1972 Topps Baseball CardsThe 1972 Topps baseball card set would shatter the record for previous card set sizes, at least for the modern baseball era. It clocked in at a monstrous 787 cards, which surely must have made completist card collectors groan when they saw wave after wave of Topps cards being released that year.
The card fronts were either cool or ugly, depending upon one's aesthetic preferences: player photos were surrounded by a flashy, multicolor border design that sported the team name in faux-3D and a star on either side. The player's name was inset in a rounded horizontal block toward the bottom.
Card backs consisted mainly of a red block with the player's name, position, team, and basic biographical info in a block at the top, with a middle section (if there was room) featuring a short paragraph about the player's career, and the player's career statistics at the bottom. Some cards also featured a small cartoon at the top.
The set has a number of 'specialty' cards, including six In Action cards showing players photographed in actual game play; statistical leaders; team rookies; World Series highlights; playoff and World Series highlights cards; sixteen Boyhood Photos cards showing select players as tots; seven Traded cards which had a photo of a player with a big, ugly black Traded band across the front; and a handful of cards showing the game's trophies.
Prominent players in this set include Willie Mays, Carlton Fisk (rookie), Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Steve Carlton, Johnny Bench, Reggie Jackson, Thurmon Munson, Tom Seaver, Brooks Robinson, Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, and Rod Carew.