Skip to main content

The 1975 Topps countdown, worst to best (No. 220-201)

Before 2024 Heritage came out, commenters would reassure me during my 1975 Topps buyback posts that there would be buybacks accompanying Heritage in 2024. Just hold on, night owl!

I knew that there would be. But having never hunted for buybacks in any previous Heritage brand -- I mean, like, why? -- I had no idea how many would be available.


There are almost too many to process. And many, many that I need, even after accumulating 481 of the 660 cards in buyback form! My watch list on ebay is larger than it's ever been. It's the wild west on there right now. I make a bid, sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. If I lose, hell, there's like five more I need coming right after that!

I've already purchased eight off my want list -- that's after maybe, maybe finding eight per year for the last 2 or 3 years. But I need to calm down now. They'll still be around in the coming months, and there's that little thing called 2024 Heritage that I'm also collecting.

While wandering through the world of Heritage buybacks for the first time, I saw the crazy shit that I expected. A number of them are priced waaay too high. The MVP cards are totally out of my budget. Same with the leaders cards, too. There are also plenty of buybacks that I snagged quite awhile ago for like a buck that are selling in double-digits. Like I've said many times, unless you're trying for a whole buyback set, like me (and I hope I'm one of the only ones) or have always wanted that particular card, stamp or not, why does anyone else care?
But leave it to sellers to capitalize on whatever is new. Right now it's Heritage and the tribute to the 1975 Topps design. I would never capitalize for profit on that design here. I'll show off 1975 cards no matter what Heritage is doing -- or what card design we're supposed to think is the greatest thing now.
Time for another episode of the 1975 Topps countdown, which has been going since before 2023 Heritage:

220. John Ellis, card 605

A nice, straight-on catcher shot. One of the best in the set, maybe a little dark.

219. Fran Healy (card 251)

Hope you like catcher shots as there are a few here and probably in the next segment, too. Fran Healy finally shows up on his own card after being disguised as Steve Busby earlier. Here he presents a nice clear target.

218. David Clyde (card 12)

This is not David Clyde's rookie card but he still hadn't turned 20 when many collectors were pulling this card. I recall liking this because he was so young -- it's true that youngsters are interested in young players. Later, when I knew his career, I thought it was interesting the Anacin sign was so prominent on his card.

217. Del Unser (card 138)

Like the Greg Luzinski card that appeared in the last episode, this is a nice color scheme with the Phillies uniforms from the time. The sunny day and Unser's cool signature ties it all together.

216. Sal Bando (card 380)

One of the many "in the shadows" cards in the set, but I've always been intrigued by this card -- Bando standing next to the A's manager? Could be a coach as well. I've always suspected it's Dick Williams, which would indicate an older photo and a reason for cropping away everything except an ear and a sideburn. Al Dark took over for the A's in 1974. Also, this is another one of the many color-coded A's cards in the set.

215. Mickey Lolich (card 245)

Another card I really liked as a kid, though my card was the mini version. Lolich's shiny jacket makes this card cool. He looks shorter than he is in the shot but maybe he's leaning in a little, pretending he's looking in for the sign.

214. Jackie Brown (card 316)

One of my absolute favorite cards from the set. I don't know why. Rangers again. Chaw again. More looking in for the sign.

213. Buck Martinez (card 314)

Another well-cropped catcher shot. Martinez looks super serious. I was watching a Blue Jays game recently and I've been listening to Martinez broadcast games for decades, but it finally occurred to me how distinctive his voice is and how it might annoy some people enough to not listen to the broadcast. Doesn't bother me though.

212. Tom Egan (card 88)

Egan looks quite old-school in this shot, which is understandable as he'd been in pro ball for a dozen years by this point.

211. Winston Llenas (card 597)

There aren't a lot of bunting shots in this set, so Winston Llenas gets some credit. I wish it wasn't so zoomed-in though.

210. Mike Lum (card 154)

Great batter shot. Good angle, and Lum is taking it very seriously and it looks realistic. I like the stadium background, too and those very '70s Braves uniforms.

209. Mike Garman (card 584)

A super-colorful and spring-like card. This is much like the Jim Dwyer card in the set that appeared earlier, but this card seems brighter. It also takes me back to collecting that year and how I saw only one version of this card that year -- and almost every card. That's how limited my buying was -- or collation was a heck of a lot better then.

208. 1974 World Series, Game 3

Finally getting to some postseason cards. These are rated highly because they capture a moment in time and I love those kinds of cards. This is a fairly average shot of Rollie Fingers on the mound. Could use some cropping. 

207. Tommy Harper (card 537)

Another bright card enhanced by Harper's smile and the clouds in the sky. Another favorite.

206. Joe Lovitto (card 36)

I associate this particular pose, at this particular moment, with the mashers of the time, not Joe Lovitto. But you can't argue with the shot and how he appears to be socking the outfield ball over the fence. It's an inspired Upper Deck-like shot and I don't know if it was intentional but I've always held this card in high regard since I discovered it.

205. George Mitterwald (card 411)

Another favorite for being a dugout shot and a moment-in-time shot. I don't know if George Mitterwald is merely rubbing his eye or adjusting/putting in a contact lens. I totally associate contact lenses with the '70s/early '80s.

204. Bill Freehan (card 397)

That's a swing from someone who knows how to do it right.

203. Charlie Williams (card 449)

The photo angle is everything here. Well, that and the sweeping signature that crosses from one end of the border to the other. I get the sense that Charlie Williams never had a better card.

202. Steve Hargan (card 362)

As a kid, I thought Hargan was seven feet tall after seeing this card. He's 6-3, so that's tall enough for a kid who was among the shortest in his class. It's a nice pitcher pose shot that you don't see as often as the others.

201. Tug McGraw (card 67)

Tug McGraw pretty much at the height of his powers here. The pink-yellow combo with the blue letters goes good with the Mets.

We've reached the end again. I'll tie it back to what I was writing about at the beginning to say that I received an order of five 2024 Heritage cards for the set today. I haven't quit on the idea of buying another hobby box or some blasters, but I wanted to start picking off a few cards here and there from the start so I'm not searching out nothing but high numbers at the end of my quest, like last year.

So most of the cards were high numbers. These are them:

Say what you want about all the weirdness in the 2024 Heritage set, and I have, but it's still the 1975 design for the most part and that design will never die. Not if I have anything to say about it.


Scotty G. said…
I enjoy reading your nightly posts more than any of the local sports writers. Thank you for pointing out aspects of cards that I would never consider. It has made me look at them in a completely different lens.
Greg, I have opened a blaster and some packs if you have a want list I will go through them.
Old Cards said…
Another nice batch. So nice, I can't believe they didn't make the top 200!
night owl said…
Hi, Rod. I do have a want list:

FYI: Jim of cards as I see them is already on the case!
Metallattorney said…
That Tommy Harper is one of my favorites too.
1984 Tigers said…
The Michigan based Meijer grocery store had a buy one get 40 percent off the next so pulled in the last packs and box of 2024 heritage. Enjoying watching a night game and opening the packs.

As for the 75s, great seeing the 68 WS combo of both Lolich and Freehan in this grouping. They shared a photo in the 69 topps WS cards for Game 7 of 68 WS.

Fyi: mickey owned a donut shop and was known to be portly in those days so he often wore a jacket to appear thinner. In 75, the Tigers bottomed out with 102 losses and finally began a rebuild that involved trading Mickey to the Mets for Rusty Staub after the season.
Bo said…
David Clyde is so young on that card - it's a 1973 photo. (Old Yankee Stadium)
Fuji said…
I really like the Fingers... and the crop job. I saw it at the flea market this morning and almost bought it, but it had a $3 price tag which seemed kind of steep.
Michael D said…
I like the WS card with Fingers. Figured those cards would have a better ranking though. Steve Hargan did seem 7 feet tall to this little kid at Ranger games.
1984 Tigers said…
Started opening a few Heritage. Got a news flash card from 1975 with Margaret Thatcher (1st woman to lead Conservative Party). That's a new one.