The Curiously Similar 1970 Topps Baseball and Basketball Checklists

When you study cards as much as I do, you start noticing themes and similarities across the hobby, and I saw something really interesting the other day. Many of you know I’m a big fan of sports card checklists; well, it turns out that the 1970 Topps baseball 5th Series Checklist (#432) and the 1970 Topps Basketball Checklist-2 card (#101) have a lot of overlapping characteristics.

1970 Topps Baseball #432
1970 Topps Basketball #101

First, structurally, they have the same 3-level design on the front. An action shot with basic set data and a red background in the top “cell,” all-star cards highlighted in the middle cell with a white background, and regular cards with a yellow background in the bottom compartment.

1970 Topps Baseball and Basketball Checklist Comparison

Second, they’re unique in their sets, the other 1970 basketball checklist only has two cells, and the other series of 1970 baseball checklists don’t feature a middle cell either.

Third, they both have printing variations. The 1970 Topps baseball 5th Series checklist has a “Baseball” Front Yellow and “Baseball” Front White printing.

1970 Topps Baseball #432 Variations

And the 1970 Topps Basketball Checklist-2 card has a “1970-71” in White and a “1970-71” in Black version.

1970 Topps Basketball #101 Variations

The “Baseball” front Yellow card is just a tad scarcer than the “Baseball” Front White card. However, the “1970-71” in White basketball card is substantially rarer than the in Black card. You can find more than 5x as many graded in Black cards on the market.

Unfortunately, the backs have almost nothing in common.

1970 Topps Baseball #432 – Reverse
1970 Topps Basketball #101 – Reverse

Topps definitely featured common aesthetics for its cards across the major sports, but these checklists are eerily similar. If any other unique commonalities come to mind, share them in the comments, and happy collecting!

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