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Star Card Placement in Topps Baseball Rack Packs Between 1975 and 1982

There’s a lot of fraud in the modern sports card market, particularly in vintage unopened products. One of the significant frauds has been folks who modify rack packs and replace cards with stars cards on the front or back. So I thought I would share some information about which panel the stars should be in for rack packs between 1975 and 1982.

I won’t go into the sheet sequencing that leads to this information in this article, but I have written about 1970 Topps and 1975 Topps rack packs in some detail before. I’ll just be sharing example packs that show the panel that a star player should appear in. if you run across a pack where the star is in a different panel, odds are it’s fake. 

For reference, I’ll refer to the panels as follows; first, there is the header card (the piece of cardboard from Topps showing the price; they say trading cards or picture cards on them), the panel next to the header is Panel 1, the middle panel is Panel 2, and the card furthest from the header is Panel 3. 

1975 Topps

George Brett should be in Panel 1

1975 Topps Rack Pack – George Brett on Top

Robin Yount should be in Panel 1

1975 Topps Rack Pack – Robin Yount on Top

Nolan Ryan should be in Panel 3

1975 Topps Rack Pack – Nolan Ryan on Top

Steve Carlton should be in Panel 1

1975 Topps Rack Pack – Steve Carlton on Top

1976 Topps

George Brett (and Robin Yount) Should be in Panel 1

1976 Topps Rack Pack – George Brett on Top

Nolan Ryan should be in Panel 2

1975 Topps Rack Pack – Nolan Ryan on Top

1977 Topps

Andre Dawson can be in Panel 2 or Panel 3

1977 Topps Rack Pack – Andrew Dawson on Bottom

Nolan Ryan and George Brett are Panel 1 cards

1978 Topps

Eddie Murray should be in Panel 1

1978 Topps Rack Pack – Eddie Murray on Top

Nolan Ryan should be in Panel 2

1978 Topps Rack Pack – Nolan Ryan on Top

Pete Rose should be in Panel 1

1978 Topps Rack Pack – Pete Rose on Top

Paul Molitor/Alan Trammell should be in Panel 3

1978 Topps Rack Pack – Paul Molitor/Alan Trammell on Top

The following picture is a different Molitor/Trammell rack pack with the card on the bottom of Panel 3.

1978 Topps Rack Pack – Paul Molitor/Alan Trammell on Bottom

Andrew Dawson should be in Panel 1

1978 Topps Rack Pack – Andre Dawson on Top

1979 Topps

Ozzie Smith should be in Panel 1

1979 Topps Rack Pack – Ozzie Smith on Top

Nolan Ryan should be in Panel 1

1979 Topps Rack Pack – Nolan Ryan on Top

George Brett should be in Panel 2

1979 Topps Rack Pack – George Brett on Top

1980 Topps

Rickey Henderson should be in Panel 1

1980 Topps Rack Pack – Rickey Henderson on Top

1981 Topps

Fernando Valenzuela should be in Panel 1

1981 Topps Rack Pack – Fernando Valenzuela on Top

Tim Raines should be in Panel 2

1981 Topps Rack Pack – Tim Raines on Top

Rickey Henderson should be in Panel 3

1981 Topps Rack Pack – Rickey Henderson on Top

1982 Topps

Cal Ripken should be in Panel 1

1982 Topps Rack Pack – Cal Ripken on Top

If you have questions about where other stars should be in a specific year, please ask in the comments or reach out to me on Twitter; happy collecting (don’t get cheated!)!

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