The 24 subject set is made up of the usual Topps mix of the game's superstars, some top players from the non-HOF potential pool and a couple of the usual head-scratchers, although the selection here is pretty solid overall considering each team had to be repped. I make it 11 HOF'ers (marked with an *), although I doubt Aparicio or Mazeroski were considered to be on a path to Cooperstown at the time by Topps.
|APARICIO *||LUIS||WHITE SOX|
|YASTRZEMSKI *||CARL||RED SOX|
I'll dissect the National League today, the American League will follow next week. Robert Edward Auctions had full set of these in one of their prior catalogs and I've liberated these scans from there, with one exception, which I will get to.
Hammerin' Hank was arguably the biggest story in the majors in 1970 as it was all systems go on his assault on the all time Home Run record:
That image looks like it came from the same shoot as his 1970 regular issue card. I don't know why but dugout shots are probably my favorite poses.
The "Rich" Allen lid had to be capless as a big trade on October 7, 1969 sent him and and a couple other players to the Cardinals from the Phillies in exchange for Curt Flood, Tim McCarver and two other players. Flood, as it turned out, began the course of changing baseball history by refusing to report to his new team and the deal was completed in a couple of pieces as 1970 progressed, with some substitutions made by the Phillies, although the other players involved obviously reported to their new employers.
So the set was clearly composed after the trade occurred, probably being worked on around New Year's or a little later, once the regular set was rolling along.
Johnny Bench was on the rise in 1970 but that didn't prevent candy residue from mottling this lid. It's a common problem with the set and the product staining combined with creasing where the tab meets the circular portion of the lid brings a lot of grades down to VG-EX range or so.
The staining is quite apparent on Downtown Ollie Brown:
Willie Davis was a popular choice when Topps needed a Dodger in the early 70's to populate a limited release. He could play a little too.
The pale, blank backgrounds on certain lids really show off the candy stains:
Juan Marichal appears in what looks like a Spring Training shot:
You can see the Pittsburgh University's Cathedral of Learning behind Forbes Field in this classic shot of Maz; check out that chaw in his cheek!
As noted above, Tim McCarver got shipped to the Phillies on October 7, 1969:
Tom Seaver's lid in REA had some registration issues. I found a different Seaver scan online that also had similar problems so there may have been some production issues with the set or at least his lid. You can clearly see the candy was comprised of little nuggets in this sharper example:
Le Grande Orange at Shea Stadium, which would be his professional home a few years later.
The Toy Cannon is also pictured at Shea:
Back with the AL players next time!