Thursday, March 30, 2023

The John Hilton Rookie Card and a Catcher: The Conclusion of the 1973 Topps Pursuit

I think it was about a year ago that I decided to pursue the 1973 Topps complete set. I know for sure that it's been a year since I started trading on, which was a great source of cards for the set. The most credit I can give to one person, though, is Bo over at Baseball Cards Come to Life!, who helped me take a big chunk out of my want list last year. Of the final two cards I needed for the set, one came from eBay and the other from TCDB. For the past several months, I've had the following search saved in my eBay search list: "1973 Topps Mike Schmidt," with the hopes of finding an underpriced Buy It Now option. Recently, I found a match and was ready to pull the trigger. My second to last card for the set arrived Monday:

The card met my basic requirements for the high numbered short prints of the set: No major creases, little to no paper loss, and no writing (a requirement I waived for the high numbered checklist, because I'm not paying $40 for a checklist). A random thought I keep having about this card - I wonder if there are any John Hilton player collectors or Padres team collectors out there who have this card only because Hilton's on it. 

The day after I hit Buy It Now on eBay for the Schmidt rookie card, I finalized a trade on TCDB with Joe from Portland, OR for the final card I needed for the set. I had tried to track down this one on TCDB a few times before, but it never worked out. Needless to say, I was more than happy to send some 1965 Topps cards out west in exchange for this beauty:

This is one of my favorite cards from 1973 Topps, so it's especially sweet that it's the one that finishes off my set. 

I've featured some 1973 Topps-themed posts on my blog and plan to continue to do so, as a way to make myself continue to page through my first complete vintage set and appreciate it in its entirety. One that I've already promised is featuring the shortest players from the set. Look for that post coming soon.


  1. Glad I could be helpful! I'm down to under ten now. Not going to pay up for a Schmidt until it's the last one, and even then, I'm not going to $40.

  2. A couple of great cards to finish off the set. Congrats.

  3. Congrats! I'm glad I don't really chase multi-player cards, because by all accounts this one is a nightmare to track down at anything near an affordable price. Kinda feel bad for John Hilton being sandwiched between those two guys.

  4. Congrats on completing such a great set. It's the most recent traditional (600-plus cards) set that I've completed. Your Cey-Schmidt card looks a lot like mine, but the last card I needed was Leo Durocher.

  5. Happy completed set! It's amazing how quick you were able to complete it. Are you planning to take on any more vintage sets?

    1. Thanks Jon. I did a ton of TCDB trading over the past year, which helped me complete it much more quickly.
      I'm down to mostly cost-prohibitive cards on my 1955 Bowman set build --- other than that one, I don't have any plans for another vintage set as of now. And actually, I don't really have any other set building plans either. So we'll see.

  6. Congrats on finishing this one. It's on my list to do, but I'm not ready to start yet. Trying to finish up some other projects first. Great looking Johnny Bench. I'm blessed to already have the Schmidt card.