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1969 Topps Football Cards

1969 Topps Football Cards

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The 1969 Topps Football card set includes a checklist of 263 total cards, making it the largest football card set ever produced, at that time. It was also the first time that the price of a pack of cards had increased. Wax packs were no longer merely a nickel, as 1969 saw the price double to ten cents. Additionally, it would be the last Topps Football card release before the merger of the AFL and NFL. Measuring the standard 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches, the set is anchored by several future Hall of Fame players, including Gale Sayers (#51), Joe Namath (#100) and Dick Butkus (#139) to name a few. Key rookie cards in the set belong to Brian Piccolo (#26) and Larry Csonka (#120).


The front of the cards feature a player picture superimposed over a solid-colored background of either green, yellow, red, blue, orange or pink. A white block area at the bottom of the card contains the player's name, team and position, with a logo that extends into the rest of the card image. The first and last initials of the player's name are printed in red, with the rest of the letters in black. In contrast, the backs of the cards utilize a striking black background. A green football icon contains the card number, with the player's name, position, team and some vital stats stretching across the top. On the left side of a card, a biography is written with a box for yearly and lifetime statistics for most players. To the right is a separate green section that features a cartoon about the player.

Printing and Distribution

The 1969 Topps Football card set was printed in two series, each consisting of 132 cards. The checklist card (#132), is printed in both series and has two variations. Card numbers 133-263 are slightly more difficult to locate than the first 132 cards. Topps made a slight change to the design of the second series of cards. Where the first series featured a full bleed of the background color into the edges, a white border was added to the second series cards. Also, ten cards from the second series feature pieces of a Fran Tarkenton puzzle on their backs. In addition to the cards and accompanying gum, wax packs also contained 1 of 66 inserts. At the time they were referred to as mini-cards but are more commonly known today as 4-in-1's.

Errors and Variations

The 1969 Topps Football card set contains the only card issued of Brian Piccolo before his untimely death. Interestingly, Piccolo's name is spelled differently on both sides of his card, and both are wrong. The error was never corrected. While not technically true variations, the tone of the background is prone to different hues based on ink levels at the time that particular sheet was being printed. No specific premium is placed on the cards displaying a more consistent background but they are more popular with collectors.

Condition Issues and Notes

The 1969 Topps Football card set marked the last time collectors would see NFL team logos on uniform helmets and the cards themselves, for eleven years. Instead of paying the licensing fee required by the NFL, Topps decided to forgo the use of these logos. The cards from the first series, with their full bleed background are more prone to displaying chipping and edge wear than those from the second series whose border helps hide such blemishes.

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Key Cards

Key 1969 Topps Football Cards

Brian Piccolo RC #26

1969 Topps Football Cards 1

Larry Csonka RC #120

1969 Topps Football Cards 2

Joe Namath #100

1969 Topps Football Cards 3

Dick Butkus #139

1969 Topps Football Cards 4

Gayle Sayers #51

1969 Topps Football Cards 5

1969 Topps Football Cards 6

Set Checklist

1969 Topps Football Set Checklist

Base Set Checklist

Featuring 263 cards

1 Leroy Kelly
2 Paul Flatley
3 Jim Cadile
4 Erich Barnes
5 Willie Richardson
6 Bob Hayes
7 Bob Jeter
8 Jim Colclough
9 Sherrill Headrick
10 Jim Dunaway
11 Bill Munson
12 Jack Pardee
13 Jim Lindsey
14 Dave Whitsell
15 Tucker Frederickson
16 Alvin Haymond
17 Andy Russell
18 Tom Beer
19 Bobby Maples
20 Len Dawson
21 Willis Crenshaw
22 Tommy Davis
23 Rickie Harris
24 Jerry Simmons
25 Johnny Unitas
26 Brian Piccolo RC UER
27 Bob Matheson
28 Howard Twilley
29a Jim Turner
29b Jim Turner
30 Pete Banaszak RC
31 Lance Rentzel RC
32 Bill Triplett
33 Boyd Dowler
34 Merlin Olsen
35 Joe Kapp
36 Dan Abramowicz RC
37 Spider Lockhart
38 Tom Day
39 Art Graham
40 Bob Cappadona
41 Gary Ballman
42 Clendon Thomas
43 Jackie Smith
44 Dave Wilcox
45 Jerry Smith
46 Dan Grimm
47 Tom Matte
48 John Stofa
49 Rex Mirich
50 Miller Farr
51 Gale Sayers
52 Bill Nelsen
53 Bob Lilly
54 Wayne Walker
55 Ray Nitschke
56 Ed Meador
57 Lonnie Warwick
58 Wendell Hayes
59 Dick Anderson RC
60 Don Maynard
61 Tony Lorick
62 Pete Gogolak
63 Nate Ramsey
64 Dick Shiner
65 Larry Wilson UER
66 Ken Willard
67 Charley Taylor
68 Billy Cannon
69 Lance Alworth
70 Jim Nance
71 Nick Rassas
72 Lenny Lyles
73 Bennie McRae
74 Bill Glass
75 Don Meredith
76 Dick LeBeau
77 Carroll Dale
78 Ron McDole
79 Charley King
80 Checklist 1-132 UER
81 Dick Bass
82 Roy Winston
83 Don McCall
84 Jim Katcavage
85 Norm Snead
86 Earl Gros
87 Don Brumm
88 Sonny Bishop
89 Fred Arbanas
90 Karl Noonan
91 Dick Witcher
92 Vince Promuto
93 Tommy Nobis
94 Jerry Hill
95 Ed O'Bradovich RC
96 Ernie Kellerman
97 Chuck Howley
98 Hewritt Dixon
99 Ron Mix
100 Joe Namath
101 Billy Gambrell
102 Elijah Pitts
103 Billy Truax RC
104 Ed Sharockman
105 Doug Atkins
106 Greg Larson
107 Israel Lang
108 Houston Antwine
109 Paul Guidry
110 Al Denson
111 Roy Jefferson
112 Chuck LaTourette
113 Jim Johnson
114 Bobby Mitchell
115 Randy Johnson
116 Lou Michaels
117 Rudy Kuechenberg
118 Walt Suggs
119 Goldie Sellers
120 Larry Csonka RC
121 Jim Houston
122 Craig Baynham
123 Alex Karras
124 Jim Grabowski
125 Roman Gabriel
126 Larry Bowie
127 Dave Parks
128 Ben Davidson
129 Steve DeLong
130 Fred Hill RC
131 Ernie Koy
132a Checklist 133-263
132b Checklist 133-263
133 Dick Hoak
134 Larry Stallings RC
135 Clifton McNeil RC
136 Walter Rock
137 Billy Lothridge
138 Bob Vogel
139 Dick Butkus
140 Frank Ryan
141 Larry Garron
142 George Saimes
143 Frank Buncom
144 Don Perkins
145 John Robinson UER
146 Lee Roy Caffey
147 Bernie Casey
148 Billy Martin
149 Gene Howard
150 Fran Tarkenton
151 Eric Crabtree
152 W.K. Hicks
153 Bobby Bell
154 Sam Baker
155 Marv Woodson
156 Dave Williams
157 Bruce Bosley UER
158 Carl Kammerer
159 Jim Burson
160 Roy Hilton
161 Bob Griese
162 Bob Talamini
163 Jim Otto
164 Ron Bull
165 Walter Johnson RC
166 Lee Roy Jordan
167 Mike Lucci
168 Willie Wood
169 Maxie Baughan
170 Bill Brown
171 John Hadl
172 Gino Cappelletti
173 George Byrd
174 Steve Stonebreaker
175 Joe Morrison
176 Joe Scarpati
177 Bobby Walden
178 Roy Shivers
179 Kermit Alexander
180 Pat Richter
181 Pete Perreault
182 Pete Duranko
183 Leroy Mitchell
184 Jim Simon
185 Billy Ray Smith
186 Jack Concannon
187 Ben Davis
188 Mike Clark
189 Jim Gibbons
190 Dave Robinson
191 Otis Taylor
192 Nick Buoniconti
193 Matt Snell
194 Bruce Gossett
195 Mick Tingelhoff
196 Earl Leggett
197 Pete Case
198 Tom Woodeshick RC
199 Ken Kortas
200 Jim Hart
201 Fred Biletnikoff
202 Jacque MacKinnon
203 Jim Whalen
204 Matt Hazeltine
205 Charlie Gogolak
206 Ray Ogden
207 John Mackey
208 Roosevelt Taylor
209 Gene Hickerson
210 Dave Edwards RC
211 Tom Sestak
212 Ernie Wright
213 Dave Costa
214 Tom Vaughn
215 Bart Starr
216 Les Josephson
217 Fred Cox
218 Mike Tilleman
219 Darrell Dess
220 Dave Lloyd
221 Pete Beathard
222 Buck Buchanan
223 Frank Emanuel
224 Paul Martha
225 Johnny Roland
226 Gary Lewis
227 Sonny Jurgensen UER
228 Jim Butler
229 Mike Curtis RC
230 Richie Petitbon
231 George Sauer Jr.
232 George Blanda
233 Gary Garrison
234 Gary Collins
235 Craig Morton
236 Tom Nowatzke
237 Donny Anderson
238 Deacon Jones
239 Grady Alderman
240 Billy Kilmer
241 Mike Taliaferro
242 Stew Barber
243 Bobby Hunt
244 Homer Jones
245 Bob Brown
246 Bill Asbury
247 Charley Johnson
248 Chris Hanburger
249 John Brodie
250 Earl Morrall
251 Floyd Little
252 Jerrel Wilson RC
253 Jim Keyes
254 Mel Renfro
255 Herb Adderley
256 Jack Snow
257 Charlie Durkee
258 Charlie Harper
259 J.R. Wilburn
260 Charlie Krueger
261 Pete Jaquess
262 Gerry Philbin
263 Daryle Lamonica

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Rob is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff and co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio.He is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby.

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