Skip to content

5 Scarce High-Grade 1970s Topps Basketball Cards

A lot of people collect PSA graded sets. And there has been growth in the collecting of 1970s Topps basketball cards. Most people don’t realize how much lower the print runs of basketball were in the 70s than basketball, so collectors are getting a little caught off guard about some of the really low population cards that exist in this decade for high-grade examples. In this post, I’ll run down 5 of the scarcest high-grade cards across Topps’ run of 1970s basketball sets.

1970 Topps #4 NBA FT Pct Leaders

1970 Topps Basketball #4 NBA FT Pct Leaders

Total Graded: 182

PSA 10: 0

PSA 9: 0

1971 Topps #85 Dick Van Arsdale

1971 Topps Basketball #85 Dick Van Arsdale

Total Graded: 95

PSA 10: 0

PSA 9: 2

1973 Topps #20 John Havlicek

1973 Topps Basketball #20 John Havlicek

Total Graded: 161

PSA 10: 0

PSA 9: 2

1974 Topps #130 Lou Hudson

1974 Topps Basketball #130 Lou Hudson

Total Graded: 31

PSA 10: 0

PSA 9: 0

1975 Topps #104 Leroy Ellis

1975 Topps Basketball #104 Leroy Ellis

Total Graded: 15

PSA 10: 0

PSA 9: 1

There are a ton of basketball cards in the 1970s with fewer than 10 PSA 9/10 examples. Topps didn’t print that many basketball cards, many weren’t PSA 9/10 quality out of the pack, and people didn’t collect the way they do today (focusing on preserving condition). So if you’re looking at collecting high-grade vintage basketball cards, you will need to show patience or a willingness to drop a grade or two. But to me, this is the second greatest era of any decade of the four major sports (next to 1950s baseball) to collect, and luckily most set runs are pretty affordable in raw mid-grade form too. 

By the way, if you are into vintage basketball cards, be sure to check out the Unopened Archive. It now features the complete run of vintage basketball unopened products.

Happy collecting!

Leave a Reply