1970 Topps Football Cards

1970 Topps Football Cards

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The release of the 1970 Topps Football card set marked the beginning of a new era for the Topps company. Topps had made the decision to cut back on expenses by forgoing the licensing fee required by the NFL to use team logos on trading cards or to depict player images displaying team names and logos. As a result, the technique of airbrushing become widely used in Topps Football card sets throughout the decade and beyond. 1970 marked the first year of an eleven-year run of logo-less football cards. It would also be the first year of the "new" NFL with the merger of the AFL and NFL. This merger, combined with a new national TV contract, allowed professional football to take a major step forward.

The checklist for the 1970 Topps Football card set consists of 263 total cards, each measuring the standard 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches. The set's major claim to fame is that it contains the rookie card of O.J. Simpson, card number 90. The set as a whole, and Simpson's RC card in particular, has decreased in value as a result of the personal affairs in Simpson's tumultuous life. Other rookie cards included in the set are those of eventual Hall of Famer's, Alan Page (#59), Elvin Bethea (#43), Jan Stenerud (#25), Lem Barney (#75) and Tom Mack (#151). Other notable rookies include future actors, Fred Dryer (#247) and Bubba Smith (#114).

Loaded with veteran Hall of Fame players, the 1970 Topps Football card set is a "who's who" of Canton inductees, including Gale Sayers (#70), Bart Starr (#30), Johnny Unitas (#180), Fran Tarkenton (#80), Dick Butkus (#190), Ray Nitschke (#55), Len Dawson (#1), Larry Csonka (#162), and Bob Griese (#10), to name a few.

Design

The card fronts use an oval-shaped frame matting the player's picture, similar to the design used in 1958. This time, however, there is a solid-colored banner that tails off of the oval. This area contains the player's name and team. A football in the lower right gives his position. A tan/brown color surrounds the player's photo and a white border surrounds the entire card. There are two styles of card backs, depending on the player. For most, a white circle contains the card number, and a box extending across the top gives year and lifetime statistics. For linemen, there are no stats, so the card number is moved down and placed inside a purple ball. The player's name is rendered in a script format, with some vital stats to the right. The rest of the card is split into two parts. The left side features a short biographical write-up, while the right side features a cartoon about the player. A few cards have the cartoon covered so a coin's edge is needed to reveal it.

Printing and Distribution

The 1970 Topps Football card set was printed in two series, with a checklist card #132 printed in each series. Since there were no variations with the checklist card as in the past couple years, the card is considered to be a double-printed. The first series consists of card #'s 1-132 and the second series includes #'s 133-263. Cards were distributed at retail in 10c wax packs.

Insert Sets and Ancillary Products

Both series of 1970 Topps Football cards were distributed with a unique insert set. Series One contained paper posters measuring approximately 8x10 inches. Consisting of a total of 24 different players, the bigger names in the set include Sayers and Butkus. Series Two packs contained one Super Glossy card from a checklist of 33 total players. Notable among them are Unitas, Starr, Namath and Simpson.

That same year, Topps also released a separate product called Topps Supers. These over-sized cards measured 3-1/8 by 5-1/4 inches. The Supers contained the same card back design and information as cards from the regular issue but feature a different image. Showcasing rounded corners and a super thick layered cardboard stock, the 35-card set were distributed in 10c wax packs with three cards in each pack.

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1970 Topps Gale Sayers Card # 70 Near Mint LOWER PRICE
$12.55
2913293814854040 1 Image
LOT OF (630) 1970-1976 TOPPS FOOTBALL SINGLES
$32.10
3611515283094040 1 Image
1970 TOPPS 162 LARRY CSONKA HOF
$13.99
3611515283114040 1 Image
1970 TOPPS 30 BART STARR HOF PACKERS
$7.99
3611515283184040 1 Image
1970 TOPPS 151 TOM MACK HOF RAMS ROKKIE
$9.99
3611515283444040 1 Image
1970 TOPPS 1 LEN DAWSON CHIEFS HOF UER
$12.99
3810889894224040 1 Image
1970 TOPPS 10 BOB GRIESE HOF DOLPHINS
$9.99
3810889894234040 1 Image
1970 TOPPS 25 JAN STENERUD HOF RC CHIEFS
$9.99
3810889894424040 1 Image
1970 TOPPS 180 JOHN UNITAS COLTS HOF
$24.99
3810889894704040 1 Image
1970 TOPPS 70 GALE SAYERS BEARS HOF
$13.99
3611515292604040 1 Image
1970 TOPPS 90 O.J. SIMPSON HOF ROOKIE
$39.99
2011148375924040 1 Image
1970 Topps Football Transparency Scott Eaton Indianapolis Colts T0067
$29.00
2717099704694040 1 Image
1970 Topps OJ Simpson RC
$11.50
3007060020294040 1 Image
1970 Topps Glossy Football Card Insert #22 O.J. Simpson Rookie NRMT
$65.00
2216372046054040 1 Image
1970 Topps Football Super Card Bears Gale Sayers #22
$10.95
2216372047484040 1 Image
1970 Topps Football Super Card Joe Namath
$19.95
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Set Checklist

1970 Topps Football Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Featuring 263 cards

 1 Len Dawson UER
2 Doug Hart RC
3 Verlon Biggs
4 Ralph Neely RC
5 Harmon Wages RC
6 Dan Conners RC
7 Gino Cappelletti
8 Erich Barnes
9 Checklist 1-132
10 Bob Griese
11 Ed Flanagan RC
12 George Seals RC
13 Harry Jacobs
14 Mike Haffner RC
15 Bob Vogel
16 Bill Peterson RC
17 Spider Lockhart
18 Billy Truax
19 Jim Beirne RC
20 Leroy Kelly
21 Dave Lloyd
22 Mike Tilleman
23 Gary Garrison
24 Larry Brown RC
25 Jan Stenerud RC
26 Rolf Krueger RC
27 Roland Lakes
28 Dick Hoak
29 Gene Washington RC
30 Bart Starr
31 Dave Grayson
32 Jerry Rush RC
33 Len St. Jean RC
34 Randy Edmunds RC
35 Matt Snell
36 Paul Costa
37 Mike Pyle
38 Roy Hilton
39 Steve Tensi
40 Tommy Nobis
41 Pete Case
42 Andy Rice RC
43 Elvin Bethea RC
44 Jack Snow
45 Mel Renfro
46 Andy Livingston
47 Gary Ballman
48 Bob DeMarco
49 Steve DeLong
50 Daryle Lamonica
51 Jim Lynch RC
52 Mel Farr RC
53 Bob Long RC
54 John Elliott RC
55 Ray Nitschke
56 Jim Shorter
57 Dave Wilcox
58 Eric Crabtree
59 Alan Page RC
60 Jim Nance
61 Glen Ray Hines RC
62 John Mackey
63 Ron McDole
64 Tom Beier RC
65 Bill Nelsen
66 Paul Flatley
67 Sam Brunelli RC
68 Jack Pardee
69 Brig Owens
70 Gale Sayers
71 Lee Roy Jordan
72 Harold Jackson RC
73 John Hadl
74 Dave Parks
75 Lem Barney RC
76 Johnny Roland
77 Ed Budde
78 Ben McGee
79 Ken Bowman RC
80 Fran Tarkenton
81 Gene Washington RC
82 Larry Grantham
83 Bill Brown
84 John Charles
85 Fred Biletnikoff
86 Royce Berry RC
87 Bob Lilly
88 Earl Morrall
89 Jerry LeVias RC
90 O.J. Simpson RC
91 Mike Howell RC
92 Ken Gray
93 Chris Hanburger
94 Larry Seiple RC
95 Rich Jackson RC
96 Rockne Freitas RC
97 Dick Post RC
98 Ben Hawkins RC
99 Ken Reaves RC
100 Roman Gabriel
101 Dave Rowe RC
102 Dave Robinson
103 Otis Taylor
104 Jim Turner
105 Joe Morrison
106 Dick Evey
107 Ray Mansfield RC
108 Grady Alderman
109 Bruce Gossett
110 Bob Trumpy RC
111 Jim Hunt
112 Larry Stallings
113a Lance Rentzel
113b Lance Rentzel
114 Bubba Smith RC
115 Norm Snead
116 Jim Otto
117 Bo Scott RC
118 Rick Redman
119 George Byrd
120 George Webster RC
121 Chuck Walton RC
122 Dave Costa
123 Al Dodd RC
124 Len Hauss
125 Deacon Jones
126 Randy Johnson
127 Ralph Heck
128 Emerson Boozer RC
129 Johnny Robinson
130 John Brodie
131 Gale Gillingham RC
132 Checklist 133-263 DP
 133 Chuck Walker RC
134 Bennie McRae
135 Paul Warfield
136 Dan Darragh RC
137 Paul Robinson RC
138 Ed Philpott RC
139 Craig Morton
140 Tom Dempsey RC
141 Al Nelson RC
142 Tom Matte
143 Dick Schafrath
144 Willie Brown
145 Charley Taylor UER
146 John Huard RC
147 Dave Osborn
148 Gene Mingo
149 Larry Hand RC
150 Joe Namath
151 Tom Mack RC
152 Kenny Graham
153 Don Herrmann RC
154 Bobby Bell
155 Hoyle Granger RC
156 Claude Humphrey RC
157 Clifton McNeil
158 Mick Tingelhoff
159 Don Horn RC
160 Larry Wilson
161 Tom Neville RC
162 Larry Csonka
163 Doug Buffone RC
164 Cornell Green
165 Haven Moses RC
166 Billy Kilmer
167 Tim Rossovich RC
168 Bill Bergey RC
169 Gary Collins
170 Floyd Little
171 Tom Keating
172 Pat Fischer
173 Walt Sweeney
174 Greg Larson
175 Carl Eller
176 George Sauer Jr.
177 Jim Hart
178 Bob Brown
179 Mike Garrett RC
180 Johnny Unitas
181 Tom Regner RC
182 Bob Jeter
183 Gail Cogdill
184 Earl Gros
185 Dennis Partee RC
186 Charlie Krueger
187 Martin Baccaglio RC
188 Charles Long
189 Bob Hayes
190 Dick Butkus
191 Al Bemiller
192 Dick Westmoreland
193 Joe Scarpati
194 Ron Snidow RC
195 Earl McCullouch RC
196 Jake Kupp RC
197 Bob Lurtsema RC
198 Mike Current RC
199 Charlie Smith RC
200 Sonny Jurgensen
201 Mike Curtis
202 Aaron Brown RC
203 Richie Petitbon
204 Walt Suggs
205 Roy Jefferson
206 Russ Washington RC
207 Woody Peoples RC
208 Dave Williams
209 John Zook RC
210 Tom Woodeshick
211 Howard Fest RC
212 Jack Concannon
213 Jim Marshall
214 Jon Morris
215 Dan Abramowicz
216 Paul Martha
217 Ken Willard
218 Walter Rock
219 Garland Boyette
220 Buck Buchanan
221 Bill Munson
222 David Lee RC
223 Karl Noonan
224 Harry Schuh
225 Jackie Smith
226 Gerry Philbin
227 Ernie Koy
228 Chuck Howley
229 Billy Shaw
230 Jerry Hillebrand
231 Bill Thompson RC
232 Carroll Dale
233 Gene Hickerson
234 Jim Butler
235 Greg Cook RC
236 Lee Roy Caffey
237 Merlin Olsen
238 Fred Cox
239 Nate Ramsey
240 Lance Alworth
241 Chuck Hinton RC
242 Jerry Smith
243 Tony Baker RC
244 Nick Buoniconti
245 Jim Johnson
246 Willie Richardson
247 Fred Dryer RC
248 Bobby Maples
249 Alex Karras
250 Joe Kapp
251 Ben Davidson
252 Mike Stratton
253 Les Josephson
254 Don Maynard
255 Houston Antwine
256 Mac Percival RC
257 George Goeddeke RC
258 Homer Jones
259 Bob Berry RC
260a Calvin Hill RC
260b Calvin Hill RC
261 Willie Wood
262 Ed Weisacosky RC
263 Jim Tyrer

Posters Set Checklist

Featuring 24 cards

1 Gale Sayers
2 Bobby Bell
3 Roman Gabriel
4 Jim Tyrer
5 Willie Brown
6 Carl Eller
7 Tom Mack
8 Deacon Jones
9 Johnny Robinson
10 Jan Stenerud
11 Dick Butkus
12 Lem Barney
13 David Lee
14 Larry Wilson
15 Gene Hickerson
16 Lance Alworth
17 Merlin Olsen
18 Bob Trumpy
19 Bob Lilly
20 Mick Tingelhoff SP
21 Calvin Hill
22 Paul Warfield
23 Chuck Howley
24 Bob Brown

Super Glossy Set Checklist

Featuring 33 cards

1 Tommy Nobis
2 Johnny Unitas
3 Tom Matte
4 Mac Percival
5 Leroy Kelly
6 Mel Renfro
7 Bob Hayes
8 Earl Mccullouch
9 Bart Starr
10 Willie Wood
11 Jack Snow
12 Joe Kapp
13 Dave Osborn
14 Dan Abramowicz
15 Fran Tarkenton
16 Tom Woodeshick
17 Roy Jefferson
18 Jackie Smith
19 Jim Johnson
20 Sonny Jurgensen
21 Houston Antwine
22 O.J. Simpson
23 Greg Cook
24 Floyd Little
25 Rich Jackson
26 George Webster
27 Len Dawson
28 Bob Griese
29 Joe Namath
30 Matt Snell
31 Daryle Lamonica
32 Fred Biletnikoff
33 Dick Post

Topps Supers Set Checklist

Featuring 35 cards

1 Fran Tarkenton
2 Floyd Little
3 Bart Starr
4 Len Dawson
5 Dick Post
6 Sonny Jurgensen
7 Deacon Jones
8 Leroy Kelly
9 Larry Wilson
10 Greg Cook
11 Carl Eller
12 Lem Barney
13 Lance Alworth
14 Dick Butkus
15 Johnny Unitas
16 Roy Jefferson
17 Bobby Bell
18 John Brodie
19 Dan Abramowicz
20 Matt Snell
21 Tom Matte
22 Gale Sayers
23 Tom Woodeshick
24 O.J. Simpson
25 Roman Gabriel
26 Jim Nance
27 Joe Morrison
28 Calvin Hill
29 Tommy Nobis SP
30 Bob Hayes SP
31 Joe Kapp SP
32 Daryle Lamonica SP
33 Joe Namath SP
34 George Webster SP
35 Bob Griese SP


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Rob Bertrand is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby. He is one of the site's most accomplished writers, as well as the co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio. You can follow him on Twitter @VOTC.

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