The ’73-74 Topps set build

I was at a card show this past weekend, and suddenly decided that I am going to build a 1973-74 Topps Hockey set.

OK, maybe not suddenly. Even my “sudden” decisions still seem to be mulled over.

Truth be told, I never really cared for the ’73-74 design. The variance in border colors are rather haphazard, the team name in that little “ribbon” just gets in the way while the torn edges around each photo seems arbitrary.

In other words, the design just plain sucks. But…I have every Topps set from 1968-69 to 1972-73, so this would be the next “logical” 1970s set to collect. Like I said, even sudden decisions have some rationale to them.

Well, I’m not the only one who seems to dislike this set. At the show I went to, most of the cards were very cheap, and I was able to pick up 133 cards for $53–including Bill Barber (RC), Gilles Gilbert (RC), Dave “The Hammer” Schultz (RC), Darryl Sittler, Marcel Dionne, Stan Mikita, Rick Martin, Gilbert Perreault, a “marked up” checklist and some minor stars.

Checking my collection, I already have a Billy Smith RC. I remember paying $4 for it back in 1991. I also have the Guy Lafleur card from that set–probably paid $1 or $2 for it back then–as well as 14 other commons that I’ve had forever and probably paid a dime each for.

On Monday, I managed to pick up the Bobby Orr card in the set for $5.

Counting the cards I bought when I was a kid, I spent $65 thus far on putting together this ’73-74 set. My goal is to piece the set together for less than the Beckett “low” price of $125.

Of course, I’ll need a Ken Dryden, Bobby Clarke, Phil Esposito, Tony Esposito and a few of those “League Leaders” cards. Once I get those–and an upgraded checklist–the rest I need are commons.

After that, it will be onto 1974-75…as well as all of the “current” sets I’m always trying to build.


Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

One thought on “The ’73-74 Topps set build”

  1. Sounds like a fun set to collect, not to mention that the way that it sounds this set has taken you technically longer than any of your other sets. Good luck with the rest.

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