30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Set Showcase #7: 1976 SSPC Baseball Set

Thirty-five years ago, Sports Star Publishing Co. produced a 630 card set featuring 623 baseball players and 7 checklists. The front of the cards are simple and resemble the 1953 Bowman baseball set with it's white border and color photos. The back of the cards list the player's name, jersey number, basic biographies, and a short paragraph describing personal highlights.

Although these cards were printed in 1975, they were officially issued until 1976. SSPC was eventually forced to pull these sets off the market due to legal entanglements and agreed to never reprint the issue. These sets were originally sold for $9.99, and can now be purchased off of eBay for around $50 shipped.

In my opinion it's a bargain... since you get 2nd year cards of George Brett, Robin Yount, and a rookie card of Dennis Eckersley.

Plus you get a ton of cards from HOFer's like: Nolan Ryan, Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson, Hank Aaron, and Mike Schmidt.

It also includes MLB's Hit King and the newest arrival to Cooperstown... Bert Blyleven.

So if you want to add a simple designed vintage set, with tons of superstars at a bargain price... you might want to consider picking up this set.

Thursday's question of the day...

Who you favorite baseball player to play during the 70's?

Happy Friday peeps... one day left until the GT Sports Marketing card show in Santa Clara! I'm stoked... it's the best show the Bay Area has to offer. Anyone out there going?


  1. Since I really like "The Brox is Burning" TV series, I'll go with Munson and Jackson. However, I'm a fan of "Charlie Hustles'" style of play.

  2. As a child of the '70s, that's an easy one: Ron Cey.

    I could do a top 100 of my favorite players from the '70s.

  3. This is a very easy one to answer. Three words, Willie "Pops" Stargell. That windmill windup and the jerky swing was one I tried to do when I was a kid. The Stargell Stars and "We are family."

  4. This is one of my all-time favorite sets. Well worth the money to pick it up.

    Fun facts about the set:

    The card back text was written and edited by a teenaged card collector (I think he was 16 or 17 at the time) named Keith Olbermann. Yup, that Keith Olbermann. His old dorm room address also appears in my copy of the 2nd edition of the Sports Collectors' Bible. Keith's been in the hobby for a very, very long time.

    Nearly all, if not all of the photos for the set were taken at Shea Stadium, as both the Yanks and Mets were playing there in '75. There's a great card from Brooklyn Dodger day at Shea with Reese, Erskine and Branca. There was also a Mickey Mantle card, probably from Old Timer's Day, that appeared in the promo set for '76 SSPC (6 cards sent around as advertising: Tom Seaver, Catfish Hunter, Dave Kingman, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and The Mick), but it didn't make it into the final set.

    There are also a bunch of great coach cards in the SSPC set, including Mays as a Mets coach and Duke Snider in an Expos uniform!

    I'm eventually going to do a full profile on the set m'self, just haven't had the time to make it happen yet. Always glad to see other folks talking about it, though!

  5. Oh, and for favorite player of the '70s? Tough one, because some of these folks had careers with viable parts stretched over two or even three decades.

    It's pretty much impossible for me not mention about half the Yankees team from '77-78 (Munson, Reggie, Catfish, Nettles, Dent, Willie, Lou, Gator, Goose and so forth), as those were the teams that made me love baseball as a kid, even if I just missed them at their peak.

    Of those guys, Reggie was probably the player of the '70s overall (though he played for most of the '80s too), but Catfish and Munson were so firmly rooted in the 1970s, and gone by the end of them (Cat from baseball, Munson, period) that it's impossible not to consider them.

    Very strong honorable mentions go to:

    Mark Fidrych
    Dock Ellis
    Lyman Bostock
    George Foster
    Oscar Gamble
    John Hiller
    Mike Marshall
    Dave Kingman
    J.R. Richard

  6. Scott Crawford - I noticed Keith's name on one of the card back... card #630 possibly? I'd go check, but I just dropped off a box of stuff into my buddy's storage.

    I'll definitely hunt down that promo set... I WANT THAT MANTLE!

    And I love the Snider card... I actually have a scan of it all ready to go... when I post my Expos collection (in a few weeks, after I get a few more cards).

    I look forward to reading your writeup on the set. I acquired my information from my annual price guide and this website:


    By the way... loved your list of players. I can't stand the Yankees... but I'm a huge fan of Reggie & Catfish (since I love the A's)... and who doesn't love Oscar Gamble & his fro.

    One of these days... I'll pick up rookie cards of Fidrych & Richard, since eventually I'll start a 70's rookie card PC... and those two are superstars in my book.