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1978 Topps Baseball

Hello everybody, I just recently decided to work on a set. I chose the 78 set and if any of you vets can offer any advice it would be appreciated. Billy


  • braves72078...

    Hey Billy...

    Welcome to the board!!!

    '78 is a great way to start...It's a big set, but if you don't set your sights on all 10's (at least to start..Ha') you'll do great!!

    There is a starter set on eBay right now... I think it has 8's and 9's.
    And about 30-35 cards in one lot...Check it out!!

    I LOVE FANCY CURRENCY, pretty girls, Disney Dollars, pretty girls, MPC's, ..did I mention pretty girls???

    [email protected]

  • mcastaldimcastaldi Posts: 1,130 ✭✭
    Braves> I'm in the process of wrapping up my 1975 set and as I've gotten close to finishing, I've been working on the 78 set as well. So far, I'm up to about 30% complete. I really haven't submitted many 78s myself so I'm still learning the nuances of the issue. The guy you should really talk to is Frank Smith. He's also building a 78 set and has a very good understanding of what to look for. He frequents the PSA boards and is a really good guy.

    I just shipped off 15-20 1978s with another order so we'll see what happens. I probably won't get serious about submitting 78s until after the first of the year. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions and I'll help if I can.

    So full of action, my name should be a verb.
  • 1420sports1420sports Posts: 3,473 ✭✭✭
    I have a 1978 Gaylord Perry PSA 9 available for trade. It is a beauty PSA 9 too.
    collecting various PSA and SGC cards
  • RobERobE Posts: 1,160 ✭✭
    The 78 set is a good choice.Nice design,couple HOF rookies and many HOFERS somehwhat midway through their careers.

    78 & 79 were my other choices when thinking about giving the registry a whirl.I figured the years 78 to 80 were going to be easy since they are not so old.I was wrong,IMO they're just as hard but in a slightly different way than a vintage set;although,any way you slice set building it's always hard.BUT a fun kind of hard thing to do and it's enjoyable at best.

    Good luck with your choice. image
  • Hey guys, Thanks for the input. I think this will really be a challenge and will lead to a lot of quality time with my 11 year old son because after all thats what our hobby is about. It also brings back lots of memories for me as well, opening 74, 75, and 76 wax packs was a mainstay of my childhood and I hope to give my son the same fun and understanding of the game. If any of you guys working on the set have extras to trade/sell please shoot me an email.

  • jaxxrjaxxr Posts: 1,258 ✭✭
    The 1978 set is a nice one, 25 years old next Jan 1st so it will be "Vintage" by the mainstream general public's standards. Card collectors have several dozen different versions of vintage starting date.

    I have purchased globs of new unopened stuff from 1977 to 1981 about 18 years ago when it was much cheaper. In my unscientific view, the 78 and 80 cards are the least difficult to get in nice shape, in general and of course there are exceptions. I must note that the 79 set is the hardest oveall regarding percentage of high- grade cards, I know others may disagree but that's how my approx. 3500 per year turned out.

    In submitting to PSA, out of around 50 1978s sent at various times, I have been lucky enough to get four diff. gem 10s, only one 1980 from any other vintage year. Anyway I do have some 9s and 8s from 1978, commons and stars available for trade, as you mentioned. I will need your e-mail to contact. Mine is [email protected]
    This aint no party,... this aint no disco,.. this aint no fooling around.
  • My email is [email protected]
  • I just broke open a 1978 Vending Case and I have a few hundred extra 8's to 10's (mainly 8's and 9's), so if you are interested let me know.
    Collector of baseball PSA sets from the 1970's & hockey rookie cards; big New York Rangers fan (particularly now that they are sleeping with the enemy with Holik and Kaspiritus). Also starting to collect 53 Bowman Color as I think they are the most beautiful cards I have seen.
  • Welcome to the board Billy! I was ten years old in 1978. It was the first year I started buying baseball cards in quantity. I can still remember complaining to my aunt about how many packs I was buying to try to find #307 Glenn Borgmann in order to complete my set. Shortly thereafter, we were in the car taking the 45-minute ride to Portland Sports Cards where I found the gem that had been eluding me. Needless to say, 1978 cards are near and dear to my heart. As others have mentioned, it is a good year to collect. The set has good star power, a nice selection of rookie cards, and a fairly clean design that I like.

    There have been many good threads on this board about determining whether or not a card would grade an 8 or a 9. In fact, Mike Castaldi did a great job of laying out the process in a series of steps. That being the case, I won’t cover it again. As far as things to look for in regards to 78’s, here is a list:

    1. Centering – Be sure only to submit cards that have the centering for the grade you desire. In regards to 78’s, measure left to right centering from outside the colored border framing the picture to the edge of the card. In top to bottom centering, measure from outside the top colored border to the edge of the card and on the bottom from underneath the lettering of the players name to the edge of the card. Don’t try to talk yourself into the fact that it is close and you will make it! I rarely get the extra 5% leeway from PSA. I strongly recommend you buy a detailed ruler or a Peak 10X Scale Lupe. The lupe has saved me from getting many 8’s that I used to get without it. Looks can often be deceiving.

    2. Surface Wrinkles – The bane of my existence! Of all the sets I collect, surface wrinkles seem to be more common with 78’s than the other years. Be sure to look at the surface of your cards at an angle under good light. There is nothing worse that thinking you have a lock 9 only to have it come back a 5.

    3. Surface Bubbles – Surface bubbles seem to be somewhat common in cards from the late 70’s to early 80’s. If the bubble is small, not popped, and not distracting to the look of the card, you should be OK. However, if it has popped or is distracting, watch out. You are looking at a 7 or an 8 at best.

    4. Print (including “burn circles”) – Print seems to be one of the worst things plaguing cards from 1978. Some cards are chronically covered in it. Others never have print on them. PSA is a little inconsistent when it comes to print from this year. If it is not overwhelming, sometimes is goes through just fine and does not affect the grade. Other times, you get the grader of death and you get a 7 or an 8. I really don’t know what to tell you other than be aware of it. It might ding you.

    5. Snow – See the above comment regarding print. Although not as bad as some years, some 1978 cards have dark backgrounds are particularly susceptible to snow. The degree of the snow and the grader you get will determine whether or not it hurts your result. If you have just a touch of snow, you might be OK. I you have a ton, forget it.

    I hope this helps. If you look for these things and get a little luck, you should do well. It certainly served me in my last submission - invoice #8023003. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] or call me at 503-338-9269.

    As for duplicates, right now I have a few 10’s, over 300-9’s, and about 75-8’s that I would make you a heck of a deal on.


    Hey Chris…I tried to contact you about three weeks ago regarding your 78’s. If you have some dupes in 9 that I need, I would be interested. I may be able to help you out as well. Please e-mail me.
    Looking for 1975, 1978, and 1979 Topps Baseball in high end PSA 9 and PSA 10.
    The best presents in life are the ones you give yourself!
  • 1978 is a great set to work on - I recently started a registered set as well -- I have been submitting some of my own stuff and some of the cards that I think are sure fine 9's come back 8's with even a 7 thrown in... and sometimes cards oI think are on the bubble come back as 9's - tough to figure. I also have accumulated a couple of PSA 9 dups that I would be happy to trade - 20 Rose, 51, 135, 156, 157, 175, 199, 250, and 252 if anyone is interested in a swap. Just shoot me an email at [email protected]
    Collecting 1967 Topps in psa 9 and 1971 topps in psa 8

  • Has anybody crossed over any SGC 1978's to PSA? If so what were the results.
  • sagardsagard Posts: 1,898 ✭✭✭
    Does anyone think PSA has done a terrible job grading the Molitor/Trammell RC? I've seen straight 9's with the smudge. To me the fact that there are Molitor/Trammells without the smudge, the smudge should be reguarded as a flaw.
  • jaxxrjaxxr Posts: 1,258 ✭✭

    Good question about the Molitor RC. That "smudge" is quite common, some even look at it as a variation. I've heard that due to the cards' position on the sheet, and because workers forgot to completely wipe clean the print plates on some/most runs, it is very typical. I believe this is where the subjective nature of any and all grading really comes into play. Does the smudge size and tone really take away much from the overall eye appeal ? Are the corners strong enough to offset a qualifier ? Is the smudge so constant that only a very offensive one will deem a grade drop ? I guess persnal taste and a frame of reference based upon how many you have seen and closely obseveved must be a factor.

    I would assume a gem 10 could have only the faintest, if any, evidence of a smudge. If every single # 707 card had some, even a minute trace, of the famous "smudge" perhaps it could not be considered an automatic print defect. Who's to say what actually is "SIGNIFICANT" ( per PSA ) as to the amount of ink needed for a qualifier ? I believe this is probably the most well known smudge in the hobby. Hope we will hear some more views on this.
    This aint no party,... this aint no disco,.. this aint no fooling around.
  • mcastaldimcastaldi Posts: 1,130 ✭✭
    Sagard> The smudge on the Molitor/Trammell is so common that it's a characteristic of the card and certain allowances are made for it. That said, I'd prefer to have a really sharp 8 without it than a decent 9 with it. We'll see what PSA says about the one I have in right now image

    So full of action, my name should be a verb.
  • Molitor/Trammell Smudge – I have seen some examples in 8 holders where the rest of the card’s characteristics were clearly worthy of a 9. I have also seen cards in 9 holders with a nasty smudge. So who knows what PSA position on this is? I think Jaxxr nailed it on the head when he said that it goes back to the overall appearance of the card and the preference of the graders themselves. The only thing I know for sure is that the 10’s I have seen do not have the smudge. I know Chris Renaud has a 10 in his set; maybe he could way in on this.

    Treadway – I see you are using an Oregon Duck as your icon. Are you from the Northwest?

    ** I’m looking for screaming, high-end PSA 9 (borderline 10) examples of the following 1978 cards: #1 Lou Brock RB, #7 Reggie Jackson RB, #36 Eddie Murray RC, #400 Nolan Ryan, #700 Johnny Bench, #703 Rookie Pitchers (Jack Morris RC), #704 Rookie 2nd Basemen (Whitaker RC), and the #707 Rookie Shortstops (Molitor/Trammell RC - without the smudge). I have most of these cards already, but I’m looking for examples that will allow me to cross them off my potential upgrade list forever. If anyone has these cards out there with four razor corners, sharp edges, close to 55/45 or better centering, and a nice surface, I would be interested. I would also consider 10’s of these cards if they are worthy of the grade. Please contact me at [email protected]. **
    Looking for 1975, 1978, and 1979 Topps Baseball in high end PSA 9 and PSA 10.
    The best presents in life are the ones you give yourself!
  • My ten does not have a smudge and should be a ten given its centering and corners as well. In the vending case I recentlhy opened, I received about 16 Molitor's and they all had the smudge, and I have not really sent them in to be graded (I sent in the three best and got 1 9 and two 5's - go figure).

    I think the cards without the smudge were from the end of the production run when Topps figured out the problem - at least that is what I have heard.
    Collector of baseball PSA sets from the 1970's & hockey rookie cards; big New York Rangers fan (particularly now that they are sleeping with the enemy with Holik and Kaspiritus). Also starting to collect 53 Bowman Color as I think they are the most beautiful cards I have seen.
  • jaxxrjaxxr Posts: 1,258 ✭✭
    For more clarification / confusion re: the smudge,

    There are currently two ebay auctions for 1978 PSA 9 Molitors, one with a PD qualifier, one without. They both have traces of the smudge and the seller of the NQ one notes this in his copy. The one with the PD is slightly better centered. Scans can't be completely relied upon for accurate visual comparisons, but the PD card appears to be very very little more "smudged" than the one with NQ. I would assume the PD one goes for a price somewhat lower than the NQ one, but I believe, especially if priced a bit less, I would prefer the little better centered one with a very slight more "smudge" ???
    This aint no party,... this aint no disco,.. this aint no fooling around.
  • Frank:

    actually no I am not from the northwest rather the northeast- but I have had some travels out to Oregon, Washington and Montana and love the country - also have been a closet fan of U of O for a while despite my Northeast upbringing - hence the story behind the icon

    as far as the smudge goes would agree with the general consensus of the group- I have both the molitor rookie with and without the smudge in a PSA 9. The card with the smudge is nice from a centering corners perspective but the smudge detracts - no real consistency here out of PSA as it relates to this card

    Collecting 1967 Topps in psa 9 and 1971 topps in psa 8

  • AlanAllenAlanAllen Posts: 1,530 ✭✭✭
    Ahhh the Trammell/Molitor rookie, one of the cards nearest and dearest to my heart. Personally, I hate the smudge, and wouldn't even consider buying one with it. I bought a 9 some years ago that has no traces of it, and I'll post it when I get home. They are certainly out there without the smudge, and I'd suggest waiting until you can find one. I've never seen a 10 with the smudge either, but I once asked a dealer who had a 9NQ with the smudge about it, and he said he used to own a 10 with the smudge. Who knows.

    As has been mentioned previously, watch for snow, centering, and diamond cuts on '78s.


    p.s. On a similar note, does anyone have a '78 Burger King Trammell NM/MT or better available? I just got my nicest one slabbed and it came back a 7....
    No such details will spoil my plans...
  • AlanAllenAlanAllen Posts: 1,530 ✭✭✭
    As promised:

    Link to ridiculously large scan

    It does have some print dots you can see in the scan, but it is centered 52/48 and the corners are sharp. Surely you'd rather have a 9 that looks like that than one that looks like this.


    No such details will spoil my plans...
  • Hello. I've recently pulled out my card collection from 1978 through 1981 -- with some pre '78 cards -- and have decided to try and convert them into comic books, which I also collected in my youth. I have about 1,500 1978 cards, have culled the stars for grading and am trying to figure out how to get the rest into the hands of someone who could use them while making some cash for comics. I did my first eBay auction by getting all cards I had left between 1-50, culling all with flaws and problem corners, leaving 70 cards with sharp corners after removing about three dozen cards. I sold them for $2.25 and wonder if this is the best way to do it. Any suggestions out there?
  • Crab,
    I would be interested in those '78 commons. Shoot me an email.

  • Has anyone seen a 78 Topps 10 with those little black print dots?
  • sagardsagard Posts: 1,898 ✭✭✭
  • Ok, who has the 2 1978 Mike Schmidt PSA 10's that just hit the pop report? Come on, I know your out there! :-)
  • BasiloneBasilone Posts: 2,492 ✭✭
    I know where one of them went. WOW. Is this a record price for a 1978 Topps PSA card ??

    1978 Topps PSA 10 Mike Schmidt 1 of 2

  • Check out the Bid History for this auction. Something is funny here (unless I'm missing something). Why did it go for $999 when the previous high bid was $501? image


  • aro13aro13 Posts: 1,961 ✭✭✭
    JEB-Probably because the reserve was 999.00 image
  • aro,

    Sorry. Didn't notice that it had a reserve.

  • BigTex22BigTex22 Posts: 38 ✭✭✭

    Reviving this old thread as I’m starting to jump into the 1978 Topps baseball.

  • PaulMaulPaulMaul Posts: 4,674 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not my highest priority set but I keep chipping away at it. Not on the registry though, mixed raw/graded.

  • fiveninerfiveniner Posts: 4,109 ✭✭✭

    Great choice.

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