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1977 Topps Baseball

By Patrick Mondout

The 1977 Topps baseball set of 660 cards were distributed in 15 wax packs containing 10 cards and a stick of gum. Cello packs of 17 cards for 25 and rack packs of 39 cards for 49 were also produced. Vending boxes of approximately 500 cards were also produced for hobby dealers.

While Topps ditched the cutesy "boyhood photos" cards a few years before and abandoned the "father/son" cards after 1976, they produced a subset of four "brother" cards for 1977. Identifying twins can be difficult enough and Topps got the Cubs' brothers Reuschel confused in the card below! The other sibling tandems were Ken and George Brett, Ken and Bob Forsch, and Lee and Carlos May (Jim Perry and Tommie Aaron having retired years before).

Other subsets included the record breakers, league leaders (with both leagues on a single card per statistic this year), and a subset of five "turn back the clock" cards. There are also team checklist cards, which with two exceptions feature a team photo with a smaller photo of the manager in the bottom-right. The two exceptions are the two new teams, the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays. With no team photos to go with, Topps reverted to a design similar to the '73 manager cards (see below).

Charlie Hustle!

This card featuring Pete Rose attempting to make third base during the '76 NLCS between a pair of future teammates (Larry Bowa and Garry Maddox) who would eventually earn 10 Gold Gloves between them has always been a personal favorite.

 

Eighteen All-Stars were honored with a bar across the bottom of their cards (see Mark Fidrych, above right) while nine Topps All-Star Rookies were honored with a gold trophy (see Fidrych).

When this set first appeared, the hobby was still a hobby and you could not buy 100 count lots of say Mark Fidrych since their was not yet investor demand for such lots. But cards of the 1976 phenom Fidrych were as hot as any rookie had been and soon Gary Templeton rookies were as well. By the time the investors stepped in early in the next decade, Templeton had reverted to a .248 hitter and Fidrych's arm troubles had him in the minors, but the set continued to rise in price as it appeared to have a pair of first-ballot Hall of Famers, with Andre Dawson and Dale Murphy dominating National League.

While Dawson will probably eventually make the hall, Murphy faded too fast and this set's value now suffers from it. Other notable rookies from the set include possible Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter, Jason Thompson, Lee Mazzilli, Tony Armas, Steve Kemp, Jack Clark, and Dennis Martinez.

An aluminum replica of the '77 Dale Murphy card - one of the hottest on the market at the time - was produced in early 1984 for $10 with proceeds going to the Huntington's Disease Foundation.

A checklist for all 660 cards is available here.

 

1977 Topps at a Glance
Back Checklist Wax Pack
Record Breaker Brothers Rookies
Team Checklist League Leaders Turn Back the Clock
 

 

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1977 TOPPS BASEBALL

Year: 1977

Manufacturer: Topps

# of Cards: 660 (Checklist)

Value/Price: Check eBay (see links below)

Size: 2 x 3

Image courtesy of Topps


'77 Topps Sets!
'77 Topps Singles!
'77 Topps Unopened Packs!
'77 Topps Lots!
'77 Topps Cases!

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