1973 Topps Football Cards

1973 Topps football card wrapperTopps drastically increased the size of its football card issue in 1973, going to 528 cards. (The 1971 Topps set contained 263 cards, and the 1972 Topps set contained 351.) I have not seen an uncut sheet of 1973 Topps cards, but I assume they were printed on two 264-card sheets. For the first time since 1967, Topps released its football cards in a single series.

Because the set was so much larger than previous football card issues, many of the players made their first appearance on a card in this set. By my rough count, the 1973 Topps set contains 197 rookie cards. The set also contains an odd feature I have not seen in another set: three "boyhood photo" cards. I am curious how the boyhood photos came about, and why there are only three of them. Maybe Topps just needed some filler cards to make it to 528?

Rookie cards of Pro Football Hall of Famers in the 1973 Topps set: Jim Langer, Jack Ham, Art Shell, Franco Harris, Dan Dierdorf, Jack Youngblood, Curley Culp, Ken Stabler. Rookie cards of Heisman Trophy winners in the 1973 Topps set: Pat Sullivan.

Image Set # Card Title/Players Pro Team Position College Honors Notes Grades available at Nearmint Sports Cards
1973 Topps 1972 Rushing Leaders 1973 Topps 1 1972 Rushing Leaders
Larry Brown Washington Redskins running back Kansas State Redskins Ring of Fame
O.J. Simpson Buffalo Bills running back USC, City College of San Francisco Heisman Trophy 1968, Bills Wall of Fame 1980, College Hall of Fame 1983, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1985
1973 Topps 1972 Passing Leaders 1973 Topps 2 1972 Passing Leaders
Earl Morrall Miami Dolphins quarterback Michigan State
Norm Snead New York Giants quarterback Wake Forest
1973 Topps 1972 Receiving Leaders 1973 Topps 3 1972 Receiving Leaders
Fred Biletnikoff Oakland Raiders end Florida State Pro Football Hall of Fame 1988, College Hall of Fame 1991
Harold Jackson Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Jackson State
1973 Topps 1972 Scoring Leaders 1973 Topps 4 1972 Scoring Leaders UPI named Marcol the NFC Rookie of the Year in 1972.
Bobby Howfield New York Jets kicker
Chester Marcol Green Bay Packers kicker Hillsdale Packers Hall of Fame 1987
1973 Topps 1972 Interception Leaders 1973 Topps 5 1972 Interception Leaders
Bill Bradley Philadelphia Eagles defensive back, punter Texas Eagles Honor Roll 1993
Mike Sensibaugh Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Ohio State
1973 Topps 1972 Punting Leaders 1973 Topps 6 1972 Punting Leaders Error card

Wilson's name is misspelled "Jerrell."
Dave Chapple Los Angeles Rams punter UC Santa Barbara
Jerrel Wilson Kansas City Chiefs punter, running back Southern Mississippi Chiefs Hall of Fame 1988
1973 Topps Bob Trumpy 1973 Topps 7 Bob Trumpy Cincinnati Bengals tight end, wide receiver Utah
1973 Topps Mel Tom 1973 Topps 8 Mel Tom Philadelphia Eagles defensive end San Jose State Rookie card
1973 Topps Clarence Ellis 1973 Topps 9 Clarence Ellis Atlanta Falcons defensive back Notre Dame Rookie card
1973 Topps John Niland 1973 Topps 10 John Niland Dallas Cowboys guard Iowa
1973 Topps Randy Jackson 1973 Topps 11 Randy Jackson Chicago Bears tackle Florida Rookie card
1973 Topps Greg Landry 1973 Topps 12 Greg Landry Detroit Lions quarterback Massachusetts
1973 Topps Cid Edwards 1973 Topps 13 Cid Edwards San Diego Chargers running back Tennessee State Rookie card
1973 Topps Phil Olsen 1973 Topps 14 Phil Olsen Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Utah State Rookie card
1973 Topps Terry Bradshaw 1973 Topps 15 Terry Bradshaw Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Louisiana Tech Pro Football Hall of Fame 1989, College Hall of Fame 1996, Steelers All-Time Team Bradshaw's brother, Craig Bradshaw, was a quarterback for the Houston Oilers in 1980.
1973 Topps Al Cowlings 1973 Topps 16 Al Cowlings Houston Oilers defensive end USC Rookie card
1973 Topps Walker Gillette 1973 Topps 17 Walker Gillette St. Louis Cardinals wide receiver Richmond Rookie card
1973 Topps Bob Atkins 1973 Topps 18 Bob Atkins Houston Oilers defensive back Grambling Rookie card
1973 Topps Diron Talbert 1973 Topps 19 Diron Talbert Washington Redskins defensive tackle Texas Rookie card
1973 Topps Jim Johnson 1973 Topps 20 Jim Johnson San Francisco 49ers defensive back UCLA Pro Football Hall of Fame 1994, 49ers Hall of Fame 2009
1973 Topps Howard Twilley 1973 Topps 21 Howard Twilley Miami Dolphins end Tulsa College Hall of Fame 1992
1973 Topps Dick Enderle 1973 Topps 22 Dick Enderle New York Giants guard Minnesota Rookie card
1973 Topps Wayne Colman 1973 Topps 23 Wayne Colman New Orleans Saints linebacker Temple Rookie card
1973 Topps John Schmitt 1973 Topps 24 John Schmitt New York Jets center Hofstra Rookie card
1973 Topps George Blanda 1973 Topps 25 George Blanda Oakland Raiders quarterback, kicker Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame 1981 nm-mt