1974 Topps

User Comments

Sep 9, 2023 - 2:47PM
Gunny Musgrove

Absolutely amazing set that I am still building but completely enjoy the design with the large picture and the format of the card backs. Easy to read and catagorize due to the larger numbers on the back unlike some of the latter topps issues. The team checklist cards with the facsimile autographs are top notch also. Probably one of the cleanest sets of the 1970's in my opinion coming only second to the 1971 Topps Black beauties! Again my opinion.

Aug 31, 2023 - 9:07AM

This is by far my favorite set by Topps.

Jan 22, 2023 - 3:42PM
John Palleschi

Understanding the 1974 Topps baseball card set.

In 1974 Topps released its baseball card set in Its entirety instead of by series throughout the summer so it would not be competing with its Football set in the fall. Something it took the company 20 years to figure out. All 660 cards released at once. No high numbers any more*. The cards were printed on sheets that contained 132 cards. Five different sheets were printed totaling 660 cards (which is the number of cards in the set). No double printed or short printed cards like in the past.
The set was advertised as
“All 660 cards in one series”
It had an additional 24 checklist cards 1 for each team (These check list cards could be found in two variations; with one*or two**on the back of the cards)
And by the end of the summer traded cards were released randomly in the baseball card packs (43 player cards which numbers were the same as the players regular issued card but had “T” before the number plus an unnumbered checklist card).

Errors & variations
Card # 654 Jesus Alou was originally released without his position on the front of the card(later corrected).

Card # 608 (Rookie Pitchers) misspelled Bob Apodaca as Apodaco (later corrected).
Card # 161 Ray Burris’s card had the card number printed sideways on the back (not corrected).

*”High Number Cards”
Topps had a policy of taking returns on unsold cards so by the end of the summer when most kids interest waned from baseball and and went onto football cards the last series of baseball were not being bought as much as the first few series. Topps would take back the unsold cards. Thus players in the last series would not be as plentiful as others (scarcer “high numbers”).

So this brings us to the San Diego Padre’s debacle.
Before the season started the San Diego team was going to move to Washington so jumping the gun Topps released cards of some (not all?) of the San Diego players on cards that said “ Washington“on the top but not knowing what the team would be called the Knick name was listed as “NAT’L LEA.” ( National League) on the bottom. The move fell through and the team stayed in San Diego.
But hold on here’s the strange part. Only 15 of the 25 Padre cards were printed with the “ Washington” name on them (this included the team card as well as a multi 4 player rookie card).
With this said and the fact that all cards were released at once ( you could get card # 1 & card # 660 in the same pack) why isn’t there a Washington variation for each San Diego Padre player?
Here is a question I could not get anybody to definitely answer for me.
Example: card #173 Randy Jones could be found with both variations. Card #456 Dave Winfield only was issued at San Diego.
Here is my elusive question if card number 173 and 456 could randomly be found in the same package did tops knowingly put out San Diego cards and Washington cards at the same time? Or were they miss leading us in thinking that you could get cards of any number ( 1-660)in each pack? My guess is that although all cards were released at once only cards from each sheet were mixed together in each pack.

Mar 21, 2022 - 9:44AM

I remember the packaging wrapper with the white baseball and red background. Purchased most of my cards at a High's convenience store in the Baltimore area. The TRADED cards were the ones we put in our bicycle spokes.

Jan 22, 2022 - 12:58PM

My first year collecting Topps (or any) cards. I have the whole set now, along with the 1976 set! Love this set.

Jan 21, 2022 - 10:06AM

I started collecting in 1974. Ten cents a pack at A. Andrews Confectionery. Good times.

Nov 18, 2021 - 5:55PM

First pack of cards I ever opened. My dad brought home a stack of cards from grocery store in Burbank, California. Cards were .10 cents a pack.

Nov 13, 2021 - 5:39PM

God, I love this set. Another classy Topps set that kept it simple but caught the eye in all the right ways. Reminds me of the Topps 88 & 89 sets in their design.

Apr 4, 2021 - 9:04PM

The two star team checklists are sooooo far superior to the one star team checklists, I can hardly believe someone would collect the one star checklists.

Nov 24, 2020 - 10:18AM

1974 rack packs sold for 39 cents and contained 42 cards. Each included a blue header card, but Topps partnered with some major league teams for a promotional giveaway that included a special team-oriented header card.

Mar 31, 2018 - 12:00AM

After not buying any cards in 1973, I decided to get a box of '74 Topps at the grocery store. I have a complete set along with most of the Washington variations. I still have the display box also.

Edited on: Mar 31, 2018 - 12:01AM

Sep 25, 2017 - 12:38PM

The first pack of cards I ever opened was in 1974. I was in first grade and won them at my school's fair (Lima Elementary in Media, Pennsylvania). I was immediately hooked and started collecting. My favorite team became the A's, because I liked their uniforms and Reggie Jackson was my favorite player, because I liked his card's picture the best. (I still have their starting lineup memorized!)

My best friend's favorite team was the Yankees, because he had a Yankees hat, so I'd trade him all of my Yankee cards for all of his A's cards. We'd also trade each other our "Traded" cards because we didn't understand what they were. We thought they were extra cards that you were supposed to trade.

It wasn't until a year later that I figured out that the Phillies were my home team, so I've been a Phillies fan and collector ever since, but the 1974 A's cards still bring back great memories of a simpler time in my life...

Aug 3, 2017 - 6:27PM

'74 Topps was my intro to baseball card collecting. I was 11 years old and living in Oregon. Starting in 1971 Oregon gave you 5 cents for every can or bottle returned to the store. It was a poor child's dream come true! I remember hunting and begging for cans & bottles so that I could turn them in and immediately buy 10 cent wax packs. My favorite team was the Baltimore Orioles and my favorite player and card was SS Mark Belanger (card #329). I have carried that tattered card with me now for decades (even after selling all my cards in 1994).

Feb 28, 2017 - 11:23AM

...still a very affordable vintage set before the price jump begins with the 1973 set. This was the first set made all in one series after a long run of Topps releasing their sets in increments. This set was also made in factory set form for the first time. It also included a separately numbered Traded set for the first time, although I consider 1972, 1969, and 1951 to include Traded cards numbered within the sets. Overall, a great set.

Sep 8, 2016 - 7:04PM

...not exactly the first Traded/Update set if you count the 1972 high numbers, the 1969 team variations, and the 1951 team variations. It is, however, the first Traded set to be numbered separately from the base set. I still consider a 1974 Topps set incomplete without it.

Jul 10, 2016 - 11:33PM

First year I collected and first packs I bought (10 cents a pack - I think they went up to 15 cents in '75 or '76) I had no idea what the Washington National League cards were at the time and would put a paper mask over them with San Diego Padres (duh). The wrappers said something like 'all in one series' and I had no idea what what meant at the time. much simpler times

Aug 20, 2015 - 2:02PM

Rushfan84 not sure who this is but I bought my cards at that exact same A&P. :D SCHS 83

Oct 27, 2012 - 3:47AM

Bought my first packs when I was 7 years old from the A&P grocery store in St. Charles, MO. Wish we could buy packs now for what they cost then (.15 cents a pack I think?)!

May 19, 2011 - 11:01PM

First baseball cards I ever bought, it was at Thrifty Drug Store. That store is long gone, it's a Panera bread store now, but I can still picture the baseball cards and Wacky Packs right there under the front counter.


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