BEST BASEBALL CARDS 1970

The 1970 baseball card set is considered one of the most iconic issues of all time. While it lacked star rookies like 1971’s Nolan Ryan card, the 1970 set featured many of the game’s biggest stars from that era and the designs and photographs had a classic vintage feel that card collectors still admire today. Some of the standout cards and players from the 1970 set include:

Hank Aaron (Topps #1) – Arguably the most coveted card from the 1970 set is Hank Aaron’s card. Aaron was chasing Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record at the time and the iconic photo of Aaron at the plate captured the excitement of his pursuit of the Bambino. Aaron would break Ruth’s record in 1974 and go on to finish his career with 755 home runs. His 1970 card in near-mint condition can fetch over $1,000 today due to his legendary status.

Johnny Bench (Topps #250) – As arguably the greatest catcher in baseball history, Bench’s 1970 card is a standout. The photo shows the young Reds star catching a pitch and his intense focus foreshadowed his dominance behind the plate. Bench won the NL MVP and Rookie of the Year in 1970 on his way to a Hall of Fame career. High grade copies of his rookie card sell for $500-1000.

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Tom Seaver (Topps #500) – Seaver was already establishing himself as one of the game’s premier pitchers in 1970 and his card featured an action shot of the Mets’ ace in his windup. Seaver went 22-12 in 1970 and won the first of his three Cy Young Awards. The card of the “Franchise” is a must-have for any Mets or baseball card collection. Near-mint copies sell for $250-500.

Nolan Ryan (Topps #574) – While Ryan’s true rookie card came in the more desirable 1968 set, his second year card in 1970 remains highly sought after. The photo shows Ryan mid-delivery and his blazing fastball was already legendary at this point. This card serves as an affordable alternative for collectors seeking an early Ryan. Near-mint copies can be found for under $100.

Rod Carew (Topps #11) – As one of baseball’s true hitters, Carew’s 1970 card is a classic. The photo captures his elegant left-handed swing that would produce a .328 career batting average. Carew won the AL batting title in 1970 at .332 and his card remains popular with collectors due to his hitting prowess and graceful playing style. Near-mint copies sell between $75-150.

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Reggie Jackson (Topps #250) – Dubbed “Mr. October” for his postseason heroics, Jackson’s 1970 card with the Athletics shows why he earned that nickname. The photo depicts Jackson unleashing a powerful swing that would produce over 500 home runs in his Hall of Fame career. His 1970 card sells for $50-100 in top condition due to his popularity and status as one of the game’s great sluggers.

Bob Gibson (Topps #500) – Arguably the most intimidating pitcher of his era, Gibson’s 1970 card is a classic. The action shot shows Gibson mid-delivery, capturing the vicious intensity he brought to the mound. Gibson won his second Cy Young in 1970 after posting a 1.12 ERA. His card remains popular with collectors due to Gibson’s dominance and is valued at $50-75 in near-mint condition.

Billy Williams (Topps #250) – A true “5-tool” player, Williams was a consistent star for the Cubs during his career. His 1970 card shows Williams at the plate, highlighting his smooth left-handed swing that produced over 400 career home runs. Williams won the NL batting title in 1972 and his 1970 card can be found for $30-50.

Ferguson Jenkins (Topps #500) – One of the best pitchers of the 1970s, Jenkins’ 1970 card with the Cubs shows him ready to deliver to the plate. Jenkins won the NL Cy Young in 1971 after posting a 1.90 ERA. He was later traded to the Rangers and remained an effective starter through the decade. His 1970 card sells for $30-50.

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Jim Palmer (Topps #575) – Palmer emerged as the ace of the Orioles’ staff in the early 1970s and his rookie card in 1970 portrays him in the stretch position. Palmer went on to win three Cy Young Awards and helped Baltimore to four World Series titles. His rookie card is valued around $30-50 due to his outstanding career.

Beyond the star players, the 1970 Topps set also featured over 600 total cards with unique designs and photography that exemplified the era. The colorful borders and team logo at the bottom gave the cards a classic look that is still popular today. Complete 1970 Topps sets in near-mint to mint condition regularly sell for over $1,000 due to the star power and iconic designs. While it may lack a true rookie “gem” like 1971 Nolan Ryan, the 1970 set remains a highly collectible vintage issue prized by collectors both young and old.

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