This blog is at its end and I am no closer to believing I have completed this set than I was when I started this blog six years ago.
There was no set that I revered more as kid than 1971 Topps. Growing up as a brand-new card collector five, six, seven years after the '71 set was released, the set seemed not only old, elusive and desirable but the coolest thing to ever appear on cardboard.
I started buying packs of baseball cards during a pretty awesome year for cards, 1975. And my idea for what a card should look like has always been 1972 Topps, a perception created by homages to the set when I was a kid.
But '71 was in a class by itself. I had never seen anything like it.
The '71 set was unique until '85 Donruss, '86 Topps, '87 Donruss and various Bowman sets. I was in awe of the colorful type on a midnight black background. I noted the e.e. cummings style. I loved the first action photos to appear on individual players' cards.
I started this blog on the verge of completing this set as proof to that kid long ago that I indeed would complete the '71 set, a set in which it seemed impossible to own even 50 cards way back when. But I did complete it. All 752 images on this blog are my cards. They are proof.
I don't hold the attachment to this set like I do the '75 set, which is why I didn't devote all the counting, list-making and labeling to this blog like I did with the '75 blog.
If you can believe the labels -- and I admit I was haphazard with tallying -- there are 32 airbrushed/blacked-out caps in the set (I have a feeling there are more). There are 45 cards with floating heads on the back. There are 44 rookie stars cards. There are just 17 manager cards.
The team sets range from a low of 25 to a high of 35.
But those are just numbers. This is a set that defies categorization. It should be taken as a whole as one of the most interesting, mysterious, brilliant sets ever made. Some of the photos may not be the best -- they speak to an older age and a chaotic age -- but those borders certainly make up for it and stamp it as an original.
I hope you've enjoyed my look at the set as I discovered many facts about the people who played the game before I started following baseball.
Thanks for following along and commenting.
And for those of you who come to this blog in the future, please know that there has never been another set like 1971 Topps.