The 1973 Topps baseball card set is considered one of the most iconic issues in the history of the hobby. It marked the final year of the classic design era that had lasted since the 1950s. With economic issues hitting the United States in the early 1970s, the 1973 Topps set had a smaller print run than previous years. This, combined with strong continued interest in the brand and players, has led to 1973 Topps cards maintaining strong popularity and value among collectors for decades.

One of the most famous rookie cards from the 1973 set is that of Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies. Even in low grades, Schmidt’s rookie fetches well over $100. High graded examples can sell for thousands. Another big name rookie is Tom Seaver of the New York Mets. Seaver was already an established star by 1973 but his rookie card remains highly sought after. Low grade Seaver rookies also sell for $100+ while high grades can reach the $500-1000 range.

Superstar cards also command strong prices. Oakland Athletics slugger Reggie Jackson’s card is always in high demand. Even in worn condition a Jackson ’73 fetches a minimum of $50 but increasing up to $150+ for sharper examples. In high grades, a PSA 10 Jackson could sell for $1000 or more. Chicago Cubs legend Billy Williams also has a valuable card from the set. Low grade Williams cards sell between $30-50 while a strong near-mint or better example may reach $75-100.


Hall of Famers with huge careers still ahead of them also have very collectible 1973 rookie cards. George Brett of the Kansas City Royals is one example. Brett rookie cards in any grade sell for at least $50 and higher grades over $100 are common. Philadelphia Phillies starter Steve Carlton, already an established ace in 1973 but not yet in the Hall of Fame, also has a desirable card. Low grades sell around $30-40 while a higher graded Carlton can reach $75-100.

Many star pitchers from the era also have valued 1973 cards. Oakland’s Vida Blue, who won the 1971 AL Cy Young, typically sells for $25-50 based on condition. Los Angeles Dodgers ace Don Sutton is also highly regarded. Sutton cards trade hands between $15-30 on average. New York Yankees star Catfish Hunter, fresh off consecutive 20 win seasons, can sell in the $20-40 range depending on condition. Reliever Rollie Fingers of the A’s, not yet a star but on his way, has a card valued around $15-25 in average condition.

Some other key position players from the time also have 1973 cards that maintain interest. Cincinnati Reds first baseman Tony Perez, coming off back to back World Series titles, sells consistently between $15-25. Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastrzemski, in his twilight but still a fan favorite, is $10-20. Oakland’s stellar defensive third baseman Sal Bando can sell for $10-15. Angels slugger Jim Spencer has found renewed popularity and his card trades around $10. Even role players on contending teams like Oakland’s Gene Tenace, on a $7-12 scale, gain value owing to their team’s success.


Beyond stars, solid major leaguers have 1973 cards valued around $5-10 depending on team affiliation and playing time. Rookies and prospects that did not pan out still maintain mild curiosity value of $3-8 if they showed promise. Meanwhile, many lesser known players can still attract $1-3 from completest collectors wanting to finish their 1973 Topps sets. Even common “filler” cards for sub .200 hitters hold nominal value of $1 or less.

The 1973 Topps set also has several variations that enhance certain cards’ desirability. The Pete Rose “traded” variation, showing him with the Expos though he was dealt midseason to the Reds, is very collectible. Low grade examples sell for $20-30 while mint condition examples can reach $75-100. The Nolan Ryan “mustache” variation, where he is shown clean-shaven on one card but with facial hair on another, also gains premiums over normal copies. Low grades are $10-20 with high grades $30-50 range. Design variations on team logos, photo backgrounds, and player head positions on certain cards create other subset appeal for diligent collectors.


Perhaps most Iconic of all are the highest graded, near-pristine 1973 Topps cards that have achieved PSA 10 “Gem Mint” status. Only the most perfectly cut, centered and preserved cards reach this pinnacle designation. A PSA 10 Mike Schmidt rookie would eclipse $1000 based on recent sales. Similarly, a pristine Reggie Jackson, Carlton Fisk rookie, or Tom Seaver would reach well into four figures. Only the most perfect common cards in PSA 10 holders would even break $20-30. Overall population reports indicate only a small fraction of one percent of issued 1973s have achieved the coveted PSA 10 ranking.

The 1973 Topps set endures as one of the most historically significant and collectible in the hobby, over 45 years since issue. From superstars to scrubs, the visuals and players featured ensure ongoing demand, especially for higher quality copies. For researchers, students of the game and nostalgic fans, acquiring a well-preserved 1973 Topps collection remains a worthwhile pursuit that will keep the cards and their stories current for future generations. Whether spending $1 or $1000, building relationships with other collectors remains the most fun and rewarding part of enduring hobby.

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