Card of the Day: 1967 Topps Steve Blass

Today’s Card of the Day comes from the boring 1967 Topps set, which I only sort of like because they didn’t pin those pink colors on the Pittsburgh Pirates players like they did for the other late 1960s sets. They chose to give the Pirates purple instead. No idea what they were thinking, but it wasn’t pink, so I’m not complaining.

Today’s player is Steve Blass, who is celebrating his 81st birthday today. He has a long history with the Pirates as a player and announcer, so as you might expect, he has been here in our Card of the Day series a few times before. Blass had been on our Card of the Day three times to be exact. His fourth appearance is actually his first on one of his regular Topps cards from his playing days. I went with newer cards twice, while also showing him on his card from the 1972 Topps playoffs subset. I had ten choices for this card, ranging from the 1965 through 1974 Topps sets. My favorite is the 1974 Topps because it’s a real game action photo, while the others are all staged photos. However, I went with this card for a different reason. Here’s a look at card #562 from the 1967 Topps set.

Here’s the front of the card:

I talked about the design here already. The unnecessary purple. The name and position are in black writing, which was obviously well thought out here (your sarcasm meter should be going off). I do like the facsimile autographs, so I’ll give them a plus here. There’s no Pirates logo, which would have helped. I definitely didn’t pick this for the pose, because the photographer for Blass each year apparently didn’t know that they already used that pose, and by “that pose” I mean almost all of them look like this one.

I picked this card just because of the people in the background. They usually didn’t just take the photos right in front of other people like that. If they did, it would be baseball players/coaches in the background. That guy in the white & black jacket could almost claim this card is for him instead. Crowd shots weren’t uncommon, you just don’t see many where they are right there a few feet away and featured so prominently.

Here’s the back of the card:

I like that Topps included a nice bio section here, along with his entire pro career stats, even if the categories they chose to use are very limited (innings pitched would have been nice). The minor league teams also mean nothing if you don’t know what level they are in the minor league system. The back colors are perfect for the front. You never want to outshine the front with the back. The cartoons are always a nice touch. I didn’t know that they handed out a basket of zeroes whenever you threw a minor league shutout.

This card is a high numbered card, produced later in the set and later in the year, when they made fewer cards. That adds to the value of the cards, especially if you can find them in high grades. The 1967 set itself isn’t too popular, but the high numbered cards get better prices than commons. This card rarely sells for under $10, and that would obviously be for a copy that isn’t graded, nor would it be in great shape. Someone got a steal when a PSA 6 ended for $20 recently, because another ended for $45 around the same time. If you find a PSA 8 it will likely be just over $100, while a PSA 9 will go around $400 each. You can get a PSA 7 for $45 now, which seems like a good deal knowing a PSA 6 ended for the same price. There’s an autographed copy for $34, and a lower grade autograph one for $23. If you want a decent looking ungraded copy, you’ll pay about $20.