Tag Archives: 1970


The value of 1970 baseball cards can vary greatly depending on the player, the condition of the card, and other factors. On the whole, 1970 is generally considered to be one of the more valuable vintage years for baseball cards. There are a few key reasons for this:

1970 was right in the middle of the “golden age” of baseball cards, which spanned from the late 1960s through the early 1970s. Production and collecting of baseball cards was at an all-time peak during this period. Topps held the exclusive contract to produce major league baseball cards during this time as well. As the original and largest baseball card company, Topps cards from the 1960s and 70s are usually the most sought after by collectors.

Another major factor is the players featured on 1970 cards. Some of the all-time greats had legendary seasons and appeared in their baseball card primes on 1970 issues. For example, cards of Nolan Ryan, Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, and Roberto Clemente from 1970 are very valuable since those players were superstars and all-time legends at that point in their careers. Collectors are always seeking out classic cards showing legendary players in their best statistical seasons or award-winning years.

Condition is critical to the value of any vintage card, but demand is extremely high for 1970s in top grades like Mint or Near Mint. Cards from the early 1970s that are fresh, centered and in top-notch condition can be worth exponentially more than worn or damaged copies. This is partly because 50 years ago card care, storage practices and longevity of the cardboard stock used meant many cards did not survive in pristine condition like modern issues. Finding a 1970 card in amazing shape is rare and increases its desirability.

Rookie and early career cards also carry premiums for players who went on to have Hall of Fame careers. The 1970 set included rookie cards or early career cards for future stars like Steve Carlton, Reggie Jackson, Tom Seaver, and Thurman Munson, which are especially valuable in high grades. Collectors covet these as the first widely available cardboard representation of all-time great players in their formative big league seasons.

Beyond just the star players, the 1970 set had cultural significance that drives collector interest. It was issued during an era of musical and social upheaval best remembered through a post-60s lens. The designs and photography styles capture a moment in time that resonates with collectors and card historians. The 1970 Topps set featured the first large team checklist cards as well as one of the earliest trading card variations, making them notable from a pop culture memorabilia standpoint.

The stars aligned for 1970 baseball cards to become a highly sought-after vintage issue. The perfect storm of all-time players, desirable rookies, pristine condition challenges, exclusive production rights and wider collecting trends during the 1970s golden age mean well-preserved1970s can be exceptionally valuable, often commanding four-figure or even five-figure prices for the best examples. Even commons and stars from the set in worn condition hold value recognition over simpler design commons of other years due to their cultural footprint.Overall, 1970s possess enduring desirability that few other years can rival for dedicated collectors of vintage cardboard.

1970 baseball cards are generally considered to be quite valuable in the collecting sphere due to an alignment of factors during their production year including all-time players featured, cultural context, scarcity of high grade specimens, and collecting appreciation that has grown over the decades. Their combination of on-field significance and nostalgia factor contribute to demand amongst enthusiasts willing to pay premium prices for choice examples of this important vintage set. Whether measuring their worth through the pedigree of included players or recognition within the hobby, 1970s can safely be called one of the most valuable mainstream issues produced during the golden age of the sport’s trading card years.


The 1970 baseball card season marked the start of a new decade and featured the final year of designs from the famous ‘zip code’ era of the late 1960s. Although not quite as popular and valuable as some other years, 1970 cards still hold significance and value for collectors today.

To understand the worth of 1970 cards, it’s important to look at the broader context of the vintage baseball card market. After exploding in popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s, interest and prices climbed steadily through the late 90s/early 2000s. The recession shook the collector world and values decreased across the board in the late 2000s/early 2010s. In recent years though, the market has stabilized and started increasing again.

Within the 1970 set, the most valuable cards tend to be the biggest star players from that era who went on to the Hall of Fame. One of the top cards is Nolan Ryan’s rookie card from the San Francisco Giants subset. Due to his legendary career and status as a poster boy for the no-hitter record, his 1970 Giants RC regularly commands four-figure prices, even in low-grade copies. Graded PSA 8s have sold for over $10,000.

Another blue-chip card is Johnny Bench’s second year card. As arguably the greatest catcher ever and a cornerstone of the Big Red Machine dynasty, his 1970s have maintained strong demand. Low-end copies trade in the $100-250 range, while a PSA 8 could reach $1,000-2,000. Orlando Cepeda and Hank Aaron, two other established star sluggers at the time, also have $100+ cards in average condition.

Rookies of future Hall of Famers also hold value. Graded examples of Dave Winfield, Carlton Fisk, and Lou Brock in their debut seasons commonly sell in the $50-150 range depending on the player and grade. Bilingual French-Canadian Andre Dawson’s RC has also become a popular “finder’s keep” over the past decade for collectors.

Beyond the stars though, solid major leaguers and/or players with unique photos can still attract interest. Curt Flood, Rico Petrocelli, and Jesus Alou all have $20-50 cards across most grades. Special photo variations like Reggie Jackson posing in front of an airplane or Willie Stargell swinging from his knees gain premiums too.

For entire set collectors, finding affordable 1970 collections in worn conditions is very possible. Low-grade runs missing some stars can be found for $100-300 total. Completing a higher-end project has become cost-prohibitive without the top RCs. Even with substitutions, a PSA 6-8 graded set would run well over $5,000 today.

While 1970s will never reach the stratospheric values of the 1950s or even late 80s boom, they remain a very collectible vintage issue. The star power of Nolan Ryan, Bench, and Aaron anchors the set and ensures their cards retain strong valuations. Beyond the headliners, many other players have affordable cards that appeal to both casual and dedicated collectors alike from this era. With a mix of Hall of Famers, rookies, and colorful uniforms/photos, 1970s continue to be a thriving part of the vintage sports card market.


The value of a complete set of 1970 Topps baseball cards can vary greatly depending on the condition and quality of the cards in the set. The 1970 Topps set contains 792 total cards including 66 All-Star cards and 22 manager cards. It was the 19th regular set produced by Topps and remains one of the most popular and collectible vintage sets from the 1950s through 1970s.

To give some context on condition, card grading companies like PSA and BGS rate cards on a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being perfect mint condition. The lowest grade a card can receive and still be considered part of a complete set is usually around POOR-VERY POOR or just below 3.0. Cards in higher grades of EX-MT or above a 7.0 would vastly increase the value of the complete set.

If we assume an average condition of POOR-VERY POOR for the base cards in the 1970 Topps set, here is a breakdown of what a complete run in that condition would fetch on the current collectible card market:

Basecards (592 cards): In POOR-VERY POOR condition, the average value per card is around $5-10. So the complete base run would be worth $2,960-$5,920.

All-Star cards (66): Being premium cards, All-Stars fetch a slight premium even in lower grades. POOR All-Stars average around $15-20 each. So the 66 card All-Star subset is worth $990-$1,320.

Manager cards (22): Manager cards also carry a small premium. POOR Manager cards go for approx. $10-15 each. So the complete 22 card manager subset is worth $220-$330.

Taking the low end estimated values for each piece of the set, a complete 1970 Topps run in average POOR-VERY POOR condition would be worth roughly $4,170 total.

Now let’s examine what a 1970 Topps set in higher EX-MT grades of 7.0-8.0 would sell for. In excellent condition, base cards rise significantly in value to an average of around $25-40 each. All-Star cards may fetch $60-$100 in EX-MT. And manager cards could sell in the range of $40-$70.

Doing the math on card counts and applying estimated EX-MT prices:

Basecards (592): $25-40 average = $14,800 – $23,680
All-Star cards (66): $60-100 average = $3,960 – $6,600
Manager cards (22): $40-70 average = $880 – $1,540

A complete 1970 Topps set in EX-MT 7.0-8.0 condition could reasonably sell in the $20,640-$32,820 range today. AndCONDITION

We haven’t even accounted for the extreme rarity and value of high grade true GEM MT 10 specimens of stars like Seaver, Aaron, Clemente, etc. Individual MT 10 cards can sell for thousands on their own.

In summary – a complete 1970 Topps baseball set in average POOR-VERY POOR condition might fetch $4,000-$5,000. But in top-rated EX-MT condition, the complete 792 card set has a potential value between $20,000-$33,000 or higher depending on gradings and demand. Condition is absolutely key in determining worth, and rare pristine vintage sets can sell for substantial sums at auction.


The value of baseball cards from 1970 can vary widely depending on several factors, but on average they are worth more today than they were when originally released over 50 years ago. Some of the most influential players of the 1970s had rookie cards issued in 1970, making cards from that year highly desirable for collectors.

One of the biggest factors that impacts the value of 1970 baseball cards is the condition or grade of the individual card. Like any collectible, the better condition a card is in the more it will be worth. Near mint or mint condition 1970 cards can command prices well above cards that are more worn or damaged. Another consideration is if the card has been professionally graded and encapsulated by a respected company like PSA or BGS. Receiving a high grade authentication from one of these groups typically increases a card’s value significantly.

In addition to condition, the specific player featured on the card plays a major role in determining worth. Rookie cards or cards of future Hall of Fame players from 1970 are usually the most valuable. Examples would include Nolan Ryan’s rookie card, Thurman Munson’s rookie, George Brett’s rookie, and Johnny Bench’s second year card from 1970 Topps. Graded examples of these star rookie and star player cards in top condition can sell for thousands of dollars or more today. Even more common cards from 1970 of lesser known players still have value, often at least $5-10 each in well-kept condition.

The brand or set the card comes from is another value factor, as the 1970 Topps set is by far the most iconic and complete from that year. But cards are also found from 1970 Fleer, Kellogg’s, and other minor sets. Topps base cards from the era will generally hold the highest value, though specialty subsets or parallels could increase the worth of minor brand issues. The card number and rarity within the set also impacts pricing – unique serial numbers, error cards, variations and the like are always in higher demand.

When looking specifically at 1970 Topps baseball cards as the bread and butter issue from that season, here are some general price points that well-graded copies may sell for based on the name on the front:

Nolan Ryan RC (Card #468): In PSA 10 condition usually $2,000-3,000, PSA 9 around $1,000-1,500.

Johnny Bench (Card #60): PSA 10 ranges $300-500, PSA 9 is $150-250.

Tom Seaver (Card #233): Near mint to mint copies $50-100.

Carl Yastrzemski (Card #28): Excellent condition Yaz cards $25-40.

Joe Morgan (Card #521): His RC in great shape $15-25.

Reggie Jackson (Card #340): Typically $10-20 in very good or better condition.

Thurman Munson RC (Card #574): Graded examples around $75-150 depending on the grade.

Those are just a sampling – there are dozens of other significant players whose 1970 Topps RCs or other cards hold value today. But generally speaking, common players outside the star/HOF categories have lower price tags, often $5-10 each for cards in good restored condition. The populations of high grade 1970s cardboard have also sharply increased prices the last 5-10 years as more collectors focus on vintage material. So in summary – condition, player, set and grade are the critical value components when it comes to any 1970 baseball card collection today. The era remains a fan favorite for its memorable athletes and visual aesthetics compared to modern issues. With another 50 years of appreciation likely still ahead, cards from the 1970 season have staying power as a top vintage commodity for the foreseeable future.


The 1970 baseball card season saw the rise of many future Hall of Famers and all-time great players who were just starting their careers. While the cards from this era may not fetch million-dollar prices like some decades prior, there are still quite a few gems from 1970 that can bring in substantial returns for collectors. Let’s take a look at some of the most valuable 1970 baseball cards to keep an eye out for.

One of the true heavy hitters from the 1970 set is the Nolan Ryan rookie card. Ryan was just starting his journey with the New York Mets in 1970 and went on to become arguably the greatest strikeout pitcher of all time. Low population combined with his legendary career has made his 1970 Topps rookie one of the most coveted in the sport’s history. In near mint to mint condition, it can sell for over $20,000. The card is clearly at the very top of the most valuable list for the ’70s.

Another rookie card that earns a spot towards the top is Johnny Bench’s 1970 issue from Topps. Bench burst onto the scene in 1969 as a 21-year-old catcher for the Cincinnati Reds and quickly proved to be one of the best ever behind the plate. He won the 1970 National League Rookie of the Year award. With his future Hall of Fame career and the scarcity of high-grade copies, Bench’s rookie card can net $15,000 or more for a true gem copy.

Reggie Jackson made his Topps debut in 1970 with the Oakland A’s and went on to have a famous career with the Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Yankees. As one of the game’s most iconic power hitters and a member of the 500 home run club, Jackson’s cards hold significant worth. For a pristine 1970 Topps Reggie Jackson, expect to pay around $8,000-$10,000.

In 1970, Carl Yastrzemski was in his prime with the Boston Red Sox and won the American League MVP and batting title. “Yaz” went on to capture the 1967 AL Triple Crown and amass over 3,000 career hits. His 1970 Topps card isn’t quite as scarce as the rookie cards above, but still highly valuable in top grades. A NM-MT copy can be valued around $3,500.

One of the 1970 set’s more sought-after short prints is the Curt Flood card. In addition to being a superb defensive center fielder, Flood is well known for filing a pivotal 1970 lawsuit against Major League Baseball which challenged the league’s reserve clause. Only about 100 copies of his card are believed to exist in pristine condition, so a gem MT/MT+ version could sell for $3,000 or higher.

Moving into the $1,000-$2,000 range, other standout 1970 cards include rookie cards of future Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Joe Morgan, and Tom Seaver. Aaron’s Milwaukee Braves card and Seaver’s early Mets issue are two of the key rookie cards collectors hunt. Morgan made his debut with the Houston Astros and went on to a sparkling career mostly with the Big Red Machine Reds.

Some dark horses that can approach $1,000 for top quality include Fergie Jenkins’ 1970 Phillies card, Rod Carew’s 1970 Twins card from his American League Rookie of the Year season, and Nolan Ryan’s 1972 Angels rookie substitute card which was actually issued a year early in the 1970 set due to a photo shortage.

While it may lack some of the mega-valuable cards of the 1960s, savvy collectors know there is still gold to be found in the 1970 Topps baseball series. Rookie cards of soon-to-be all-time greats like Ryan, Bench, Yastrzemski and more make this set highly collectible even decades later. For unopened wax packs or boxes in pristine condition, prices can easily hit five figures as well. The 1970s birthed many icons of the sport, and their early cardboard issues rightly earn places among the most prized baseball collectibles.


The 1970 Topps baseball card set was a milestone release that captured the sport during one of its most transitional eras. It was the ninth series issued by Topps after securing the exclusive Major League Baseball license in 1950. The 570-card set featured all active major and minor league players as well as managers and coaches.

The early 1970s brought great change to America’s pastime as cultural shifts disrupted tradition. Younger fans embraced newly emerging styles and sounds, while an aging fanbase clung tightly to memory and morals of an earlier time. Ballplayers were no longer above reproach, as drug scandals shook confidence. Still, the game itself endured as a respite from turmoil outside the ballpark.

Topps’ 1970 offering reflected this duality. Design retained elements of the classic photographic style established in the late 1950s. But photography also modernized subtly with updated borders and backgrounds signaling change ahead. Icons like Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew and Pete Rose anchored the set as standard-bearers of excellence, whileflashier stars like Reggie Jackson rose as embodiment of a stylish new school.

Perhaps most representative of transition was the card for Roberto Clemente. In his 18th and final season, he remained a premier talent and role model. But injuries were taking a toll, and no one could have predicted he would lose his life in a plane crash providing earthquake relief to Nicaragua. Tragically, it occurred just after the season concluded and only months following production of this Topps release celebrating his great career.

Rookies who debuted in 1970 brought fresh energy and talent, like future Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Carlton Fisk. Their raw potential shone through in card photos as they poised to reshape the sport. Established young stars like Rod Carew and Tom Seaver came into their prime. Carew’s batting accomplishments in 1970 are still considered among the single-season greats.

Topps also took a step toward modern rarities with several special serially-numbered parallel subsets. These included the gold-bordered Record Breakers honoring statistical feats, the gold Stadium Club tallies of career home runmilestones, and the gold GrandSlam HomeRun Kings set. Parallels captured the hunt for scarce variations that fuels collector frenzy to this day. Inserted randomly in packs, they teased the promise of something special in every box of cards ripped open.

Despite changes afoot, Topps brilliantly managed to both commemorate hallowed heroes and chronicle sunrise careers all within classic cardboard packaging. The design incorporated hand-painted team banners along the top, pennant flair on the borders, and a quality photo on every card that brought ballplayers to life. When paired with the vibrant culture of the times, it made the 1970 Topps issue uniquely emblematic of a tipping point for the national pastime as it moved confidently into a new era.

Though not the most valuable or scarce among vintage releases, the 1970 Topps set remains a favorite of collectors for historic perspective on a pivotal juncture for baseball. Five decades later, it still shines as a snapshot capturing an unforgettable season that was really just the start of so much more to come. Card collectors and historians alike appreciate how it freeze-framed a pinnacle moment when baseball began redefining its soul for another generation eagerly awaiting its gifts of thrill and escape. That special Role of baseball in our societal fabric endures, just as these humble penny cards do as a reminder of where it all began.


The 1970 Topps baseball card set is a significant release for several reasons, but chiefly due to their oversized format. At 3 3/4 inches by 2 1/2 inches, the 1970 Topps cards were noticeably larger than the standard 3 1/8 inches by 2 1/8 inches size that had been the norm since the early 1950s. The larger cards allowed for more vivid color photos and additional descriptive stats and text on each player’s card.

When designing the 1970 set, Topps hoped the larger card size would draw more attention on store shelves and reignite interest in the hobby during a time when many viewed baseball cards as more of a childhood novelty than a serious collecting endeavor. The wider, taller format gave each card a premium feel unlike any previous issue. While the size change proved quite polarizing among collectors at the time, the 1970s are now widely recognized as starting a “golden age” when creative, photographic-driven designs became the norm.

One reason Topps felt compelled to shake things up was due to growing competition from rival Bowman, who had scored a coup by landing the exclusive MLBPA license in 1967. This prevented Topps from using active players’ names or stats on cards beginning that year. To counteract this challenge, Topps went all-out with its patented photo-centric approach and flashy new card dimensions. The 1970 set contained 660 player and manager cards, plus various checklist, record, and team summary inserts.

Beyond the upgraded presentation, several other notable inclusions made the 1970 Topps issue unique. For the first time, manager cards were introduced, with one card dedicated to every MLB skipper that year. Rookies like Jim Palmer and Thurman Munson had their top rookie seasons immortalized. Stars like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Johnny Bench continued their illustrious careers on the larger canvas. Iconic action shots like Reggie Jackson leaping or Luis Aparicio stealing a base showed the players at their best.

Not all collectors were initially pleased with the significantly larger card size, which didn’t fit as conveniently into standard storage pages and albums. However, Topps had accurately predicted this would be a short-term complaint that didn’t seriously hamper sales. Younger collectors coming of age in the 1970s viewed the big cards as extremely cool in an era when flashy stylistic changes were embraced. Soon after, upperdeck would take card size expansion to an even further extreme with oversized football issues.

In the ensuing decades, as interest in vintage cards rose dramatically, the 1970 Topps set began to be recognized as one of the most aesthetically pleasing issues ever made. The saturated colors, sharp focus photography, and roomy layouts made each card a true work of miniature art. Top rookie and star cards steadily increased in value as the 1970s collector base aged into adulthood with disposable income. In pristine graded gem mint condition, an iconic card like a Reggie Jackson or Johnny Bench rookie can now sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

As one of the most famous “oddball” sets due to breaking tradition by radically inflating dimensions, 1970 Topps remains a unique and captivating chapter in baseball card history. It showed initiative by Topps to try bolstering interest through unconventional product presentation. While unorthodox at the time of issue, the oversized format is now hailed as a turning point that raised design standards and helped cement the 1970s as a golden age which modern issues still look to emulate. For these reasons, the 1970 Topps baseball card set endures as one of the set’s most storied and visually striking releases of all time.


The 1970s was an iconic decade for baseball cards. Following the surge in popularity that baseball cards experienced in the late 1960s, the 1970s saw the hobby reach new heights. Several notable developments and trends emerged during this decade that shaped the baseball card collecting landscape for generations to come.

At the start of the 1970s, the main producers of baseball cards were Topps, Fleer, and Kellogg’s. Topps had dominated the market since the 1950s and was still the undisputed industry leader. However, Fleer began issuing competitive sets in 1964 and was gaining ground. In 1971, Fleer produced its most acclaimed and valuable set to date. The “Fleer tradition” set showcased players’ faces in color for the first time. These innovative cards are highly sought after by collectors today.

In 1972, Kellogg’s entered the baseball card market with its “3-D” baseball card sets inserted in cereal boxes. These thick cardboard cards featured raised 3D images and were a huge hit with kids. Kellogg’s 3-D sets from 1972-1974 are still popular with collectors for their novel design and player selection. The same year, Topps issued its first design change in over a decade with the introduction of action player photos instead of portraits.

A major development occurred in 1973 when the Major League Baseball Players Association was formed. For the first time, players had collective bargaining rights regarding the use of their names and images on trading cards. This allowed for significantly higher royalties to players and more restrictive licensing deals between card manufacturers and MLB/MLBPA. Card production costs increased as a result.

In 1974, Topps lost its monopoly when the United States Court of Appeals ruled that its exclusive agreement with MLB was invalid. This opened the door for new competitors. In 1975, Donruss debuted as the first competitor to Topps in over a decade. Donruss cards had a more modern and colorful design compared to Topps. Their rookie cards of future Hall of Famers like George Brett are highly valued today.

1976 was a banner year for new baseball card companies. Along with Donruss for their second year, newcomers like Fleer, Kellogg’s, and SSPC joined the annual card race. This marked the first time multiple card manufacturers produced cards in the same year with licenses from MLB. The increased competition led to innovative designs, player bonuses, and more aggressive marketing from all companies.

In 1977, Topps regained some ground by signing an exclusive agreement with the MLBPA, barring other companies from using active major leaguers’ names or stats on cards for that year. Their rivals had to resort to creative workarounds like Ken Griffey Sr. instead of Jr. The era of the modern baseball card industry was now in full swing.

Throughout the late 1970s, the popularity of baseball cards reached a fever pitch. Speculation and investment replaced simple childhood collecting for many as the speculative bubble began to form. The 1979 Topps set is one of the most iconic of all time due to the inclusion of stars like Willie Stargell in their last season.

By the end of the 1970s, the baseball card market was big business. While the overproduction of the early 1980s would lead to a bust, the decade of the 1970s established baseball cards as both a beloved hobby and a speculative investment opportunity. The innovative designs, competitive manufacturers, and emerging star players of the 1970s forged baseball cards into the iconic American pastime they remain today.


The 1970 Topps Big baseball card set is one of the most visually striking and unique issues in the history of modern trading cards. Containing 72 gigantic 3.5″ by 5″ sized cards, the oversized format allowed Topps designers to get truly creative with player photography and graphic design elements. While not a major hit with collectors upon initial release, the 1970 Topps Big set has grown significantly in popularity and demand over the past few decades given its novel size, memorable player images, and historical significance as a bridge between the classic era and the modern age of baseball cards.

The story behind the 1970 Topps Big set dates back to the late 1960s. Seeing broader trends in juvenile product marketing that emphasized larger, eye-catching items, Topps executives greenlit an experiment for 1970 – produce a special baseball card line with unprecedented dimensions. At more than double the size of a standard card, each 1970 Big card allowed for lush, vivid color photos that captured action shots or posed portraits in distinctively bold fashion. The extra real estate facilitated creative graphical touches like embedded team logos, fun facts callouts, or elaborate color blocking elements in card designs.

While considered a risky gamble at the time, the 1970 Topps Big cards were an fascinating first step towards some of the innovative premium and high-end card formats we see today. They combined nostalgia, novelty and an “over-the-top” factor that made them instant collector conversation pieces. Behind-the-scenes, some key names that helped shape the 1970 Topps Big set included creative director Sy Berger as well as lead designer Howard Novick and assistant designer Len Brown. Their goal was to produce cards that popped visually and could be appreciated even decades later.

In terms of content, the 1970 Topps Big set covered all 26 Major League Baseball teams from that season. Roster inclusions ranged from superstar household names to seldom-seen role players and callups. Iconic cards featuring legends like Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Tom Seaver remain widely recognized today. The real gems for enthusiasts are often obscure depth players who received surprisingly detailed statistical callouts or uniquely candid action shots on their oversized cards. In total, the set documented over 300 individual ballplayers across its 72 cards.

On the collecting front, finding intact examples of 1970 Topps Big cards in pristine condition is no simple feat given the large physical size and 50+ years of wear and tear accrued by most surviving pieces. Forpatient hunters, bargain opportunities can still come up. Meanwhile, rookies and key stars from the set routinely sell for hundreds or even thousands when grades in top-notch Gem Mint 10 condition change hands. Overall value and demand has steadily increased industry-wide thanks to the set’s bold retro aesthetic and lasting novelty appeal amongst both vintage and modern collectors.

While not a chart-topping release of its era, the 1970 Topps Big baseball card set has undoubtedly grown into a true cult favorite and unique piece of sports card lore. Half a century later, it still delights in its grand scale and one-of-a-kind player depictions. For design experimentation, historical significance representing change between eras, and sheer memorable charm – the 1970 Bigs remain a beloved highlight for many collectors. Their oversized impact lives on.


The 1970 Topps baseball card set is considered one of the most iconic issues in the hobby’s history. Following Major League Baseball’s decision to allow players to have their names and likenesses appear on commercial products in the late 1960s, the 1970 Topps set was the first to feature contemporary team photos on the fronts of cards as well as Topps’ iconic “headshots” on the backs. Combined with the immense popularity of the sport at the time, these factors helped propel the 1970 Topps set to legendary status among collectors.

Nearly 50 years later, high grade 1970 Topps cards authenticated and graded by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) command substantial premiums in the marketplace. Let’s take a deeper look at PSA’s price guide data for key 1970 Topps rookie and star player cards to better understand today’s valuations.

Perhaps the most coveted card in the set is the rookie of Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver of the New York Mets. Seaver went on to win 311 career games and claim three Cy Young Awards, cementing his status as one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. In PSA Gem Mint 10 condition, Seaver’s formidable rookie fetches an average price of $19,000 according to PSA’s database, with recent auction results even exceeding $30,000. High grades of other key rookies like Johnny Bench, Billy Williams, Nolan Ryan, and Thurman Munson also routinely sell for five figures.

Star players with lengthy careers like Hank Aaron and Reggie Jackson also boast expensive PSA 10 prices. Aaron’s 1970 tops out around $6,000 while Jackson’s lifts the average to $4,500. Even well-known players with relatively brief careers such as Dodger pitcher Andy Messersmith command four-figure values in top grades.

Two particularly noteworthy subsets within the 1970 set are the Brooklyn Dodger greats and milestone cards. PSA 10 examples of Dodgers like Roy Campanella, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, and Gil Hodges range from $2,000 to $4,000 each given their historic significance in Dodgers franchise lore. Milestone cards celebrating career achievements also hold substantial appeal – Carl Yastrzemski’s 300th home run and Roberto Clemente’s 3,000th hit cards average around $3,000 in pristine condition.

While rookie cards and star players dominate top price points, there is value spread throughout the entire 1970 Topps set in high grades. Commons including backups, bench players, and middle relievers routinely sell for hundreds of dollars in PSA 10. Even relatively unknown rookies fetch upwards of $500 if they received an exemplary mint grade from PSA.

Of course, condition is absolutely vital when considering values of 1970 Topps cards. As grades slip from Mint to lower Near Mint levels, prices tend to plummet dramatically. For example, a PSA 8 Seaver or Bench rookie would be worth barely 20% of a PSA 10 copy.

There is no question 1970 Topps cards have solidified their place among the most prized issues in the entire sport collecting landscape. Their historical significance being the first to feature players’ headshots combined with the unprecedented popularity of baseball at the time laid the groundwork for the popularity we continue to see in the collecting market decades later. Whether pursuing rookie stars, franchise greats, or simply high-grade examples across the set, 1970 Topps remains a cornerstone of the modern card collecting hobby – supported at the highest levels by consistent PSA prices.