Sunday, November 26, 2023

New Focus- Football

Like many collectors, I have had occasion to reconsider how I collect in light of the run-up in prices that started with COVID and don't seem to have abated.  As a set collector, it is hard to work around skyrocketing prices. You just have to suck it up and pay the man.  But, my completist tendencies have a limit.  As I've said previously, I will not be building any sets prior to 1955 because of the presence of multiple grossly expensive cards. I struggle with what to do about 1963 because of the high number Pete Rose rookie card. 

But, I have now also decided to only collect sets that have a design that interests me.  So, sets like 1957, 1962, and 1967 Topps baseball are unlikely to ever get built.  Instead, I've decided to look at other sports sets that interest me. Thankfully, basketball, football, and hockey do not command the same premium prices that baseball does,  

I have in the past picked up cheap cards from the 1960s and 1970s of football stars.  So, when I was able to pick up a cheap lot of common cards from that era, I jumped at it.  Thankfully, I liked all the designs.

1968 Topps

How complete:                     51 of 219 cards (23.3%)
Most valuable card          #196 - Bob Griese with a Beckett high book of $200
Stars I already have:           Gale Sayers (obviously), Joe Namath
What I like about it:            Simple design with a visually interesting text box.
What I don't like about it:  The first series uses a light green on the back which is hard to read.                                                                           Thankully, the second series uses blue ink which is easier on the eyes.

1969 Topps

How complete:                     49 of 263 cards (18.6%)
Most valuable card:            #120 -Larry Csonka with a Beckett high book of $150
Stars I already have:           Gale Sayers , Johnny Unitas, Brian Piccolo, Bob Lilly, Don Meredtih,                                                                    Joe Namath, Fran Tarkington, Bob Griese, George Blanda
What I like about it:            Again, simple design and I am very fond of the primary color background
What I don't like about it:  The back is rather drab in comparison to the bright front

1970 Topps

How complete:                     122 of 263 cards (46.4%)
Most valuable card:            #90 -OJ Simpson RC with a Beckett high book of $250
Stars I already have:           OJ Simpson, Bart Starr, Alan Page, Gale Sayers, Fred Biletnikoff,
                                                Bob Lilly, Larry Csonka, Merlin Olsen, Alex Karras
What I like about it:            Color choices are quirky, but is an easy to read, visually interesting back
What I don't like about it:  The tan background somewhat offsets the nice silhouette design.

1973 Topps

How complete:                     529 of 554 cards (97.2%)
Most valuable card:            #89 -Franco Harris RC with a Beckett high book of $200
Stars I already have:           All except George Blanda and Fran Tarkington
What I like about it:            I had a fair number of these cards as a kid, so a nostalgic favorite
What I don't like about it:  The back is just depressingly drab and hard to read.

What I am listening to: Homecoming by Josh Ritter

Nostalgia is an odd thing.  This song always makes me think fondly of my hometown of Rochester, NY.  Yet, last night was my 40th high school reunion and I did not attend.  The distance notwithstanding, I just had no interest in going.  I pretty much floated through high school.  Good enough grades to get into college, but not better. Neither part of, nor opposed to, any particular cohort.  Just there.  I don't need to revisit that.


  1. They had a 30th high school reunion a few years ago... and I didn't go. There are only a handful of people from back then that I keep in touch with... and we don't need a reunion to hang out. I understand how some people enjoy getting together and catching up, but that's just not my cup of tea.

    P.S. Best of luck on these set builds. You're so close on the 73T set.

  2. My 40th was in July. I didn't go. A lot of people didn't go, compared with the 30th. It must not be a popular anniversary.

    I can't get into 1960s football designs. Plus I know very little about '60s football.

    1. Well, to be fair, the 40th is the first reunion that is closer to death than graduation. That isn't my excuse though, since I haven't attended one since the 5th.

  3. Hi! I saw your trade with Night Owl on his blog. If you still have any extra '66s or '67s, I'd love to try to trade for them. Here is a link to my wantlist: