My Favorite 1971 Topps Action Cards

Having recently completed my 1971 Topps set I'm going to start posting collections of various '71 cards that are my favorites and we will start with my favorite action cards from the set. The '71 set was the first to use action photos in their regular base cards. This led to the creation of some of the most memorable Topps cards ever...such as this Thurman Munson.  This is card #5 of the set and so when putting your set into a binder it's in the middle of the page literally right at the center of your attention. 

#5 Thurman Munson
These next two were chosen based on the facial expression of those featured as Casey Cox looks like he might have a ball hit right back at him. 

#82 Casey Cox

You just know Piniella foul tipped this one right back to the pitcher. 

#35 Lou Piniella

I like this one for two reasons. First, I like how everyone in the stands is looking at where Jerry Grote hit the and not at the runner while that is the center of our attention. And secondly, this is one of the rare Topps cards that doesn't actually feature the face of the player featured.  

#278 Jerry Grote

I can't quite tell if Rudy is wearing shades but I hope he is. I also love the big signature that is clearly written by a lefty.

#318 Rudy May

This is one of my favorites because it is so striking when you first look at it you aren't really sure what exactly you are looking at.

#331 Brooks Robinson

When was the last time you got a four players in a single card, plus an umpire, plus a Nolan Ryan bonus card [that's him wearing #30]? And for the uninitiated I use the term "bonus card" when one player because a part of another players card. This is particularly notable when that person is a Hall of Famer and it gives you a bonus card to collect if you are trying to complete a player's checklist.

#355 Bud Harrelson

Speaking of bonus cards these next two feature Thurman Munson nearly getting Vada Pinson out at the plate...

#275 Vada Pinson

...or catching a pitch with George Spriggs at the bat. This was of course in the days before batting helmets were required.

#411 George Spriggs

I choose this one because the '71 Topps set was the last year to feature one of my favorite uniforms in baseball history, the Chicago White Sox blue and white jerseys. The 1970 White Sox lost 106 games and so in the 1971 season they put out the blue and red jerseys synonymous with the mid-70s.

#520 Tommy John


defgav said…
That's some great photography.
BaseSetCalling said…
Awesomeness. Thank you.
Fuji said…
Great post. There's just something special about 70's Topps action shots. I have the Munson, but I definitely need a faceless Grote & a crawling Robinson for my vintage binder.
Anonymous said…
Fun stuff. I'm a fan of the "bonus cards" as well. Check out card #511 Chris Short for one of my personal favorites.