Thursday, February 22, 2018

My 1972 Topps Set Project

I've never put together a vintage set.  I've described before how I made a slight effort at this in my original period of collecting, trying to work on a 1979 Topps set.  Before I quit collecting, I had put together about 100 cards for it, or a bit less than 15% of the whole thing.  When I resumed collecting last summer, I did have an urge to finish that set.  But I decided it's not really worth the effort, as it's much easier just to buy the whole thing since the 1979 set isn't that valuable (I ended up getting a complete set for only $75).  I still had an urge to put together a set by myself, for the first time, though.  So, this past October, I started a project to collect a complete set of 1972 Topps.  I chose 1972 both because of the iconic design, and since I was already collecting the 1972 Topps Pirates, in honor of Clemente, Stargell, and company's World Series win in 1971.

So, I started out with about a dozen or so 1972 cards of some of the stars, and have been buying some more every month.  I have a rough goal to finish within about two years of starting, let's say by the end of December, 2019.  I'll post updates on how I'm doing every now and then, along with some of the more interesting cards.  Here's where we stand today:

Status as of February 22, 2018: 240/787 cards, or 30.50%.
High numbers (cards 657-787): 15/131 cards, or 11.45%.

Now, on to a few of the cards.
Willie Mays and Willie Mays In Action.
The only good card I had of Willie Mays until now was the 1969 Nabisco Team Flakes card I showed once before.  I'm glad to have this pair now, even if they're from the end of his career.  I will try to get at least one from the first half of his career at some point.
Tommy Davis.
Tommy Davis In Action.
As you can see, I bought several pairs of regular and in-action cards.  Here we have Tommy Davis of the A's, who played in the majors with many teams from 1959 through 1976.  It really was many teams: Dodgers, Mets, White Sox, Pilots, Astros, A's, Cubs, A's again, Cubs again, Orioles, Angels, and Royals.  Early in his career, he was a two-time NL batting champion and one-time NL RBI leader with the Dodgers, with whom he won the World Series in 1963. 
Cleon Jones.
Cleon Jones In Action.
Cleon Jones was a member of the Miracle Mets, leading the team in hitting at .340, and in hits, doubles, and steals.  He played almost his whole career with the Mets, except a brief stint in his last year with the White Sox.  He's in the Mets Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.  Cleon Jones was also one of the guest stars in the Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Raymond and Robert went to a special event at Cooperstown honoring the '69 Mets.
Angel Mangual and Ross Grimsley.
Who doesn't love seeing the Topps All-Star Rookie trophy, especially in its large incarnation, like it is here?  Outfielder Angel Mangual finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1971, behind Chris Chambliss of Cleveland and Bill Parsons of Milwaukee.  Pitcher Ross Grimsley was 10-7 in 26 starts with the Reds in 1971, with a 3.57 ERA.  His best year was 1978 with Montreal, making the All-Star team and finishing 7th in Cy Young balloting on a record of 20-11 and a 3.05 ERA.
Grant Jackson and Jim Rooker.
The final three cards I've picked out are of interest to me because they're members of the 1979 Pirates championship team.  Grant Jackson was the winning pitcher in Game 7, and was one of the main relievers, along with Kent Tekulve.  Of course, he's pictured here with the Orioles, and pitched with them in the World Series in 1971, losing to the Pirates.  Jim Rooker was one of the starters for the 1979 Pirates; he didn't get a decision, but he pitched a great 5 innings in Game 5 to keep the Pirates alive.  Before joining the Pirates, Rooker pitched in two games with the Tigers in 1968, and then with the Royals from 1969-1972.
Chuck Tanner.
And then we have Chuck Tanner, manager of those Bucs, pictured here as manager of the White Sox.  He amassed a record of 401-414 managing them from 1970-1975.  Tanner won The Sporting News Manager of the Year for 1972, guiding his White Sox to an 87-67 second-place finish behind the eventual champion Oakland.  He then managed the A's for 1976, before becoming one of the only managers ever to be traded, as the Pirates acquired him for the 1977 season in exchange for Manny Sanguillen.  The Pirates got Manny Sanguillen back soon enough.

So, that's it for now.  Thanks for reading.  As I put together this 1972 set, I'll occassionally have more posts like this showing some of the highlights of the set.


  1. You chose a great set to work on, but I think your completion date is going to end up being pushed back some, as the high numbers in this set can be a real pain... especially if you're on any kind of budget.

  2. Great set. I have one in progress as well. Have you got a want list?

    1. Thanks for asking -- I am keeping track of what I have on Trading Card Database, so my wantlist is there:

  3. You picked quite the set to chase. I started this one as a kid by ripping packs. Went back and finished it about 4 yrs ago. The hi numbers can be tough. Good luck