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Heavy hitters from the dawn of a decade

Some of you eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that briefly yesterday, Night Owl Cards featured a gray background.

I was tinkering with the layout to accommodate my new logo. I eventually realized that Blogger wasn't going to help me in this area, but I should have known what I was doing was wrong because when have I ever liked gray as a primary design theme?

Look at all the sets that I instinctively turn my nose up at: 1983 Fleer, 2017 Topps, 2020 Topps, all gray-based sets. The king of all gray-themed sets is, of course, 1970 Topps.

As I've mentioned too many times, I've come around on '70 Topps, from considering it absolutely uncollectible to currently attempting to complete it. I still won't say it's in my top 10 or anything -- I'm basically trying to complete it because it's a set from the 1970s -- but I appreciate a lot of the pictures in the set more than I once did. And let's face it, compared with what's being churned out on cards currently, it's an easy decision.

Vintage it is!

Very recently, I received two similar packages from blogger Commish Bob and reader Jonathan. Both envelopes contained either all or just-about-all 1970 Topps cards from my want list. And neither was shy about handing out some heavy hitters!

OK, pitchers aren't heavy hitters (no Marichal jokes, wise guys!), but you know what I'm saying! These are all-stars of their time and in some case superstars of their time.

Some of the cards' best days are behind them, but my philosophy on this set is I'll throw them in the page slot anyway and if it's easy to upgrade the card, I will. If it's a super-high number or some superstar that will make me empty my wallet and beg on the streets, forget it. I'll keep the creased card. I have '56 and '67 sets I'm collecting, too, you know.


 Love those old-school catcher crouches!

Here are some lesser-known guys who will fit nicely in my '70 Topps binder without any upgrades.

This may be a set from the '70s, but it's filled with players I don't know because they retired before I started becoming a fan in '74 and '75. Even guys like Phil Regan and Chico Salmon, who are well-chronicled and I've read up on since, do not have histories I can recite backward and forward like later '70s players.

Then there are guys like Jack DiLauro, Bill Dillman and Ron Clark that I'll have to do some research on -- maybe I already did for the '71 blog, but that stuff doesn't stick in my brain like it once did.

There's a fancy All-Star subset card of Commish Bob's favorite. Nice of him to drop that off.


These other specimens I plan to upgrade if I can. But it's nice to know I have them in case I can't!

For instance, this card. It's got to be an upgrade candidate. But it's also card No. 701, meaning it's a high-number and there are only 720 cards in the set anyway! Who knows when I'll have spare cash to land another one.

That's why as a vintage collector, I'm grateful for every high-number card that comes my way.

The above is card No. 599 in the 1967 Topps set, a super-high number. Jonathan added this to the selection of 1970 Topps he set and, man, I'll enjoy slipping this card into its spot.

As for the blog look, I did tweak it a bit and at least one of you noticed. Yay! There's still part of me that wants to make the whole thing typical -- i.e., black type on a white background -- but I don't know, I've relied on the black background for so long.

One thing's for sure. The background isn't going to be gray.


Elliptical Man said…
Stopped off at the sidebar art gallery.

Now I'm voting for the Joe Morgan.
Brett Alan said…
Man, the Bill Butler and Gary Peters cards are the absolute peak of bad airbrushing!
Some great photos in that set. I've always loved catcher poses.
Old Cards said…
Those first 12 cards - Wow! You have some very generous blogger/reader friends.
bbcardz said…
I didn't care much for the 1970 design back when it debuted but it has grown on me a bit since. I think I'm about half-way to completing that set. Congrats on those great maildays.
bryan was here said…
Jack Billingham looks like he either rolled out of bed or whipped off his hat right before he took his picture. Gotta love those capless Topps photos from the '60s and early '70s!
Fuji said…
I enjoy using a black background too, but gray would probably be my backup choice. Then again... I do enjoy the 1983 Fleer design. 1970 Topps? It's kinda bland, but I don't hate it or anything. Congratulations on crossing off that lot of stars from your set's wantlist. That Brooks Robinson TSN All-Star card is awesome. Now that's a beautiful subset.
Nick said…
Haven't come around on '70 Topps yet, but that Joe Morgan is definitely one of my favorites from this set.