This is the fifth installment of Vintage Pack Facts, a weekly feature highlighting unopened packs from the past. This series hopes to shed some light on one individual release each week in terms of the variety of packaging methods used, prices at the time, a little about the set itself and more.
VintageBreaks.com will often open the packs we’re discussing and we’ll sometimes share those segments so you can have a little fun going back in time.
1970 Topps Cello Baseball
- MLB’s expansion and added or renewed features that were planned by Topps pushed the size of the set to 720 cards–the company’s biggest to date.
- The first thing kids noticed was that the price of packs had gone up. Wax packs went from a nickel to a dime.
- 1970 Topps baseball cards were found in wax, cello, rack and three-pack wax trays. What few dealers existed at the time could buy vending boxes directly from Topps. Dealers sold complete sets for around $13 plus postage via mail order.
- Topps continued the practice of selling cards by series and there were seven of them in 1970. The sixth series “semi-high numbers” and seventh series high numbers are a little harder to find and consequently, a somewhat larger price.
- Topps 1970 cello packs contained 33 cards, bundled in a clear wrapper and for the first time, housed inside a green-colored outer box that enabled buyers to see the first card (and the last if they were bold enough to open the box). The price was 25 cents, making it a better deal than the penny-per-card rate of a wax pack. The outer box style cellos were used by Topps in 1971 and ’72 and then abandoned.
- The cello pack box contained 24 packs and featured 1969 Miracle Mets star Tom Seaver on the front but the pose used is actually from the 1970 Topps Super set. Seaver’s 1970 Topps card is actually a posed head and shoulders shot.
- Topps created poster and scratch-off inserts that were included in wax packs, but not in cellos.
- After opening several cello packs, Vintage Breaks reports that duplicates are sometimes found–and occasionally an 34th card. One recent sixth series cello break yielded two mint Pete Rose cards.
- Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Catfish Hunter, Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton and Orlando Cepeda are also in the sixth series, which contains only 86 cards so it’s likely each cello pack contains at least one or two Hall of Famers.
- Vintage Breaks recently opened a Series 2 cello that contained a Thurman Munson rookie card that graded PSA 8.
- Cards that emerge from recent breaks of 1970 cellos have generally been very sharp but centering sometimes varies.
You can watch a 6th Series break, recorded at this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention directly below.
You can learn more about participating in vintage pack breaks—or just watch—by visiting VintageBreaks.com.