An oddball classic, 1970 Kellogg’s Baseball was the first complete baseball card set from the cereal maker. The checklist includes Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and a second-year Reggie Jackson.
1970-1979 Baseball Cards
1970s baseball cards are largely considered to be the last of the vintage baseball cards. During the 1970s, more people were starting to recognize the collectible value of baseball cards. For most, though, it was still about having fun and connecting with their favorite players and teams, with little regard for the financial value of the cards themselves. Today, there are many valuable 1970s baseball cards, including a large selection of Hall of Famer rookie cards. Among the many Hall of Famers who made their cardboard debuts during the 1970s are Ozzie Smith, Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Robin Yount, Carlton Fisk, Dennis Eckersley, Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor.
In addition to the abundance of key rookie cards, the condition is also a factor in determining value. Some sets hold up better than others. And then there’s 1971 Topps, which is easily one of the most condition-sensitive sets in the history of the hobby. Although the black borders look great, they don’t hold up well. This has led to big premiums for cards that have sharp corners and edges. Another factor that contributes to the value of 1970s baseball cards is that up until 1974, Topps issued several different series over the course of a season. This led to many short prints that carry a premium still today.
Featured 1970s Baseball Cards Guides
1970s Baseball Card Sets
Explore our database of 1970s Baseball Card Set Information. Each product profile features set checklists, product info, expert analysis, and great deals on singles. Browse baseball cards produced in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979.
While it won’t win any beauty contests, 1970 Topps includes a deep checklist, the rookie card for Thurman Munson, and a variety of different insert sets.
1971 Kellogg’s Baseball is considered the toughest baseball card set from the cereal maker to complete. The small cards once again focus on a 3-D design.
Best known for its condition-sensitive black borders, 1971 Topps Baseball is very tough to find in high-grade. Key rookie cards include Bert Blyleven, Steve Garvey and a multi-player card with Don Baylor and Dusty Baker.
1971 Topps Greatest Moments Baseball is one of the most popular — and expensive — oddball issues of the modern era. The 55-card set is rare and extremely condition sensitive.
1972 Kellogg’s All-Time Baseball Greats is an overlooked gem in the hobby. Extremely affordable, the 3-D set consists of only Hall of Famers.
1972 Kellogg’s Baseball marks the third consecutive year the cereal maker produced a set of 3-D cards. Willie May, Roberto Clemente and Pete Rose are among the big names on the checklist.
With its psychedelic design, 1972 Topps Baseball is instantly recognizable. The Carlton Fisk rookie is the key card in the large checklist and is joined by several new subsets.
1973 Topps Baseball might lack the cult following of some of the other 1970s Topps sets, but the stacked checklist and condition-sensitive nature give it serious staying power among rookie card and set collectors. Mike Schmidt is the key rookie option.
The 1974 McDonald’s San Diego Padres Discs are a relatively inexpensive food-issue set. Included on the checklist is one of the first cards of Dave Winfield.
Released for the first time as a single series, 1974 Topps Baseball is led by the Dave Winfield rookie card. Other rookies of note include Dave Parker and Ken Griffey Sr.
The first Topps Traded set, 1974 Topps Traded Baseball features a relatively small lineup of players who switched teams over the course of the 1974 season.
1975 Hostess Baseball launched one of the most popular and endearing food-issue sets of all-time. Included on the boxes of Twinkies and other snacks, the set includes Robin Yount, Nolan Ryan and Thurman Munson.
1975 Topps Baseball has a loaded checklist that includes rookie cards of George Brett, Robin Yount, Gary Carter and Jim Rice. The colorful design puts it among the most memorable of the decade.
What began as a cost-cutting experiment has become a beloved hobby classic. 1975 Topps Mini Baseball is a rare set that went from a hobby oddball to a mainstream vintage set.
Without a potent lineup of rookies, 1976 Topps Baseball remains very affordable. The attractive set is highlighted by rookie cards of Dennis Eckersley and Willie Randolph.
1977 Topps Baseball doesn’t have a huge rookie card to anchor its value but it does have several second-tier stars, including Andre Dawson, Dale Murphy and Bruce Sutter. Definitely one of the quieter sets of the decade, in terms of both design and impact.
1977 Topps Burger King New York Yankees brought fans a promotional set that also provided some unexpected excitement courtesy of George Steinbrenner and Lou Pinella.
1978 Topps Baseball is anchored by a pair of Hall of Fame rookies: Eddie Murray and Paul Molitor (who shares a card with Alan Trammell). While it’s one of the more subtle sets of the decade, it’s still widely respected among collectors.
1979 Topps Baseball is largely about the Ozzie Smith rookie card. An otherwise weak rookie checklist and somewhat plain design make the set easy to overlook when compared to other sets from the era.