Monday, May 17, 2021

A Year of Topps Designs: 1972

 I have cards from baseball, football and basketball in 1972. I only have one basketball card and it has a yellow theme so I matched it up with yellow baseball and football cards.

The cards have a pretty similar general layout - team on top, player name and position on bottom. (No position in baseball.) The actual designs however are quite different. The baseball set is often called "psychedelic" but the design always looked more like an old-fashioned movie marquee to me. The basketball city name actually looks more psychedelic to me than the baseball set. Nothing far-out for football in '72, the conservative sport got a conservative color block.

The hockey release that year was quite similar to the basketball set.
A circle background instead of a square, and a goofy team font that is somewhat less psychedelic than either baseball or football, but otherwise pretty similar to basketball, and following the same rule as team on top, name and position on bottom.

As far as I can tell, the only other trading card release for Topps in 1972, other than a set of Bazooka Joe comic strips on cards (using the regular Bazooka Joe strip design), was a re-release of the 1956 U.S. Presidents set, with the additions of Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon as well as seven 1972 candidates.


  1. Interesting. I've hardly ever seen the '72 basketball design, and as such I've never made the connection to the '71-72 hockey design. Sure was a colorful and fun collecting year for kids!

  2. I did a post a couple years ago on how 1971 was the greatest year for Topps designs across the 4 major sports. I think I mentioned in that post that '72 was a close second. The football design holds it back, it's pretty unmemorable.

  3. I think the basketball is by far the best. One of my favorite basketball sets ever.
    I have mentioned how I am not a huge fan of the baseball set, but it's not really bad.
    The only issue I have with football is the player name mixed in with the photo. The problem is the blending of colors with the background. I have never seen a set that incorporated the name in that way that I liked.
    The hockey set is pretty good as well, but I am not really a fan of the "porthole sets" either. It always feels to me like a square peg in a round hole. Or in this case a round peg in a square hole.
    I loved everything Presidential until 2016 happened. The office died for me then.

  4. Yeah what Night Owl said - The best run ever

    Summer 1971 - 1971 Topps Baseball
    Fall 1971 - 1971 Topps Football
    - 1971-72 Topps Basketball
    - 1971-72 Topps Hockey
    Spring 1972 - 1972 Topps Baseball

    With 1971-72 Topps Hockey maybe their greatest design ever

  5. Agree that the basketball is the most psychedelic.

  6. When I breakdown years... I'm always torn when it comes to hockey and basketball. Here's my rankings based on front card designs:

    #1: 1972-73 Basketball
    #2: 1971-72 Hockey
    #3: 1972 Baseball
    #4: 1971-72 Basketball
    #5: 1972-73 Hockey
    #6: 1972 Football