Markusen: 1975 Topps set reflected the era

From SABR member Bruce Markusen at The Hardball Times on January 16, 2020:

There may be no more innovative decade for baseball cards than the 1970s. It was a decade that began with Topps’ introduction of gray-bordered cards in 1970, and then the daring black-bordered cards of 1971. It continued with the highlighting of action cards in 1972, and then a proliferation of long-distance action in 1973. After a bit of a dull offering in 1974, Topps made further impact on the hobby in 1975 by issuing its first set of cards featuring multi-colored borders.

With all sorts of combinations of green, purple, blue, yellow, and red, the 1975 set became reflective of an American culture that had become almost obsessed with bright and vibrant colors. In a decade when color television, bright polyester tones (often hideous on the clothing that we wore), and gaudy home designs all exploded within popular culture, baseball cards did their best to keep pace.

The result was a set of cards that has become a favorite of collectors of vintage cards. The colored borders have created problems—principally the borders chips so that even the slightest imperfections can be seen—but those same borders have produced a unique look that make the 1975 set arguably the most desired cards of the entire decade.

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Originally published: January 17, 2020. Last Updated: January 17, 2020.