Sunday, July 1, 2018

46 Years in the Making

It is with extreme pleasure and excitement that I can finally announce that my dad and I have finally completed the 1972 Topps baseball card set after decades and decades of pursuing each and every card included in the 787-card set.

That's right, a COMC order arrived yesterday that contained the final 8 cards needed to complete my favorite set of all-time, including the overly-expensive Bobby Murcer card shown at the top of this post. To give a little backstory, my dad began collecting '72 in, well, 1972. I've been collecting the set with him ever since I started collecting baseball cards. From card shows to online purchases, we've gone to great lengths to put this set together.

Finally, the #1 goal of my card collecting goals for this year is finally complete. Additionally, I've already completed 3 goals while 3 additional goals require that I accomplish and maintain them all year. There's only 1 goal I haven't completed or begun yet, and that's to buy a Topps Now card. I'm still waiting for the right one to come along. 

As I previously stated, there were 8 cards that stood in my way of completing the set, so my dad and I decided to go for it and purchase them all for Father's Day, no matter what. They were all very high-numbered cards, all of the cards numbered #700 or greater with the exception of Bobby Murcer at #699. The purchase ended up including 2 of the in-action cards, one of which was of Tim Foli. Despite it being an in-action card, it doesn't have as much action as I'd like, though it does include a shot of Foli on the field rather than posing, so I suppose that has to count for something.

The highest numbered card that I still needed was of Mets pitcher Jim McAndrew whose card may not have been in the best shape, but it only cost me $5.25. The white border is pretty stained on this card and it has a crease in the top right, but I've never been too focused on condition. The main thing that matters to me is getting the card in the first place, and if I'm truly troubled by the condition that the card is in after I get it, then I can begin to look for an upgrade for that card. However, I doubt I'll be doing that for McAndrew here.

I've always expected and noticed that team cards are way more expensive than just a player card, and I've never truly understood why. For instance, the Orioles team card was the last team card I needed for the set. The card is listed in poor condition and has creases all over it, some more visible than others. Wanna know what this card ended up costing me? $13.24. Yep, 13 dollars for a team card that's quite damaged and is in bad condition. I guess it's not too bad when you consider that the McAndrew card was a bit inexpensive, but I still wasn't too crazy about the cost of the Orioles card. 

The 2nd and final in-action card of the purchase has far more action actually going on compared to the first one of Tim Foli. The Gene Michael in-action card shows him sliding into what looks like first base at the old Yankee Stadium. The matchup appears to be Yankees vs Twins as we can faintly see the abbreviation Minn. for Minnesota above the word Yanks on the "scoreboard" in the background. Now, THIS is what an in-action card should look like. This is a card that I'm definitely crazy about. 

Before becoming long-time manager of the Cincinnati Reds, Dusty Baker had a pretty successful 19-year career for mainly 2 teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Atlanta Braves along with brief stints with the Giants and A's. 1972 was one of Baker's best seasons when he hit .321 in 446 at-bats with 17 dingers and 76 RBI. Baker, a career .278 hitter, went on to receive MVP votes in 1972 as well, albeit very little votes. Baker's next best season would have to be 1977 when he went on to have a 30-home run season for the first time in his career. 

Going into the purchase of these 8 cards on COMC, there was only one that I knew exactly what it looked like. I've seen this Hoyt Wilhelm card on the Dodgers dozens of times in my life and have even come close to buying it once or twice. I was waiting for the right price to come along, and I feel like I got that when I picked this card up for $11. I'm okay with the price because it's one of the highest numbered cards in the '72 set (#777) and it's of a Hall of Famer for crying out loud. When considering all of that, $11 seems like a pretty good deal to me. 

I started this post with the most expensive card, Bobby Murcer. Now, the final of the 8 1972 cards left is the 2nd most expensive of the bunch.

This is the crown jewel of the entire group of cards that I ordered, and maybe one of the greatest cards in the entire 787-card set. This is Ron Cey's 1972 Rookie Stars card, one of the only rookie stars card I've ever seen that has players from both the AL and the NL on it. This card and the Murcer card took up over half the cost of the purchase, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

After all, this is 1972 Topps, my favorite baseball card set ever made and the set I've spent my entire life piecing together, and it's not just me. My dad's been working on this set for the last 46 years and I'm beyond ecstatic that we were able to finish what he started and complete the set together. 

Now, once all the excitement dies down, it'll be time to put our attention towards a new set.

1975 Topps, time to meet your match.


  1. Congratulations on completing the set! It must feel very satisfying to complete a lifelong project with your dad. Enjoy every card!

    1975 is a fantastic choice for your next set build. Hopefully the high numbers won't be so pricey in that one.

  2. Always awesome to do something so spectacular with your dad. Congratulations!

  3. Congrats on completing an iconic set!

  4. Congrats! As someone who completed this set last year, I know how tricky and time-consuming it is.

    '75 won't be nearly as tough. (But a lot of fun!)

  5. Congrats to you and your Dad. Well done

  6. Congratulations on completing a truly iconic and difficult set.

    BTW, Gene Michael is the fielder on that card, not the one sliding. From what I can find it's Jim Kaat sliding, and Horace Clarke is the guy behind them.

  7. Congrats on completing your set. I am no where near completing a '72 set, but I did purchase a Bobby Murcer and agree with you that it was too expensive. I think team cards are more expensive than player cards, because they were not a favorite card and probably got cast aside, lost or even thrown away creating a shortage and thus making the value rise.