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1970 Baseball Cards

By Patrick Mondout

Topps produced their biggest set yet with 720 cards. Kellogg's introduced its first new set of cards since 1948 - a popular 3D set. Topps' Canadian licensee O-Pee-Chee began to print the backs of their cards in both French and English as the result of a new law.

Topps test issues include candy lids similar to what they would issue for real in 1973. These are rarely seen. Topps also printed up some cloth stickers in the style of their 1970 cards. They are exceedingly rare with under 20 different players confirmed to exist and for some of those there is only one example. It is likely that this test issue was a test printing never intended to be distributed. Fleer, which did not have a license to print Major League Baseball player cards, printed 1970 team logo cloth stickers. Topps would eventually print a test set of cloth stickers in 1972 and a proper set in 1977.

1970 Cards at a Glance
Kellogg's return to baseball cards was welcomed by collectors. Read more about these cards and view a checklist here

The 1970 O-Pee-Chee baseball cards are virtually identical to the Topps issue (which is why I have chosen to show a wax pack instead) but are printed on white card stock with "printed in Canada" on the back. Read more about this set here.

If the 15 Rold Gold Pretzels 3D cards in this set look similar to the 1972 Kellogg's All Time Greats, its because they are identical with the exception of a 1970 copyright on the back. The cards, which were celebrating 100 years of baseball, are worth at least twice as much as their '72 reissues.
Our coverage of Topps 1970 baseball set of 720 cards is here and a complete checklist is here.

These 8 11/16 x 9 5/8 fold-out thin paper Topps Posters were one of several inserts for '70 Topps wax packs. They were folded four times to fit and most examples seen today are heavily creased.

The set of 24 includes Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, Joe Horlen, Phil Niekro, Willie Dabis, Lou Brock, Ron Santo, Ken Harrelson, Willie McCovey, Rick Wise, Andy Messersmith, Ron Fairly,  Tommie Agee, Roy White, Larry Dierker, Rod Carew, Don Mincher, Ollie Brown, Ed Kirkpatrick, Reggie Smith, Roberto Clemente, Frank Howard, Bert Campaneris and Denny McLain.

Topps inserted Story Booklets into selected wax packs in 1970. Each of the 24 booklets - one per team - featured a story about a single major leaguer with a checklist on the back.

Players in the 6-page booklet set include: Mike Cuellar, Rico Petrocelli, Jay Johnstone, Walt Williams, Vada Pinson, Bill Freehan, Wally Bunker, Tony Oliva, Bobby Murcer, Reggie Jackson, Tommy Harper, Mike Epstein, Orlando Cepeda, Ernie Banks, Pete Rose, Denis Menke, Bill Singer, Rusty Staub, Cleon Jones, Deron Johnson, Bob Moose, Bob Gibson, Al Ferrara, and Willie Mays.

Topps introduced a Scratch Off game in packs of 1970 and 1971 baseball cards. The Hank Aaron card on the left is shown unfolded and both outside and inside. Notice the white borders around the black scratch-off boxes on the inside. Red borders indicate 1971 inserts.

The 22 card set includes Hank Aaron, Rich Allen, Luis Aparicio, Sal Bando, Glen Beckert, Dick Bosman, Nate Colbert, Mike Hegan, Mack Jones, Al Kaline Harmon Killebrew, Juan Marichal, Tim McCarver, Sam McDowell, Claude Osteen, Tony Perez, Lou Piniella, Boog Powell, Tom Seaver, Jim Spencer, Willie Stargell, Mel Stottlemyre, Jim Wynn and Carl Yastrzemski.

Although Topps issued a "Super" set in 1969, the '70 set is quite different. First off, it's larger: the cards are 3 1/8" x 5 1/4" and they were printed on very heavy card stock (they are thick!). The cards were issued in 3-card wax packs with backs that were virtually identical to '70 Topps. We have a checklist here.
Transogram produced a series of baseball statues for kids in 1969 and 1970. In the first year, there was on card on the bottom of a box containing one statue. For 1970, the bottom of each box was a panel of three cards (similar to the Hostess panels of 1975-1979) and there were three statues in the box. The 1970 set of blank-backed cards consisted of a 15 Amazin' Mets of '69 plus 45 players from other teams. Complete boxes are exceedingly rare now as most were disposed of or cut up and intact boxes can command hundreds of dollars.


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