If you’re a fan of baseball dynasties, there was a lot to like about the summer of 1977.

Consider …

In the National League West, the Los Angeles Dodgers took down the Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds to continue a run of success that began in 1974 and would last through the late 1980s, with six division titles, five pennants, and two World Series championships.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies would win their second NL East crown in a row en route to three straight before winning the 1980 World Series and losing the 1983 Fall Classic to the Baltimore Orioles.

In the AL West, the Kansas City Royals were a near-mirror-image of the Phils, logging their second of three straight division titles en route to a World Series loss in 1980, another division title in 1984, and a world championship in 1985.

In the AL East the New York Yankees were on the cusp of their second AL pennant, which would lead to the first of two Series titles in a row. They would also win another division title in 1980 and then squeeze through to the World Series in 1981 after exploiting the fouled-up playoff scheme of the strike-shortened 1981 season.

And what’s the best way to reminisce about all this royalty (Royalty?)?

Why, with 1977 Topps baseball cards, of course!

To celebrate this underrated classic, here are the ten most valuable cards from the set, culled from eBay sales.

(Check out our other posts about baseball card values here.)

1977 Topps Reggie Jackson (#10)

1977 topps reggie jackson

When this 1977 Topps Reggie Jackson card was issued, Reggie was already something of a legend from his years with the Oakland A’s.

But it wasn’t until that fall, his first with the New York Yankees, when Reggie would become Mr. October.

This card features a pretty bad airbrush job, but Topps did a rush job to get Reggie in his new togs after one year with the Baltimore Orioles — proof of their late change exists in the form of an almost mythical Reggie-with-Orioles proof card.

This “normal” Reggie is popular in its own right, pulling in about $5 in raw condition and $125-130 in PSA 8.

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1977 Topps Bruce Sutter Rookie Card (#144)

1977 topps bruce sutter

If you look at Sabermetrics numbers like WAR, Bruce Sutter’s election to the Hall of Fame in 2006 was spurious at best.

But Sutter was one of the premier closers of the 1970s and 1980s when the position was evolving into the specialist role it is today.

He also was one of the first to reach 300 career saves and helped to pioneer the split-fingered fastball, still a major force in today’s game.

Throw in the fact that this 1977 Topps rookie card features Sutter with the Chicago Cubs, and it’s little wonder that it can fetch $5-10 raw or $70-80 in PSA 8.

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1977 Topps Tom Seaver (#150)

1977 topps tom seaver

For just over a decade, Tom Seaver dominated National League hitters as a member of the New York Mets rotation, helping the Amazin’s to two World Series appearances and one championship in his first seven seasons.

But by June of 1977, the Mets were rebuilding, while the Cincinnati Reds were trying to rev up their Big Red Machine one more time. A match was made, and New York sent Seaver to the Riverfront in exchange for Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman, and Pat Zachry.

Though the Reds didn’t make the playoffs that season, Seaver plugged along as one of the game’s best for several more campaigns and made a late-career return to Queens.

For most of the summer of 1977, though, Seaver’s then-current Topps card was a thorn in the side of Mets fans — they could see Tom Terrific there in his NYM pinstripes despite the fact that he was long gone.

It’s one in a long line of great Seaver cards, one that today brings less than $10 ungraded and $70-75 in PSA 8.

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1977 Topps Thurman Munson (#170)

1977 topps Thurman Munson

In 1977, Thurman Munson was coming off his most decorated season, leading the New York Yankees to the World Series and earning American League Most Valuable Player honors in 1976.

It’s fitting, then, that the Yanks’ captain sports a big smile on his 1977 Topps card, don’t you think?

Of course, just over two years after this card was issued, Munson was gone, killed in a plane crash.

Though taken from his family and the game way too soon, Munson left behind a legacy of gritty play and a raving fan base that keeps his cards alive and well all these decades later.

You can usually find the 1977 Topps Thurman Munson under $5 raw, but expect to pay $90-120 for a PSA 8 copy.

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1977 Topps Mark Fidrych Rookie Card (#265)

1977 Topps Mark Fidrych

In many ways, Mark Fidrych helped to lay the groundwork for the modern game and chart the course of the hobby.

When he exploded onto the scene for the Detroit Tigers in 1976 with a 19-9 record and 2.34 ERA, “The Bird” infected an entire nation with his big personality, love for the game, and generally joyous outlook.

The next spring, collectors everywhere tried their best to lay their hands on the 1977 Topps Fidrych rookie card in a preview of the rookie card mania that would grip the hobby a decade later.

Though The Bird found himself grounded by injuries within just a few years, and though a freak accident claimed his life way too early (in 2009), Fidrych remains a popular character today.

His rookie card, available for under $10 ungraded most of the time, climbs into the $65-80 range for PSA 8 specimens.

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1977 Topps Andre Dawson Rookie Card (#473)

For the first several years of his career, Andre Dawson was always near the top of the list whenever baseball fans debated the greatest players in the game.

Perennially flirting with MVP honors, Dawson brought serious power and speed to the Montreal Expos and helped the franchise develop one of the most exciting teams in the game by the early 1980s.

By the time the hobby started to really boom, Dawson’s 1977 Topps rookie card was among the most coveted of the decade, right up there with the Mike Schmidt (1973), George Brett (1975), and Eddie Murray (1978) rookies.

Alas, years of Astroturf poundings took their toll on The Hawk’s knees, and he slowed down to the extent that no teams came calling when he became a free agent after the 1986 season. Of course, we later learned that collusion was likely a factor in his languishing, but the immediate result was that the Chicago Cubs signed him for a song in the spring of 1987.

Forty-nine home runs and an NL MVP award later, though, and Dawson was back on top, and his rookie card was, too.

These days, this Hall of Fame RC regularly changes hands at less than $20 ungraded but stretches to $100-110 in PSA 8.

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1977 Topps Dale Murphy Rookie Card (#476)

1977 topps Dale Murphy

For most of the years that Dawson was making hay with the Expos, Dale Murphy was sowing his own grain with the Altanta Braves.

After a slow start to Major League life as a catcher, Murph moved to center field and became an All-Star … and then a two-time NL MVP (1982, 1983).

Murphy’s decline was steep in the latter stages of his career, but there were few better during his 1980s peak, timing that helped his 1977 Topps rookie card hang in their with the big boys for most of the decade.

Today, it’s a $10 buy ungraded, with PSA 8 copies bringing in $125 or more.

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1977 Topps George Brett (#580)

1977 topps George Brett

When the 1977 Topps set debuted, George Brett was still just 23 years old, but he’d already won a batting title (.333 in 1976), made an All-Star team (1976), and garnered MVP votes for two years running.

The best was yet to come, of course, and Brett would pretty much cement his status as a first-ballot Hall of Famer before the 1980s were through.

Although not quite as iconic as his first two issues, the 1977 Topps card of this Kansas City Royals legend still sells regularly on eBay (and through other avenues) — less than $10 for raw copies, but around $100-120 for PSA 8s.

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1977 Topps Robin Yount (#635)

1977 topps Robin Yount

Robin Yount got a slower start on superstardom than did Brett, but the two worked in near lockstep for entirety of their careers.

Yount debuted a year later than Brett (1974 v. 1973), but he is also more than two years younger. They both retired in 1993, both made Cooperstown in 1999, and finished within 12 hits of each other.

And Yount even bested Brett in MVP awards (two to one).

Their 1975 Topps rookie cards even fell within five slots of each other — Yount is #223; Brett, #228.

Fitting, then, that both make this list, though Yount’s 1977 card is just a tad softer at less than $5 raw and close to $50 in PSA 8.

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1977 Topps Nolan Ryan (#650)

1977 topps Nolan Ryan

In 1976, Nolan Ryan went 17-18 for the California Angels and failed to throw a no-hitter for the first time since 1972. Could it be that whatever magic Ryan had in his right arm had run out as he approached his 30th birthday?

Nah …

Ryan “bounced back” to 19-16 with a league-leading 22 complete games and 341 strikeouts in 1977, then won two more K titles before signing a free agent deal with the Houston Astros before the 1980 season.

A no-hitter ensued in 1981.

Then, when most of his contemporaries were in their rocking chairs, Ryan signed another free agent deal, this one with the Texas Rangers, prior to the 1989 season.

Two more no-hitters.

5714 strikeouts.

The Ryan Express.


And card prices to match, including a 1977 Topps card that sells for $10-15 raw and $150+ in PSA 8.

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(Check out our other posts about baseball card values here.)


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