Thrift Treasures Part XXIII: I (HEART) the ’70s!

I didn’t live a single minute of the 1970s, but for whatever reason I find the entire decade intriguing. From the music, cars and television, to the quaffed hair and abundance of denim and polyester, the era before my birth has captured my imagination. What was it really like to live during this time, when some folks considered “classic rock” music to be noise pollution, when baseball uniforms were uglier than sin, and when Star Wars was merely a new movie? I’m never really going to know, but thanks to some cardboard I found at a thrift store on Tuesday, I can get a sense of the time. These 40 cards cost me $2, their real value is in the eye of the beholder.

We’ll start with some non-sport items because they are probably my favorite of the bunch.

These 1976 Topps Autos of ’77 cards are simply awesome. One of the first cards I pulled from the box was that of the Pacer; you would not believe the smile I had on my face. At this point, the Pacer is a complete joke, but it is still somewhat of a pop culture icon. For me to find a card of the Pacer is simply amazing. Aside from the photo, my favorite aspect of this card is that it touts the “360-degrees visability.” (Yes, it is mispelled) AWESOME. For the record, I never knew these cards existed. I’m tempted to go find others.

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While non-sport cards are really not my thing, I must say that when the cards come from the 70s, they never cease to amaze me. Here we’ve got two of one of my all-time favorite actors, John Travolta. He starred in a TV show called “Welcome Back Kotter,” which was about a high school alumnus who returned to be a teacher. Travolta starred as bad-ass Italian teenager Vinny Barbarino, who is portrayed on these cards. Love the quote bubbles.

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By the time I started watching sitcoms, “Happy Days” was already in re-runs. Having said that, I still found Fonz, Richie and Potsie to be rather amusing. Imagine the joy that came over me when I found these three, particularly the card with the caption “Easy girls, one at a time!”

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I’m going to admit something I’ve never owned up to on this blog:  I hadn’t watched the original “Star Wars” movies until 2002, a full year after a friend of mine purchased the trilogy as a present for my 21st birthday. That fact may have played into why these cards intrigued me so. I’ve NEVER seen C-3PO’s name spelled “See-Threepio.” I still feel like this is an error, but obviously it is not. And the Carrie Fisher card … was she hot for her time? Can’t get a good feel on this.

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This card was so odd that I had to buy it, this is from the 1970 Fleer “Ripley’s Believe It of Not!” set. The card is so busy I have no words.

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And now the sports portion of our program … There were “old” cards from three sports in this box, baseball, basketball and football. I chose cards from all three sports.

Basketball

Not a real noteworthy rookie card, but a rookie card nonetheless. Johnson played 10 seasons in the NBA and currently is the sports director at Community College of Philadelphia. (H/T: Wikipedia) Maybe I’ll send this to him for fun.

Football

Six vintage Pro Football Hall of Fame members. The Griese and Youngblood cards are the worst condition of the bunch, but they were must-buys given the stash I found. The cards I really love here are the Franco Harris (love that hair) and the Ken Houston. Check out the shades!

Baseball

Starting with a trio of rookies, most notable names here are Ken Macha and Rick Rhoden. Unfortunately the Larry Anderson is the only guy on the 1977 card that is not an official rookie card.

A couple of MLB Dads. Cookie is the Dad of MLB Network’s Victor Rojas, and Steve is the father of Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher.

Hey, look, it’s Bucky Dent before he became Bucky F’n Dent.

Believe it or not, I own a Greg Luzinski player model glove and this, I believe, is my first Luzinski card. Good times.

I never knew Ron Santo played for the White Sox! Apparently he played one season for the Pale Hose and then hung up the spikes. Atta boy, Ronnie! This may be Santo’s last card (as an active player). Won’t know for sure because Beckett’s Web site is acting up again. (Update: This is his second-to-last card, he has one in 1975 Topps)

Solid set of Red Sox from 1978 Topps. Problem: They are is terrible condition. Oh well.

One of the best defensive first basement of all time … and seen here on his fourth-year card without that legendary mustache. Kinda off, no?

There is only one reason why I would buy this card. Can you guess why? Hint: Second row from the bottom, first player on the left.

Not a huge fan of these 1975 Topps MVP cards, but I needed the Yaz for my Red Sox collection, and Johnny Bench/Boog Powell was a bonus.

A couple of Hall of … Oh, nevermind. These two baseball legends are remembered on these 1978 Topps cards for feats they accomplished the year before. The Jackson performance is legendary.

Third-year cards of two Hall of Famers who came into the sport and left at the same time. Awesome.

And lastly a pair of 1977 Fleer stickers featuring the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers. Don’t know about you, but I kind of miss the idea of stickers in my packs of cards.

2 Responses to “Thrift Treasures Part XXIII: I (HEART) the ’70s!”

  1. I assume you know where I stand on the ’70s: it kicks ass over any other decade, especially when it comes to cards.

    Those stickers are great.

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