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The most discussed sets according to this so-called expert

I was interviewed for a story yesterday that I think is headed for a future issue in one of the Beckett magazines.

It's not the first time I've been interviewed about cards, but it doesn't come around all that often. I'm more used to being the one doing the interviewing.

But whether you are the interview-ee or the interview-er, you still have to do your research ahead of time, and I was doing that shortly before being peppered with questions.

In looking through my blog, I got a little sidetracked and put a list together of the sets I've discussed the most on NOC. I was somewhat surprised by the results.

I'll show the top five right now. No. 6 is the 1976 Topps set, that's why Luis Tiant is there. I didn't want to leave him out.

1. 1956 Topps (147 times)

2. 1972 Topps (140 times)

3. 1975 Topps (125 times)

4. 1977 Topps (102 times)

5. 1971 Topps (94 times)

All right, those of you who know me, or at least have been reading this blog for a few years, are probably stunned into silence. I'll get to that.

But, first, a couple of other observations.

The top two sets make sense because I've built each of them during the life of this blog (same with 1971). As I build the sets, I write lots of posts documenting the journey -- the greatness of a blog in action -- which automatically vaults those sets to the top.

Another interesting rating is 1977 Topps being so high. It is one of four sets I've written about more than 100 times, according to Blogger's labels feature. The '77 set is a little run-of-the-mill to outside observers, but not to me. It's the first set that I collected while watching games on TV, I was really getting to know the players on the cards. One of my early blog posts was how half of my sixth grade class actively collected the '77 set. Also '77 Topps is one of the greatest Transition Sets ever made, with the dawn of free agency and expansion in evidence on the cards. I've written about that multiple times.
All right, now for the two-tone elephant on the blog post.
How the heck is 1975 Topps THIRD? I am failing my public!
But actually it's not third. It's first. By, like, a lot.
That's because I have separate labels for 1975 Topps minis and 1975 Topps buybacks. When I add all those together, because it's ALL '75 Topps, there's no contest. 1975 Topps is now up to 280 mentions.
1975 Topps minis is ninth all by itself and the '75 buybacks are 12th!
If I combine those with the regular '75s, here is the top 10:
1. 1975 Topps: 280
2. 1956 Topps: 147
3. 1972 Topps: 140
4. 1977 Topps: 102
5. 1971 Topps: 94
6. 1976 Topps: 89
7. 1973 Topps: 87
8. 1970 Topps: 85
9. 1978 Topps: 76
10. 1974 Topps: 73
That's me, babbling about '70s cards all the damn time, when it's not the glorious 1956 set.
Here is the next 20:
11. 1979 Topps: 64
12. 2010 Topps: 59
13: 1967 Topps: 58
14. 1981 Topps: 54
15: 2009 Topps: 49
16. 1982 Fleer: 48
17. 1993 Upper Deck: 47
18. 2008 Allen & Ginter: 47
18. 2008 Heritage: 47
20. 1981 Fleer: 46
21. 1969 Topps: 44
22. 2009 OPC: 43
23. 2011 Topps: 42
23. 1982 Topps: 42
25. 2013 Topps: 41
25. 2011 Topps Lineage: 41
27. 1961 Topps: 40
27. 1980 Topps: 40 
27. 1981 Donruss: 40
27. 2006 Topps: 40

OK, a couple weird ones in there, but it shows that I get obsessed with some sets for a brief period of time and write about them a whole bunch.

But even with dragging that list out to 30 sets, we still have not reached the set I discussed in this interview. No, it's not 1987 Topps. God forbid. That's tied for 43rd, and it's still too high.

No, the set I discussed is 35th all-time in mentions on my blog. I think I was contacted because I know a little bit about the set. Heck, I like to think I know something about the set, I love it.

But 1983 Topps, the set I consider the greatest of any set made in the '80s, the set released the spring of when I graduated from high school, the set I loved immediately the first moment I saw it, barely makes the top 40.

Oof. Some expert.

Anyway, check out the article whenever it shows up. If I hear anything more I'll let you know.

Also, in a little bit of a coincidence, I got approval for my next writing topic for Beckett today. So look for that at some point.


Grant said…
Cool, man. Looking forward to your next VC article!
That is years in the making!
Old Cards said…
Surprised to see 61 that high.
1984 Tigers said…
Glad to see the 1967 set getting some live. I'll never fill it though I'm close. Most of the set was picked up in the 1990s. Never found a seaver that I liked well enough to pay a reasonable price. Also I've never seen the red Sox high number team card at a card show. Same with Colavito another crazy tough high number. Now that I'm pushing 60 and neither daughter nor son in law care about sports, will slowly and painfully sell off what I've put together. The 1967 set is great in sheets because you can read the cards easy with the vertical backs.

My other favorites. 1969 topps. Mantles last card. Late series had expansion players in their new uniforms. Seeing Johnny podres in a real padres uni was cool. Also the 1969 ws cards with my 68 world champs tigers is cool. Easy to read backs in light pink.

For 1970s set, favorite is 1975 minis, which were sold in Detroit. Still remember going to Kresges and putting in a nickel for the 5 cards. Getting a catfish hunter which I needed but the card was full size even though the store carried mini packs. Awesome colors and rookies.

Love the 71 topps. Have spent many bucks upgrading those beauties. Love the high numbers seeing dick Allen in dodgers uni. Sparky in his 1st reds uni. McLain in a senators jersey and card 750.

Was in hs when 80s started and three years when it ended. Yes 1983 was a great set and loved it when it came out. Glad to see the 1984 donruss not anywhere on the list. I don't blame Donnie baseball himself but that set seemed to really make rookie cards the focus in the hobby and brought in a lot of investors and speculators.

Same thing for 1987 fleer. I remember Will Clark and bo selling for 30 to 40 bucks each in summer 1990 when the card market was going nuclear meltdown mode.

Night owl, looking forward to your next story in vintage. That's how I found this blog when you wrote about 1972 topps quest.

Paul t

1984 Tigers said…
Old cards, the 1961 set is really nice. Close to filling that one. Took many card shows in the 1990s to get where I've got to. Rookies include cubbies billy Williams and Ron Santo. Also, Marichal.

Other features including a nice run of baseball thrills including Ruth, gehrig, mantle, Hornsby, Larsen perfect game, walter Johnson, Mathewson. MVPs.

This was the first year since 1953 where the high numbers were high priced and really scarce. Love the Wilhelm high # showing him grip the ball with his knuckle ball hold. Also, the all stars are very hard to find. The later series show twins and angels and new senators guys in the new unis

Not for the faint-hearted to collect, but they had dedicated cards for each rookie prospect which ended with the last 8 cards of 1962 when they had 4 in 1 cards.

Paul t
Doc Samson said…
Wow, thanks for relating this to us, Mr. Owl. One of things I remember about 1977 Topps when it came out was the smell. As I would rip open a pack, the smell of sweet bubble gum would burst into the air. While this was true for all Topps packs during the 1970’s, the 1977 packs smelled especially robust. I have no idea why.
John Bateman said…
I graduated HS in 1982 and got that ugh Topps set.

The 1971, 1972 and 1975 set are so great they make the 1973 and 1974 feel like a brown paper bag.

1976 and 1977 Topps pumped up the volume. I think you just made me realize why I love the 1977 set so much - The design was perfect for the First Wave of Free Agents and the Expansion Teams.
1984 Tigers said…
John Bateman, I graduated HS in 81 so we watched the evolution of baseball from players locked in place in early 70s to getting pretty free reign by late 70s.

Some time in the late 80s or early 90s beckett ran a story about the 73 and 74 topps baseball set. The cardboard quality was deliberately diminished to save money, which made those cards had to find later with mint corners.

I like the Reggie 1977 number 10 as a Yankees but wish we got to see him as an oriole.

Btw not sure if you named your screen name after Catcher john Bateman but I remember him and he played for the near expansion houston colt 45s (he played in their 2nd season) as well as expansion expos in 1969.

Paul t
1975 landing at the top sounds about right.
Fuji said…
I regret not tagging specific sets on my blog, since I'd love to see which set has received the most posts. I kept scrolling down for the 1983 Topps set wondering where it fell. I guess I'll have to keep an ear out for that article so I can read it at B&N. It's my favorite set from the 80's too.

P.S. Kudos to 1982 Fleer for being so high on the list. I feel like if there's one 80's set that has gotten the shaft on my blog, it would be that one.
Matt said…
I'm surprised none of the food issue sets made an appearance. I would have thought a Kellogg's or Hostess set would have squeezed into the top 30 somewhere. In hindsight, I kind of wished I was more specific with my labels, as post like this are fun.
Benjamin said…
I was going to say, 1975 was clearly #1, so that was surprising for a moment. Glad all is right with the universe now.

Side note: I'm currently building 1983 Topps. Only 23 cards away from finishing it. The set is the same age I am.