1978 Topps Baseball Cards

1978 Topps Baseball Cards

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The 1978 Topps Baseball card set consists of a checklist of 726 standard-sized cards (2 1/2" x 3 1/2"). The set size represents a significant increase in the total number of cards from those of previous years. Key rookie cards in the set include Eddie Murray (#36) and Paul Molitor (#707) who shares his card with another notable rookie in the form of Alan Trammell. Other notable rookie cards included in the set are Jack Morris (#703), Lou Whitaker (#704) and Lance Parrish (#708). The set also boasts cards from over 20 Hall of Fame players including three from Yankees slugger, Reggie Jackson.

Subsets

The 1978 Topps Baseball card set includes the following subsets within the master base set:

  • Record Breakers (#1-7)
  • League Leaders (#201-208)
  • Playoff and World Series highlights (#276-277)
  • Rookie stars (#701-711)

Design

The design of the 1978 Topps Baseball card set is one of the most subdued of the decade. Relying heavily on the photography rather than color and design elements, the overall design allows the card's story to be told strictly through the player images which dominate the available geography of the cardboard canvas. A bold cursive-like script in the bottom left hand corner displays the team nickname of the depicted player, with their name designated in the area outside the color border which houses the image. A small baseball in the upper right-hand corner lists the player's fielding position.

The rest of the card's story is told on the reverse which contains a wealth of information. A detailed listing of biographical and statistical information is accompanied by a brief trivia piece about the player. Using an orange and blue color scheme, the card backs are instantly identifiable compared to those from previous years in the decade. Removed from the cards is the customary cartoon and is instead replaced by a "play" in a baseball card game.

Distribution

All 726 cards of the 1978 Topps Baseball card set were printed in a single series, Because of the size of the set and the number of cards available on each printing sheet, their are 66 cards that were double printed including those of Pete Rose and Jack Morris. Available at the time in wax packs, cello packs, rack packs and vending boxes, consumers had a variety of options and price points to choose from when purchasing 1978 Topps baseball cards.

Condition Issues

Common condition issues for the set include mis-cuts, print defects and smudging. Particularly notorious for being able to find in high-grade are cards of Nolan Ryan (#400), George Brett (#100) and the Paul Molitor rookie card.

Oddities

Despite having a rookie card the previous year (#476), Atlanta Braves prospect, Dale Murphy, has a second rookie card. Card number 708, which he shares with Lance Parrish, again lists him as a rookie catcher. Most collectors, however, attribute only the 1977 card as Dale Murphy's official rookie card.

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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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