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The 1975 Topps countdown, worst to best (No. 160-141)

I like the way that the 1975 Topps countdown is coinciding with 2024 Heritage's representation of the 1975 set (notice I didn't say "tribute," it ain't a tribute anymore).

It could be the last great '75 Topps moment of my lifetime. Sure, there are still '75 buybacks to chase and maybe I'll come up with another '75 Topps-centric series of blog posts, but this right here is probably the final big bonanza.

Aren't you lucky you're here for it?

While I continue to count down, I'm gathering 2024 Heritage cards with that familiar wild design. I landed a biggie a week or so ago.

This is one of the ONE HUNDRED short-prints in the set. As soon as I saw Mike Trout was involved with the SPs, I knew I'd have to get it early so it wouldn't be hanging over me like pricey cards like to do. It wasn't that pricey at all, but I'm glad it's out of the way.

I recently received a nice selection of 2024 Heritage needs from Johnny's Trading Spot as well. Heritage has gone all-in on the candid, cropped action shot in this year's set. It's really not anything that showed up in 1975 Topps but Topps/Fanatics has veered away from direct photo tributes this year.

Some more from Johnny. I'm down to needing under 70 cards to finish the set, obviously most of those are short-prints. You may not see any more 2024 Heritage posts until I complete the set, unless I discover something interesting that I missed when the set first came out.

But the rest of this post will be focusing on the originals and extending this countdown. Once I get through here, we'll have less than 150 cards to go!

Let's go!

160. Randy Jones (card 248)

Randy Jones was a key figure in my childhood thanks to his 1976 season when folks speculated whether he'd win 30 games. We were less than 10 years away from Denny McLain's 30-win season at the time yet it seemed ancient times to me.

159. Mike Marshall, '74 Highlights (card 6)

A rather unique card, especially for its time. I can't think of another mound meeting photo on a card that's so tightly cropped. The crop makes it a little difficult to read, which is why this card isn't even higher. But I still think it's a cool shot and it's obvious someone was thinking here (plus probably Topps couldn't get Marshall to pose for them).

158. Jerry Grote (card 158)

Like the Rick Reuschel card on the previous countdown post, the tan-light blue border goes well with blue-pinstriped player. Grote gets bumped ahead because of that shiny blue helmet.

157. Dwight Evans (card 255)

One of the finest looks at Fenway Park in the set.

156. Bob Stinson (card 471)

It's another red-and-blue-border/Expos combo and the red seats at the top and blue uniform at the bottom makes everything work. This card was a big favorite as a kid. The out-of-the-shadows photos were mostly favorites of mine, even if it's difficult to see his face (it's easier to see here than in hand).

155. Ellie Hendricks (card 609)

One of the happier catcher cards that you'll find. 

154. Larry Lintz (card 416)

Major favorite card as a youngster, we thought Larry Lintz was some superstar slugger until turning to the card back. His career was so short I still couldn't tell you much about him except the basics, but this card will stay in my head forever.

153. 1974 Batting Leaders (Rod Carew/Ralph Garr)

One of the few '75 leaders cards I saw that year and another favorite. Ralph Garr was very cool to me -- because of a card you haven't seen on this countdown yet.

152. Paul Blair (card 275)

One of the top profile shots in the set. Some would argue it is the top profile shot in the set, as they did on my 1975 Topps blog. But I like another one a little better.

151. Jim Slaton (card 281)

One of my favorite cards in the entire set when I was a youngster. It's come down a bit since then, probably because you can't see the rest of his arms, but I still like it a lot, it's one of the few cards in the set that conveys movement well.

150. J.R. Richard (card 73)

J.R. Richard is working up a sweat there on the farm ... er, field.
Richard was still kind of an unknown when I pulled this card out of a pack. He was just drawing attention the year this card came out and then he would rocket from there. I am still very happy that I can say I was watching baseball when J.R. Richard was playing.

149. Bill Buckner (card 244)
We're entering prime mustache territory for Buckner with this card. I like the Dodger Stadium scene in the background, too.

148. Ken Griffey (card 284)

Another perfect bat placement with the position ball. I dare you to accurately count all the bats in the background.

Griffey did a lot of good stuff in his playing career but he's mainly known for his offspring who would become the dividing line in determining whether you are an older Gen-Xer or a younger Gen-Xer.

147. Mike Jorgensen (card 286)

I'm a sucker for a first baseman stretch pose and combine that with the Expos uni and a good color border match and that's a plus card.

146. Jim Brewer (card 163)

Possibly the best border-team match for the Dodgers in the set. Manny Mota and Geoff Zahn are also good possibilities. Brewer's career was before my time as a fan and I never saw this card in '75 so it loses its impact with me.

145. Phil Niekro (card 130)

As I've mentioned many times, I interviewed Phil and Joe Niekro together. Neither of them are with us now but wherever they are, Phil can tell Joe that he's ranked higher on the '75 countdown than his brother is (145-306).

144. Del Unser (card 138)

Super sun-shiny card. Just everything about it is bright and if there could be a card that says baseball more than any other card, this one is it.

143. Dave Winfield (card 61)

More sunshine baseball. This off-centered Winfield card is a product of me trying to save money at the end of my 1975 set pursuit when all I needed were big names. I was cutting corners and I still can't get myself to spend the cash to get a sharper version.

142. Bill Sudakis (card 291)

A distinctive card for this set, it draws your attention right away. I have always liked it and even staring at it in my hand I'm drawn to it. This was the final card in Sudakis' career and it's a pretty good ender.

141. Bud Harrelson (card 395)

Bud Harrelson's going to bunt and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

OK, that wraps up another round. I forgot to show a couple other 2024 Heritage cards I got from Johnny.

With the exception of the short-printed Highlights cards, these are the last two I needed for the Dodger collection.

And this is the last MVP card I needed from 2024 Heritage, so that subset is complete.

Speaking of which, I haven't shown many of the MVP cards on the '75 Topps countdown yet. But I assure you they're coming.

Will it be the next episode? Stay tuned!


Chris said…
I always liked that Randy Jones card.

Dewey and Del Unser are nice ones, too. Never saw the Sudakis before. It does stand out for sure.
John Bateman said…
I never saw the Sudakis card in 1975.
Jamie Meyers said…
Lots of nice 75s here. I recently got that Stinson card signed and it's not good for that because the background is so dark. The same could be said for the Blair card, though he found a lighter spot in which to sign it and I agree that the profile is nice. On the other hand, cards like the Unser and Harrelson look great signed. Ralph Garr still is a cool guy, BTW.
Old Cards said…
The Dwight Evans is one of my favorite 75 cards. Part of it may be the fact I liked him as a player. Don't understand profile shots. Why wouldn't the photographer just say "Hey, look over here!" I'm with Chris and John on the Sudakis card. I don't remember ever seeing it.
BillK21093 said…
Elrod Hendricks was a happy guy. Great career in Baltimore as a coach.

It is always said in Baltimore, if you don't have an Elrod Hendricks autograph, you really weren't trying, because he was every where as a signor and always a pleasant encounter.

The Orioles honored Elrod as an Orioles Hall of Fame member in 2001.

I just looked up Elrod's career on b-r to see what I could see and he had three separate stints with the Orioles. I wonder what the record is for the most separate tours with the same team.
Looks like Rickey had four with Oakland.
Grant said…
I really like the font of "Batting Leaders".
1984 Tigers said…
Just love this set. Which is why I gladly paid a few hundreds for large lots of the the full size cards. Growing up in Detroit, put together a very nice Mini set in 75. We were one of the so-called test markets.

My fave of this grouping is clearly the Dwight Evans. Got a chance while on Biz to see a game at Femway in 2009. Gave me chills to see what it was like
steelehere said…
Josh Naylor's head to body seems way out of proportion on his Heritage card.
Fuji said…
Lots of familiar names in this round, but not sure I could tell you anything about Sudakis. From here on out... he'll be remembered for having a fantastic final Topps card though. It's my favorite in this group.
1984 Tigers said…
Unfortunately, both JR and Sudakis got into drugs after baseball, but got cleaned up later. JR had the arm injury that shut down his excellent 1980 season. If he hadn't gone down, I think Houston beats both Philly and KC. As for Sudakis, he and a partner got into selling coke and were busted with a kg in 1985. Glad both got a happier ending in life.