Jeff Walters

1978 Topps Baseball Trivia

The 1978 baseball season was truly one for the ages with the Yankees' Ron Guidry going 25 - 3; winning that 25th game when Bucky Dent hit a 3 run homerun over the Green Monster in a rare one-game playoff with the mighty Red Sox.  Mind you that happened after the Yankees fired Billy Martin, hired Bob Lemon, and stormed back from 14 games out.  The "Yankee magic" continued into the World Series where they once again met and beat the Dodgers to become World Champs!

Of course, since the 1978 Topps baseball cards were released before the season began, they captured none of this.  They did capture some important rookies though, led by future Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and (both) the Alan Trammel/Paul Molitor rookie card.  There was actually a decent rookie class in 1978 Topps highlighted by the Tigers who not only had  a card for Trammell, but rookie cards for Jack Morris and Lou Whitaker too!



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1. Which Is Worth More A PSA 10 Graded 1978 Topps Paul Molitor/Alan Trammell Rookie Or Nolan Ryan?


q1 1978 topps baseball

A PSA 10 1978 Topps Paul Molitor/Alan Trammell is worth more than a Nolan Ryan. The highest price paid for a PSA 10 Rookie Shortstops #707 featuring these players was over $28,000, while the Nolan Ryan was just under $14,900. Both of these "shortstops would become Hall of Famers. 

This 1978 Rookie Shortstops card is arguably one of the best multi-player rookie in the hobby featuring 4 baseball superstars. Despite being shown as a shortstop, Molitor's time there was relatively short. Instead, he found himself being transitioned to other spots on the diamond, and eventually DH across his career.  Trammell on the other hand had a long career there and was part of the longest-running double-play combo with Lou Whitaker.

This card is not only valued for the 2 future Hall of Famers but also because most tend to have a print smudge on them.


2. How Many Cards Are In A 1978 Topps Baseball Wax Pack?


1978 topps baseball wax pack

Each 1978 Topps Baseball wax pack had 14 cards and sold for 20 cents. The 1978 Topps baseball wax boxes held 36 packs while the cases included 20 wax boxes. Wrappers came in three distinct variations. The wrapper variations included: the sports card locker, an ad for Smooth & Juicy bubble gum, and a team checklist offer wrapper.

3. How Big Was The 1978 Topps Baseball Series?


1978 topps set

There were 726 cards in the 1978 Topps baseball card set. This was the first year for this set size following the 660 size that started in 1973 and ended in 1977.  There were also traditional subsets such as Record Breakers (#1-7), League Leaders (#201-208), Playoff and World Series Highlights (#276-277), and Rookie Stars (#701-711).


4. How Many Cards Are In A 1978 Topps Baseball Cello Pack?

1978 topps baseball cello pack

A 1978 Topps baseball cello pack held 21 cards. Despite each pack now costing 30 cents, up a nickel from the previous year, they now also included 3 more cards. 

5. How Many Cards In A 1978 Topps Baseball Rack Pack?


The 1978 Topps baseball rack packs held 39 cards and sold for 59 cents when they first came out. The big advantage to purchasing rack packs is that a buyer can see 6 of the cards in the rack. In addition, there are no “gum stains” as these packs were the only retail packs from Topps that did not contain gum. Collectors can find some of the "cleanest" cards from rack packs.  


1978 Topps BB rack - Bench


6. What Did A 1978 Topps Baseball Rack Pack Cost?

In 1978, the pack cost 59 cents, 10 cents higher than the previous year. While this was affordable for a kid back then, today these racks on eBay can sell in low to mid-hundreds of dollar range (and potentially higher depending on the players showing on the rack).


7. Did Topps Make a Grocery Wax Tray for 1978?

1978 bb tray


Yes, a grocery rack tray did exist for 1978 Topps baseball.  Topps continued their tradition of grouping 3 wax packs together on a board and surrounding it with a cellophane wrap.  In addition to the 1978 Topps baseball grocery tray packs, they also made tray packs for football, hockey, and basketball that year.


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Want to continue reading? Here are a few posts you might find interesting:

1970 Topps Baseball: Everything You Want To Know

1971 Topps Baseball: Everything You Wanted To Know

A Look Back At The 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Set

1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie: The Improbable Foresight of Upper Deck

Ichiro Suzuki Rookie: What is the value of "Once in a Lifetime Cards?"

Investing In Fleer Michael Jordan Cards? Here Is What You Need To Know


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