In December 2007 I wrote a couple of posts about the 1973 Topps set my brother got me for Christmas. There was some talk in those posts about the look and feel of the set itself, but today Cardboard Gods’ Josh Wilker lays some serious analytical lumber on it:

The action photos in these 1973 offerings seem somehow different from the photos featured in later years, adding an additional note of strangeness to these cards. The Watergate hearings occurred the year these Reggie Jackson and Pete Rose cards came out, and there seems, coincidentally, to be an echo in the cards of the anomie that must have been seeping from sea to shining sea as the evidence of corruption from the top down began to mount. Instead of capturing the superstars in heroic poses, the Watergate-era edition shows Reggie Jackson and Pete Rose in moments that seem oddly inconsequential at best, and perhaps even tinged with failure.

As is the case with any Cardboard Gods’ post, there is much much more. Highly recommended reading, especially if you’re of an age where cards from the 1970s aren’t necessarily ancient history.

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Just a shout to any Shysterball readers who have not yet taken a swim through Josh’s fine work – it’s amazing. Instead of spending an hour reading your old girlfriends harp about their brilliant kids on Facebook, I strongly suggest you take a big drink of the water from the shores of the Cardboard Gods. Josh is as insightful and eloquent as they come.