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1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball Cards

1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball Cards

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1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball is considered one of the rarest sets made in the 1970s. The over-sized cards are believed to have been a test issue with limited distribution. Today, finding cards in decent shape is a tough -- and often pricey -- task.

The set focuses on major achievements from the era. Measuring 2 1/2" by 4 3/4", 1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball card fronts have black borders, similar to the main 1971 Topps Baseball set. The left side of the card has a player's head shot floating inside a green circle with their name in yellow underneath. The cards also read "One of baseball's greatest moments." Next to this is a large black and white photo with a rough border and a caption, similar to what you'd find in a newspaper or magazine.

Card backs continue with the newspaper theme. The notable achievement is a headline, with a small two-column write-up taking up the bulk of the card back. The top notes the card number on the left and that it's a series of 55 cards on the right. The write-ups are made as though they appear from a local paper.

Of the 55 cards on the 1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball checklist, 22 of them are double prints, making them more common than the rest of the set. Willie Mays, Pete Rose and Bob Gibson are among the set's double prints. The strong checklist also includes Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson, Brooks Robinson and Johnny Bench.

It is believed that distribution of 1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball was limited to the New York area. Because it's a tough test issue, there isn't a lot of definitive info available about it.

What is known is that the set is extremely tough to find in decent condition. The black borders are notorious for dings and edge wear. Also, their non-traditional dimensions made them harder to store and often led to further damage. According to this article from PSA, it's also believed a significant stash of cards were involved in a warehouse fire. While some survived, it has led to water-damaged cards making their way to the market.

No matter the reason for their rarity, 1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball is considered one of the crown jewels of oddball baseball cards. High-grade cards don't come cheap, but raw, off-condition examples can be found.

1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball Cards 1 1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball Cards 2

1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball Cards:

  • Reggie Jackson #47
  • Thurman Munson #1
  • Johnny Bench #13
  • Brooks Robinson #9
  • Harmon Killebrew #8
1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball Cards 3Making purchases through affiliate links can earn the site a commission

Set Checklist

1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball Checklist

55 cards. Double prints are noted.

1 Thurman Munson DP
2 Hoyt Wilhelm
3 Rico Carty
4 Carl Morton DP
5 Sal Bando DP
6 Bert Campaneris DP
7 Jim Kaat
8 Harmon Killebrew
9 Brooks Robinson
10 Jim Perry
11 Tony Oliva
12 Vada Pinson
13 Johnny Bench
14 Tony Perez
15 Pete Rose DP
16 Jim Fregosi DP
17 Alex Johnson DP
18 Clyde Wright DP
19 Al Kaline DP
20 Denny McLain
21 Jim Northrup
22 Bill Freehan
23 Mickey Lolich
24 Bob Gibson DP
25 Tim McCarver DP
26 Orlando Cepeda DP
27 Lou Brock DP
28 Nate Colbert DP
29 Maury Wills
30 Wes Parker
31 Jim Wynn
32 Larry Dierker
33 Bill Melton
34 Joe Morgan
35 Rusty Staub
36 Ernie Banks DP
37 Billy Williams
38 Lou Piniella
39 Rico Petrocelli DP
40 Carl Yastrzemski DP
41 Willie Mays DP
42 Tommy Harper
43 Jim Bunning DP
44 Fritz Peterson
45 Roy White
46 Bobby Murcer
47 Reggie Jackson
48 Frank Howard
49 Dick Bosman
50 Sam McDowell DP
51 Luis Aparicio DP
52 Willie McCovey DP
53 Joe Pepitone
54 Jerry Grote
55 Bud Harrelson
1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball Cards 24

Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

User Reviews

bobby powell
bobby powell

I want to know the difference between the real 1971 topps greasiest moments and fakes I have a set and have had the set for more than 30 years. bobby powell

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