The 1967 Topps football set meshed perfectly with the Summer of Love that year. While this was Topps’ final AFL-only set, the psychedelic design appealed to many collectors. Even the nickel wax packs had an artsy, hippie-like look to them.
There were not many big names in this set, although the most expensive cards are quarterbacks Joe Namath and Jack Kemp. Future Hall of Famers Len Dawson, Lance Alworth and Fred Biletnikoff also were key cards. However, if your taste runs toward professional wrestling, then the rookie card of Wahoo McDaniel (No. 82) and a regular-issue card of Ernie Ladd (No. 58) would be appealing.
1967 Topps Football Basics
The cards measured 2½ inches by 3½ inches, and the set consisted of 132 cards. The card front featured an oval-shaped player photo, framed by bright colors. The team name is stretched above the oval, to its left and right. The player’s name is in large block letters underneath the portrait, with his position listed below the name in smaller type. The layout of the card backs is vertical in nature. A black circle in the top left-hand corner of the back contains the card number. Some players will have statistics on the card backs, too. All cards have a brief biographical sketch, and the bottom of the card contains a cartoon with a trivia question.
The 1967 set followed the pattern of Topps’ other AFL sets, grouping players by team. There are no team photos, however.
There have been 16,802 cards submitted to PSA for grading, but only 135 cards from the 1967 set have come back as gem mint. The key card in the set — Namath (No. 98) — has been submitted 983 times, with only four PSA 10s and 46 PSA 9s. There are no gem mint graded cards of Kemp; of the 535 cards submitted, only 26 came back as high as PSA 9. McDaniel’s rookie card has been sent in 358 times and there are four gem mint cards and 25 PSA 9 specimens. Card #131, Speedy Duncan, has also proven tough to find in the highest grades.
Stars, Variations and Inserts
The Namath card is easily the most valuable in the 1967 Topps football set with near mint examples running $100 and up. The second checklist (#132) can be tough to find in higher grades and unmarked. Kemp, Dawson (#61), Biletnikoff (#106) and Alworth (#123) are the others you’ll spend a few extra bucks to land. Generally, though, most cards in the set are inexpensive, making it one of the most appealing vintage football sets for collectors on a budget.
Interestingly, 33 of the 1967 cards were reprinted as part of a Milton Bradley tabletop game. The cards can be distinguished from the Topps product by their light yellow card backs (as opposed to gold).
The wax packs for the ’67 set included Comic Pennant sticker cards. There were 31 stickers in the set, which includes all of the AFL teams and college football teams, too. The stickers utilized corny humor and were not too popular when they were released.
Topps would regain a license to produce NFL cards in 1968 and would include players in both leagues. There are plenty of 1967 cards available on eBay in various grades (click here to see them), so completing a set should not be a terribly difficult task.