some hall of farmers on the cheap. When I started collecting the set, I had this feeling that 1975 was a fun "generational crossover" set. It had players like Hank Aaron who started playing in the mid fifties, and a player like Nolan Ryan who retired in the early nineties. That quite a range. (I wonder if anyone ever determined what the biggest career range ever in a set is.) It really makes me feel like this set is a perfect slice of history.

The other really appealing part of this set is that it contained a couple key rookie cards of Hall of Famers, and the Yount and Brett cards were iconic ones. The fact that I already had the Brett (even in rough shape) was a key point in my favor at the beginning. My plan was always to make this Yount card the last one I got to complete the set. For one thing, it would save me from spending a lot of money on a card for a set that might never be completed. It would also mean that I wouldn’t spend time trying to track down some random common just because it was the last card I needed. As it happened, this card might not have technically been the last card I got, but it was part of the last purchase I made.

Or, so I thought.

When I went to put these cards into the binder with the rest of their friends, I had a problem with this one.

I couldn't put away this #347 Mike Caldwell because there was already a Mike Caldwell in that spot. Yup. I bought a card I already had. Now, that would have been just a minor annoyance...a few extra dimes spent on a card I didn't need...if it weren't for something else.

There was a blank spot on the page where #346 Bobby Darwin should be.

Yup. I'm still one card short!

So, what I had planned on avoiding has happened. I'm forced to track down one last common card just to complete the set.

Hopefully it won't take me years.

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