1970s Major League Baseball was dominated by legends like Johnny Bench, Rod Carew, Joe Morgan, Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, Reggie Jackson, Tom Seaver, Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, Steve Carlton, and Jim Palmer. The hobby has rewarded those players’ performance in the value placed on many of their sports cards. But what about the next tier of players? There were a lot of players who had excellent careers, who put up incredible stats, who won World Series, but they and their cards maybe aren’t as appreciated as they should be. In this list, I’ll run down 11 of the least appreciated players and their baseball cards from the 1970s.
Bando was overlooked because he played with legends like Reggie Jackson and Vida Blue, but he was a 4-time All-Star. His 1971 Topps #285 is a tough card in nice condition, but PSA 8s are only around $40.
Bowa was a 5-time All-Star, 2-time Gold Glover at shortstop, and had seven years with over 20 steals. Bowa’s 1970 Topps rookie card in PSA 8 is also $40.
Many consider Concepcion the best shortstop of the 70s. Over his career, he was a 9-time All-Star and earned five gold gloves. Concepcion’s 1973 Topps card is under $75 in a high-grade PSA 9 casing, not bad for a high number.
Hisle was the 1977 NL RBI Leader, and in 78, he was 3rd in MVP voting. He was also the first DH in Major League history in a 1973 spring training game. Hisle’s 1979 Topps card costs less than grading fees in PSA 8 condition, with the last selling for under $6.
McRae batted .300 six times! His 1971 OPC card, a more challenging find in higher grades, is still just a $20-30 card in PSA 8 condition.
Money played in 4 All-Star games, and in 1974, he played 86 straight games at 3rd base without an error. 1975 Topps cards are some of the most popular of the decade, and Money’s full-size 1975 Topps in PSA 8 is under $10.
Ogilvie led the AL in HRs with 41 in 1980. His rookie card from 1972, a great three-player card, is a little more expensive, at around $70 for a PSA 7.
Otis was a five-time All-Star who won 3 gold gloves, twice hit .300 and stole 52 bases in 1971. His 1971 Topps Coin is unique and affordable.
One of the most accurate and patient batters in baseball history; Randolph drew 80 walks seven times in his career and 1243 in total compared to only 675 strikeouts, plus he played solid defense. His 1976 Topps Traded rookie in GemMt last sold for $300, but PSA 8s are more affordable, around $25.
I don’t know why he doesn’t command higher prices, Stargell had the most homers in the 70s with 296, and he did that in just 1255 games. His 1976 Topps card, in PSA 8, is under $20.
Kingman was another home-run king of the 70s. Kingman hit 252 home runs over the decade, the 6th most, and led the league in 1979 with 48. His 1978 Topps card, in a nearly perfect PSA 9, last sold for $15.
These 11 players put up incredible numbers, played on some outstanding teams, and, therefore, to me, aren’t appreciated enough, at least in baseball card value, compared to many of their contemporaries. You can buy all 11 cards, in the grades I quoted on this list, for around $350, and those are pretty high-grade cards. Not bad when you consider a 1971 Topps Jim Palmer in PSA 8 is about $200 by itself. I’ve said it before, even though it seems hobby prices are skyrocketing all over, there is still a massive amount of value out there if you spend a little time looking. If you collect 1970s baseball, let me know over on Twitter.