Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Yard Sale Find Pt.1: The Super Swingin' 70s

Going through the gigantic yard sale find from a few weeks back, I discovered that the haul covered three different decades, the 70s, 80s, and 90s. I thought a fun way to cover the find would be to cover it by decade. Let's start with the 70s back when men were men, Topps was the only game in town for cardboard, and craziness ensued at all ends of the field.

I won't be showing every card that was included in the lot because if I did, I'd be here until next winter scanning cards in and you'd be here until then as well reading about them. So, I'll show the highlights (stars, HOFers, unique/interesting cards) divided up by year. Hope you enjoy this wild and funky ride through 70s cardboard.

There were a handful of cards that pre-dated the 1970s although not by much. So here are those to get us started with:

These 60s cards are super cool. It's great that these checklists are filled out too. They're in fairly decent shape too. Yes, they're marked up but that's the beauty of them. You know that they were appreciated by a youngster in the 60s building up his set. 


Team cards were well represented throughout the load of 1970s stuff. However, one of the finds I got most excited about was this 1970 Tony Perez card. Vintage Reds stuff always goes for a pretty penny around here so finding a Perez card buried in this mass of cardboard was really awesome. However, it wasn't my favorite find. More on that later.


All of the 1971 cards that were included were team cards, which I'm not going to argue with. I picked out some unique ones to showcase. First, there's a team card of the final Senators team ever, then the Orioles team card, which is in really good shape. I thought the Brewers, Expos and Indians cards were pretty cool with the backgrounds on them. However, the Phillies card is very unique in it's the final team shot taken at old Shibe Park (aka Connie Mack Stadium). The Phillies moved into Veterans Stadium to start the 1971 season and this is a pretty cool throwback to an old ballpark.


1972 has never really been one of my favorite designs and only a few notable names in this batch with Al Downing and Ken Brett. The Mike Corkins card I think is one of those infamous high number cards but I'm not exactly sure where the cut-off is for those. It's always pretty cool to get an old school Astros card. Also, I scanned in some of the team cards that were included too, but the scan didn't come out too well. 


1973 was well represented and there were a decent number of duplicates (although not as much as later years) which leads that perhaps these cards came straight from packs that the person opened as a kid. I love the Larry Bowa card with the powers lines and random stuff in the background. It's almost like he was found at a community softball game in his Phillies gear and someone grabbed a posed picture for posterity. Check out the tent behind Joe Torre, is there a carnival going on? Perhaps a spring break party?

Some general fun here from stars such as Tony Oliva and Ron Santo to the infamous Dave "King Kong" Kingman. I could have sworn he was bigger than that. Don't forget about Don Sutton either.

Tug McGraw's picture looks like it was taken at a sandlot somewhere and I believe Rick Monday was the one who saved the American flag from burning in the Wrigley Field outfield once. 

Here's a few horizontals to close out 1973. I was really excited to find a Willie Stargell card in the mix. I had no clue that Chris Chambliss was a member of the Indians at one point either. It also looks to be miscut or it scanned really bad.


Moving on to 1974 and the best card of this whole haul, a San Diego Padres "Washington Nat'l Lea." error card. Long story short, the Padres were all set to move to Washington DC after the 1973 season. The move was so far along that Topps printed cards with "Washington Nat'l Lea." on them to replace the Padres team name. However, at the very last minute, Ray Kroc (yes, the McDonald's guy) bought the Padres and kept them in San Diego.


1975 for me is call the "rainbow set" as I'm sure many others do because of the crazy use of the color spectrum. So weird to see Ron Santo in a White Sox hat. If I'm not mistaken, I believe this is a sunset card as his final year was spent playing for the South Siders. 

The Twins team card has seen better days as there are a few creases in it but to me that's more than acceptable. I'd rather have vintage cards that were well loved than ones that are pristine shape. The Cubs one is interesting as it's actually a team photo, where in previous sets Topps used a makeshift design of floating heads on a generic background.


Getting into the back half of the 70s now as we enter the bicentennial year of 1976. I love the rainbow unis on these Astros cards, I'm not sure what the "40" shoulder patch is on Wilbur Howard. If anyone does, feel free to pass it along.

I could be wrong but I believe the Oliva card is another sunset card. There's also the Cobra, who would have a successful career stretching into the early 90s.

Sparky and Catfish! Plus Joe Torre is his waning days as a player. My favorite card of this batch has to be the Indians team card with their awesome red jerseys. If you look closely at the photo, I'm pretty sure you can see Municipal Stadium crumbling as well. 

A few more cards, this time of some players approaching the back side of their careers. Piniella would continue playing until 1984, while Stargell and Alomar were both retired by 1982.

One of the cool things Topps did with the 1976 set was include some of the old-timers in this Sporting News all-time all-stars subset. These were the only three I found while sorting but not a bad lineup in all honesty.

Hey look! Some Topps Traded cards! I had no idea Tommy Helms was still playing in 1976, let alone being shipped off to Pittsburgh, I showed off a Dusty Baker card earlier so I think it's pretty neat to at least get his traded card to go along with it.


Starting to get into the bland years of 70s Topps cards now but there's still a number of cool things to be had. It was unexpected to find an early Dave Winfield card and a Brooks Robinson card that's seen some better days but that's the fun of digging through mystery boxes and yard sale finds. You never really know what you'll find. 

Haven't shown many team cards recently but these just needed to be shared. The White Sox are in all their softball uniform glory (and probably shorts too). The Indians card looks like a carbon copy of the 1976 card but I still love the old school red uniforms.

And to close out 1977, a few rookie cards and a Bob Forsch/Ken Forsch "Big League Brothers" card. Notice that one of the rookie cards is Dennis Martinez and the other, well, how can you go wrong with a baseball player named Bump.


The rookie catchers card has a lot of decent names on it, including Dale Murphy. Sadly, Bo Diaz would meet an untimely end when he was crushed by a satellite dish on top of his house in November 1990. The biggest name on the rookie second basemen card is by far Lou Whitaker. As far as the others go, I think Garth Iorg hung around the longest. Perlozzo was out of the majors by the end of 1979 and Dave Oliver only played the 1977 season.

There were a fair amount of Yankees and Dodgers in the pile for both 1978 and 1979, with a few duplicates. I got 3/4 of the famous Dodgers infield, just missing Garvey but hey, 3 out of 4 ain't bad. There's also another Chris Chambliss card, this time with the team I recognize him with, future Reds pitching coach Don Gullett, and Dusty and Manny.

I found a few more fun team cards including the second year Mariners in front of the Kingdome, the Giant posing with a trolley car, and the Indians and White Sox once again sporting the same wild uniforms from the year prior.

These manager cards are pretty cool as they show a picture of them in their playing days as well. Interesting to note here that Torre was just moving into manager from being a player/manager. And it's Bobby Cox in his first stint as Braves manger.


And so we come to the end of the decade with a cavalcade of random players. Much like Oscar Gamble's afro, things has decidedly cooled off a bit and the 80s were fast approaching. For this last batch, I tried to show some decent names that hadn't already been shown, like Amos Otis, Bob Boone, Bill Lee, etc. Late 70s Topps isn't exactly the sort of stuff that I actively chase but if it comes to me in a trade or in a lot like this, I'm fine with it.

I feel exhausted after that! Going through these cards definitely gave me an appreciation for some sets I'd looked over in the past that I'll have to consider buying cheap singles of at the next card show I visit. I hope that you enjoyed this first part of the journey through the yard sale find. I'll have the part 2 up in a few days.


  1. Good stuff, love digging through huge finds

  2. Quite a vintage haul there! I'm like you, I've always preferred marked checklists to unmarked ones. The shaded boxes make them seem more "real" to me.

    Also, the '73 Chambliss is one of my favorites from that year because it shows a jacket-wearing pitcher leading off first with Chambliss holding the bag. (I think the pitcher in question is Jim Kaat, though I'm not 100 percent sure.)

  3. Great cards, my favorites are the Red Shoendiest, Lou Whitaker rookie, and the Kingdome Mariners card. I think eventually I'll dive into the 70's but since I was born in the 80's I don't have as much interest in them right now.

  4. Bo Diaz passed away in 1990? Can't believe I missed that. Anyways... great finds. I especially like the 76T Parker and 77T Forsch brothers cards.