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  #1  
Old 04-30-2021, 06:03 PM
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JollyElm JollyElm is offline
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Default 1972 Wilt VS. Kareem...

In the 'This comes from completely out of the blue' category, I present you with the epic battle of who appeared on more cards in the 1972 Topps NBA set, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Wilt Chamberlain.

Summary: They both obviously have their own individual cards, so there's nothing new there, but dig a little deeper and you find they both co-star brilliantly on each other's All-Star cards. Pretty cool. They also share the spotlight on a pair of 'leaders' cards, Field Goal Percentage and Rebounds (no frickin' surprise there). So that's five apiece to start.

Then it gets a little interesting as Wilt 'The Stilt' has cameos on HOF'ers 'Clyde' Frazier and Jerry West cards, which is matched by Kareem as he has a go at HOF'er Spencer Haywood, and gets involved in a holy war with Bob Weiss.

So, now we're tied again...but Jabbar had an MVP season, so his mug popped up on an additional duo of 'leaders' cards, Scoring and Scoring Average (did they really need to separate those two stats??) and he pulls ahead.

But suddenly gaining on the outside is Chamberlain, as he makes a mad dash to finish strongly, appearing on four separate NBA Championship cards. Two are obvious, whereas the other two have clear clues to his identity. First, sandwiched between HOF'ers Jerry Lucas and Phil Jackson in Game #3, the number 1 is visible as well as his headband. Secondly, in Game #4 as Leroy Ellis attacks the boards following HOF'er Bill Bradley's try, you can see Wilt's heavily-taped hands as he hustles down the court. And worthy of note, Chamberlain looks nothing short of a Colossus on the "Lakers are NBA Champs" card.

Final score: Wilt Chamberlain 11, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 9. The crowd cheers as it leaves the auditorium...



Food for thought: Had the Lakers not vanquished the Bucks in the Western Conference Finals, it would've been Kareem appearing on all of those playoffs cards instead (and maybe my Knicks would've fared better, considering **Cool fact alert** their entire starting lineup was eventually elected to The Hall of Fame).

Additional food for thought: The 1972-73 Topps set consists of 264 cards. With Wilt appearing on 11 of them, that means he shows up on an astounding 4.16% of the cards in the set. That has got to be a record for a large mainstream offering. Are there other examples with anywhere near that amount of coverage? (Here's where the goofballs are going to bring up the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set, or the Bond Bread Jackie Robinson set. Yeah, you're real witty. ) Babe Ruth has a good amount of 'special' cards in 1962, and Hank Aaron was certainly the star of the 1974 Topps set, but those percentages pale in comparison.

Good stuff!!
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Last edited by JollyElm; 04-30-2021 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:55 PM
Frankish Frankish is online now
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Not sure why my original post never went through. !972 is one of my favorite sets, maybe my favorite. Have completed it a couple of times now and still pick up, Wilt, Kareem, and Dr J when I see a nice one I can afford. Just speaks to the pro ball of my childhood memories I guess.

Those are some fun statistics. Kareem had a great season and with some team luck would have been on a lot more cards. But, then again, Wilt spent the prime of his career with mediocre to lousy teams around him. If he'd been on a strong team, there would be no debate that he was the GOAT....
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:00 PM
MarcosCards MarcosCards is offline
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Default Wilt vs Jabbar

Yes, excellent action photos presented here from this Topps set. I recently enjoyed watching some YouTube videos of the two going head to head. As I recall, one clip showed Jabbar dunking over/through Chamberlain. Great fun!
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:16 AM
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As far as I am concerned Wilt is the GOAT. 50.4 PPG for a season, 22.9 RPG career, 30.1 PPG career. it is Superman #s. Not to mention the 20,000...

Here's a 1972 you might like:

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Last edited by Exhibitman; 05-01-2021 at 08:20 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-01-2021, 08:47 AM
Frankish Frankish is online now
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Nice card!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
As far as I am concerned Wilt is the GOAT. 50.4 PPG for a season, 22.9 RPG career, 30.1 PPG career. it is Superman #s. Not to mention the 20,000...
I'm in complete agreement. But as history worked out, I can understand arguments I hear for other players to be GOAT. I don't agree with them but see they have merit. If Wilt had won any number titles (need not be 11 like Russell or even 6 like MJ, 4 like LeBron or Shaq would do), there could really be no plausible debate in my mind. He really was a superman....
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Old 05-01-2021, 11:24 AM
Troy Kirk Troy Kirk is offline
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Looks like Wilt has his jersey reversed on his 1972 card to show his name on the front.
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2021, 11:33 AM
carlsonjok carlsonjok is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Kirk View Post
Looks like Wilt has his jersey reversed on his 1972 card to show his name on the front.
I only have a partial set, but every 72-73 Laker individual player card I have is the same way.
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Kirk View Post
Looks like Wilt has his jersey reversed on his 1972 card to show his name on the front.
The story goes that some of the players believed a rumor that they would lose some $$ from Topps if the team name showed up on the card. Something about copyrights or trademarks or something like that. Jerseys also show up backwards on the 1971-72 cards. Many times the whole, or most of, a team will have their jerseys reversed while other teams hadn't heard the rumor and kept their jerseys on correctly. Some of the Celtics look really goofy because the back of the jersey collar is really high.



Back to the OPs point, Pete Rose is on 9 cards in the 1986 Topps set, though that set comes in at 792 cards, for an overall appearance rate of 1.14%. But wait a minute Chester. Pete also makes an appearance on the wax box top and on the bottom panel, bringing his rate to 1.4% (11/792). So while his appearance rate can't compete with Wilt, his total number of hits ties him for first. And I won't mention that on 6 of those 11 cards, he is pictured 4 times on each card, for a grand total of 29 pictures of Pete in the 1986 set which sets the Hit King on the throne for most appearances in a set.

Pete most assuredly deserves HOF induction, if for no other reason than that.
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Last edited by Bigdaddy; 05-01-2021 at 09:26 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-02-2021, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post
As far as I am concerned Wilt is the GOAT. 50.4 PPG for a season, 22.9 RPG career, 30.1 PPG career. it is Superman #s. Not to mention the 20,000...

Here's a 1972 you might like:

72 NBA records and his 72 Lakers still hold the records for scoring margin and longest winning streak.
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