Friday, July 31, 2020

Early 70's Hockey Didn't Go Without A Fight

Picked up a pretty decent starter lot of 1973-74 Topps hockey from the 'Bay this past week.  It's one year from being the oldest hockey set I have.  I'm still catching up on vintage sets in the sport.

It's a very simple design, using four primary colors ~ red, green, yellow, and blue for the borders.  One of my pet peeves is that they repeat a lot of the colors in consecutive cards.  Gotta mix it up!  The O-Pee-Chee version of the set apparently changes up some of the colors.  A green Topps card might be red in the OPC set.  Teams are all denoted with white banners.  What makes the set remarkable now are the photos of the old equipment, like the goalie gear on Wayne above, and the unis from franchises that moved and changed in later years.

These were the days before helmets were a requirement.  And a lot of the guys had that "show hair" flowing back then.

More flow & leather in this studio shot of the Penguins goalie.  I actually like the Penguins from back when they originally wore the ice blues.

Walt's got the Errol Flynn look and is sporting the green & gold from the former California franchise.

Can't hate the Gold Kings sweaters either...

They were just starting to put action shots in cards, just like baseball, so a lot of them are these posed pics.  I doubt that Tim here is related to the British heiress Tamara Ecclestone...

There's not much of a resemblance....

And of course, the most famous card from the set, the Phil Roberto/Billy Smith scuffle.  The last mainstream card to depict an actual fight before it was prevented by the league.

I need all the League Leaders, post season cards, and most of the All-Stars.  I'm really getting into vintage hockey.


  1. There are some early '70s hockey sets that look much older than they are. This is the king of them. It looks like a set from the '60s.

  2. Oh. That explains why there haven't been any in the 1990 -91 Upper Deck set I've been ripping.

  3. Love the Dave Keon card. If you didn't know the team/players from that era, how could you tell who is Keon?

    Great group of Leafs out there, Henderson/Keon/Ullman.

  4. Though Roberto maybe the last fight, I think UD 1990-91 card of Basil McRae had blood coming down the side of his face.