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The 1975 Topps countdown, worst to best (No. 180-161)

I've taken a little break from adding 2024 Heritage and '75 buybacks so I can complete some small sets that have been overdue to be finished.

So that means there's not much of a preamble before we get into the countdown this time. Less for you to read on the holiday weekend! 

Let's get to it:

180. Rick Reuschel (card 153)

The color borders and photo match incredibly well on this card, right down to Reuschel's reddish/brownish hair. Not a Cubs fans but they've got some good cards in this set.

179. Ken Singleton (card 125)
Another stellar color-matcher. The red-blue combo goes very well with the Expos. I don't know what Singleton is looking at -- UFO? 

178. Ron Hodges (card 134)

Great image of Ron Hodges appearing to be pounding his glove and exclaiming "put it here" to the pitcher.

177. John Mayberry (card 95)

John Mayberry was a big man when he played the game and you can just envision the ball flying off his bat here. Mayberry's smiling at the thought himself. Or maybe he's smiling because he just sent the position ball into orbit. 

176. Mike Hegan (card 99)
Another back-swing photo that I like and the red-blue borders are the best. 

175. Earl Williams (card 97)
See above. Earl Williams was a favorite of mine as a kid for reasons that only 9-year-old night owl would know. This is an old pic because the Yankees started playing in Shea Stadium in 1974 and that ain't Shea. 

174. Dan Spillner (card 222)

As soon as I see this card I am in the summer of 1975. I pulled this card on a hot day. It would be a pleasing card if it wasn't so crazy colorful but thank goodness it is.

173. Merv Rettenmund (card 369)

Another big-time favorite card when I was a kid. I think it's the helmet and those spaceship stands in the background. "Merv Rettenmund" is quite the name to a newcomer to the sport, as I was in 1975, but I didn't bat an eye.

172. Ellie Rodriguez (card 285)

Ellie Rodriguez is making this catching pose work for all its worth, chatting up the photographer, it's really great.

171. Ron LeFlore (card 628)

Probably one of my top-five favorite cards in 1975. I pulled it out of the first three packs I ever bought. Still have the original version. I've told that story over and over on here. Had no idea that this was Ron LeFlore's rookie card or his back story but I sure would learn it.

170. Dick Lange (card 114)

One of the better looks of the Twin Buttes that you'll see on cardboard, it's a majestic card and Lange looks like he was shrunken down to fit into the frame. It's a rather unusual-looking card in this set.

169. Wilbur Wood (card 110)

Hey, it's a Wilbur Wood card for the second post in a row! Just a nice-looking shot and the borders match well, too.

168. Manny Mota (card 414)

One of the finer looks you'll get of Dodger Stadium in this set -- oh, heck, it's the finest.

167. Clyde Wright (card 408)

Clyde Wright is demonstrating the classic "pointing" pitching finish on this card. It's an old-school pose that was getting old-fashioned even in 1975, but I've always liked it.

166. Felix Millan (card 445)

Forget about the Cubs, the Mets really have good cards in this set. I was transfixed by this card in 1975, even though Millan's face is in the shadows. The mind-blowing part about this card is the man on this card and that card are the same man.

165. 1974 World Series, Game 5 (card 465)

I have every right to place this card at the absolute bottom of the countdown, below the checklists. Had I watched this World Series live, maybe I would have. I mean my favorite player of all-time is pretty glum at the moment that picture was taken. But objectively, this is a cool World Series card that features a moment -- Joe Rudi's home run -- that was the moment of that game. Too many World Series cards do not do that.

164. Steve Ontiveros (card 483)

A rather artistic card. I don't really know what Steve Ontiveros is doing here with his head down, but I know I was attracted to the card. The appearance of Jerry Reuss in the background is a big bonus.

163. Ken Brett (card 250)

The first Brett to show up in the countdown, that's pretty good, both Brett brothers in the final 175 cards.

162. Dave Rader (card 31)

Hmmmmmm. Is this a cool card or a weird card? I've always thought it was cool. The super-close-ups in the 1974-76 Topps sets really appealed to me as a youngster and do now. Rader seems deep in thought about who knows what.

161. Luis Melendez (card 353)
Luis Melendez finely demonstrates the bat in midswing pose. It's a good shot, but we all know Melendez got to where he is on this countdown based on the cartoon on the back.

Well done, Luis Melendez.

That does it for another episode of the '75 worst-to-best countdown. Enjoy the weekend. But if you're one of those people with the extra loud cars/trucks/motorcycles, that wish isn't for you -- for you I hope it rains all the damn days.


carlsonjok said…
What is up with Ruess' hat in that Ontiveros card?
Old Cards said…
That Wilbur Wood could be the best looking card in the set. No loud cars/trucks/motorcycles at my house. Have a great holiday.
John Bateman said…
Earl Williams rookie record of 30HR in 1971 - I loved his 1972 Topps card. Hearing his name and seeing his cards make me feel like 6 years old again.
Anonymous said…
Is Wilbur Wood wearing one of those rubber tops under his jersey that people used to sweat off weight? Didn't some wrestlers die from wearing those and thus they're banned now? Just wondering.
night owl said…
Probably the same type of thing.
steelehere said…
I saw a George Brett buyback sold on recently on ebay. Good to know it exists.
Fuji said…
That Dick Lange card is a thing of beauty. Don't remember seeing it before (although I had to have come across it when I put my set into a binder), but I won't be forgetting it any time soon.

P.S. The Rudi WS card is pretty cool too.
1984 Tigers said…
If that Lange card is only in the mid 100s, can wait to see rest!

Turns out my area (Midland MI pop 40k) turned out three big league pitchers in the mid 70s. Lange. Jim Kern. Vern Rhule. On his 74 card, it says he lived in Freeland (right next door to me) and was a substitute teacher in the off-season.
jacobmrley said…
Hello????? Echo???? Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon, Manny Mota… Mota…