15 Most Valuable 1975 Topps Football Cards

Most Valuable 1975 Topps Football Cards

With a much more conservative design than some of the other sets that preceded it earlier in the decade, the 1975 Topps football card checklist packed plenty of value.

It also packed plenty of Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famers...

After outdueling the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in Super Bowl X to finish off the 1975 season, the Steelers made it back-to-back championships to continue carving out their dynasty during that era.

Steelers aside, though, you'll notice there are plenty of other stars and Hall of Famers in this set.

And there are some great rookie cards, too...

Overall, this set delivers so many great cards for any vintage football card collector to enjoy..

And in this guide, I'll run through the fifteen most valuable.

Let's jump right in!

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1975 Topps #282 Lynn Swann Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $10,000

Lynn Swann's sophomore season stands as one of the best second-year efforts by a wideout in NFL history.

After hitting his stride late in his rookie year, punctuated by his game-winning touchdown grab in the 1974 AFC Championship Game, the young Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver entered the 1975 NFL season primed for a breakout.

Opposing secondaries were no match for Swann's seamless route-running, breakneck speed, and impressive vertical leap.

In 14 games (12 starts), the 23-year-old wideout posted 49 receptions for 781 yards and an NFL-best 11 touchdowns.

Named to his first Pro Bowl and honored as a consensus first-team All-Pro, Swann was a regular-season revelation.

However, he saw his targets diminish in the first two games of Pittsburgh's bid for back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

He snagged just four passes for 60 yards in the team's victories over the Baltimore Colts and Oakland Raiders, respectively.

In Super Bowl X, however, Swann made the graceful leap from ordinary to absolutely extraordinary.

During one of the best big-play shows in Big Game history, Swann logged four receptions for a then-Super Bowl record 161 yards in the Steelers' 21-17 triumph over the Dallas Cowboys.

And, to cement the Steelers' dynasty in real-time, Swann completed a highlight-reel 64-yard snag and run for the eventual game-winning touchdown.

1975 Topps #282 Lynn Swann Rookie Card

1975 Topps #367 Dan Fouts Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $5,000

Legendary San Diego Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts set the league on fire with an aerial assault in the late 1970s and early-to-mid 1980s.

Before that, though, Fouts underwhelmed as a third-round prospect plagued by injuries and inconsistency.

Take his 1975 NFL campaign, for example.

The Chargers were porous on defense in 1975 but even worse on offense, and Fouts was a big part of the problem.

The third-year signal-caller upped his efficiency on short and medium passes, posting a new career-high 54.4% completion percentage and throwing for 1,396 yards in ten games (nine starts).

However, he was nothing short of awful in the clutch and he threw just two touchdowns all year against ten interceptions.

On the rare occasions that the former Oregon standout led San Diego into the red zone, bad and uninspiring things tended to happen.

Adding to the malaise, Fouts missed a month of the season due to injury.

The injury bug continued to bite him over the next couple of seasons.

Things looked bleak in the here and now for San Diego as the franchise attempted a large-scale rebuild.

In a few years, however, the rebuild paid off while Fouts blossomed into an All-Pro sensation and the Bolts found their footing as legit AFC contenders.

1975 Topps #367 Dan Fouts Rookie Card

1975 Topps #416 Joe Theismann Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $3,500

In 1974, the Miami Dolphins traded the rights to CFL All-Star quarterback Joe Theismann to the Washington Redskins in exchange for a 1976 first-round draft pick.

With Billy Kilmer as the primary starter and quarterbacks like Sonny Jurgensen and Randy Johnson ahead of him on the depth chart, Theismann's initial role on the team was undefined.

As it turned out, he was more of a student and special teams option in his first two years with the team as he threw only 11 passes in 1974, completing nine.

He was used more as a punt returner, returning 19 in the regular season and postseason for 179 yards.

Behind Kilmer and Johnson in 1975, Theismann performed mop-up duty at quarterback in all 14 regular-season games, completing just 10 of 22 passes for 96 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions.

As Washington groomed him for a more pivotal role at quarterback in 1976, Theismann spent less time on special teams, returning just two punts for five yards.

The Redskins finished 8-6 in 1975, breaking a streak of four-straight playoff appearances.

Looking for a spark, they'd entrust Theismann with much more responsibility in 1976.

And, by the early 80s, he'd become a Pro Bowler and would lead the Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XVII over the Miami Dolphins.

1975 Topps #416 Joe Theismann Rookie Card

1975 Topps #65 Drew Pearson Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $2,500

After a successful college career at the University of Tulsa, Hall of Famer Drew Pearson signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent as a third-team wide receiver to start the 1973 season.

But, by the end of his rookie campaign, he was starting alongside Golden Richards after Otto Stowe and Mike Montgomery fell to injury.

Pearson performed admirably over the Cowboys' final six games that year, totaling 373 receiving yards along with two receiving touchdowns.

After Stowe left the team in 1975, Pearson filled in as an everyday starter alongside Richards, leading the team with 1,087 receiving yards in his first year as a full-timer.

Pearson didn't take his foot off the gas from that point on and continued to be one of the top wideouts in the league throughout the 1970s.

In 1979, he and fellow wideout Tony Hill teamed up with star running back Tony Dorsett to help Dallas become the first team to feature two wide receivers and one running back with a 1,000-yard season each.

Elected for induction into the Hall of Fame in 2021, Pearson was a three-time Pro Bowler, three-time First-Team All-Pro and a key cog for the Cowboys team that took home victory in Super Bowl XII.

1975 Topps #65 Drew Pearson Rookie Card

1975 Topps #461 Terry Bradshaw

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $2,250

Hailed as a consensus number-one draft pick coming out of college, Bradshaw’s early-career stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers was nothing if not tumultuous.

Enduring countless criticisms about his playing style and perceived lack of intellect, Bradshaw also had to fight to get his starting job back during Pittsburgh’s first Super Bowl run in 1974.

After doing just that and leading the Steelers to their first championship in franchise history, Bradshaw entrenched himself as the starting QB heading into the 1975 NFL season.

He responded with the best year of his career up to that point, starting all fourteen regular-season games and completing a career-best 57.7% of his passes on his way to his first Pro Bowl selection.

His 2,055 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, and just nine interceptions were a stark contrast to previous years where turnovers were a massive problem.

In the playoffs, Bradshaw completed 32 of 57 passes (56.1%) for 527 yards, three touchdowns, and five interceptions in three games.

While the inconsistency of earlier years popped up here and there in January, Bradshaw still did a fantastic job shepherding the offense to the promised land.

1975 Topps #461 Terry Bradshaw Football Card

1975 Topps #12 Mel Blount Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,750

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Mel Blount was so dominant in the mid-1970s that the NFL created a new rule to level the playing field.

While he wasn't a dirty player, Blount stretched the letter of the NFL law to its limits.

Utilizing an unreal combination of size and speed for a defensive back, Blount terrorized opposing receivers with his trademark bump-and-run coverage.

In 1975, Blount put together one of the most legendary seasons by a defensive back in league history.

He flattened opposing pass-catchers in the middle of their routes, taking away teams' primary options with regularity.

Blount finished the season with a league-best 11 interceptions, the only time he led the league in picks during his Hall-of-Fame career.

For his efforts, he earned his first Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro selections.

And in Pittsburgh's postseason run to a second-straight Super Bowl title, he remained a force and recorded another pick in three contests.

By 1978, the league created what is affectionately referred to as the "Mel Blount Rule," limiting non-holding contact by a defender to a five-yard bump zone after the snap.

1975 Topps #12 Mel Blount Rookie Card

1975 Topps #120 Len Dawson

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,750

One of the most accurate passers in NFL history, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson led the AFL or NFL in completion percentage in eight of his nineteen professional seasons.

Come 1975, Dawson's career was on its final victory lap.

At 40 years of age, Dawson started just five of the team's 14 regular-season contests.

Sharing time with Mike Livingston and Tony Adams, Dawson's role with the team was much different than during his star turn with the team in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

However, Dawson made the very most of his time under center.

In defiance of time, he led the NFL in completion percentage with a career-high 66.4% success rate.

While Dawson went just 1-4 in his five starts, he performed more than admirably in all 12 games he played, amassing 1,095 passing yards, five touchdowns, four interceptions, and one rousing game-winning drive.

Kansas City finished just 5-9 and well out of the playoff race.

Several months later, Dawson announced his retirement from the game in May 1976.

With just one example of Dawson's 1975 Topps card in a PSA 10 holder, this card could potentially fetch more than $2,000 at auction.

1975 Topps #120 Len Dawson Football Card

1975 Topps #425 Joe Greene

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,500

A fearless leader with a reputation for viciousness and dominance, Pittsburgh Steelers left defensive tackle “Mean” Joe Greene commanded respect from his peers and opponents alike.

And while he wouldn’t officially captain the team’s defensive unit until 1977, Greene led by example in 1975.

Despite missing four games due to a pinched nerve, ending a streak of 91 straight games to start his career, Greene put on a clinic game in and game out.

After modifying his alignment in 1974 to attack the gap between the center and guard from a sharp angle, Greene perfected the technique in ten regular-season games (nine starts).

While he looked bothered at times with his injury problems, Greene came through when the team needed him most.

He helped drop the Steel Curtain on the team’s three postseason opponents, wreaking havoc and forcing the issue on every single play.

With a second-straight Super Bowl ring in his possession, the now seven-time Pro Bowler bruised and battered his way into football immortality in 1975.

1975 Topps #425 Joe Greene Football Card

1975 Topps #490 Cliff Harris Rookie Card

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,400

Though he was passed over entirely in the 1970 NFL Draft, future Hall-of-Fame free safety Cliff Harris would not be denied an NFL roster spot.

And, after impressing the Dallas Cowboys in a free-agent workout, not only did he make the team, but he started five games for the Cowboys in 1970.

From there, Harris began his gradual ascent to the peak of his profession.

Come 1975, the man known as “Captain Crash” was close to completing the climb.

Named to his second-straight Pro Bowl, Harris was a fearsome hard-hitter on the path to redefining the free safety position for generations to come.

He picked off three passes in regular-season play, returned one for a score, and added three fumble recoveries to help lead the 10-4 Cowboys to the playoffs.

In the postseason, Harris contributed a crucial interception in the team’s 37-7 NFC Championship Game shellacking of the Los Angeles Rams.

Dallas fell short in Super Bowl X, but that doesn’t take away from yet another breakout season for Harris.

From undrafted afterthought to star defensive back, Harris had even bigger and better things coming to him

1975 Topps #490 Cliff Harris Rookie Card

1975 Topps #497 Jim Otto

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,300

Future Hall-of-Fame center Jim Otto's shadow loomed large over the Oakland Raiders offensive line during the 1975 NFL season.

In fifteen years with the franchise, Otto never missed a game and started in 210 of a possible 210 regular-season contests for the Raiders from 1960-74.

Including preseason and postseason contests, Otto played in an eye-popping 308 games for the Silver and Black.

With Otto anchoring the offensive line, the Raiders rose from AFL afterthoughts to league champions and Super Bowl contenders.

Otto received All-AFL honors for ten-straight seasons and was an All-NFL and All-Pro regular through the 1972 season.

By then, Otto's body was breaking down on him as he'd had nine different knee operations throughout his career, along with many other surgical procedures.

Otto retired following the 1974 season, leaving big cleats to fill in the middle of the field.

The starting center on the AFL All-Time Team, Otto was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 in his first year of eligibility.

1975 Topps #497 Jim Otto Football Card

1975 Topps #520 Alan Page

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,300

The heart and soul of the legendary “Purple People Eaters” defensive line of the late 1960s to late 1970s, Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page was a wrecking ball in 1975.

Finishing off a stretch of six First-Team All-Pro selections in seven years, Page served as a vicious pass rusher and open-field tackler for the 12-2 NFC Central champions.

Wherever the Vikings needed him, Page obliged with calculated chaos.

He recovered fumbles, blocked kicks, and sacked opposing quarterbacks with ruthless intent.

One of the most intelligent and dedicated defensive tackles of his or any generation, Page possessed deceptive closing speed and agility for a 6-foot-4, 245-pounder.

With the former consensus All-American leading the charge, the Vikings D suffocated opposing offenses.

Minnesota finished first in total defense in 1975 and third in scoring defense, holding opponents to 13 points or less in 8 of 14 regular-season contests.

And while the Vikings were bounced in the NFC Divisional Round after a 17-14 nail-biter against the Dallas Cowboys, Page’s place as one of the game’s most accomplished defensive talents was assured for decades to come.

1975 Topps #520 Alan Page Football Card

1975 Topps #125 Jack Ham

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,250

Legendary Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jack Ham prided himself on being in the right place at the right time.

Pittsburgh rode its defensive unit to back-to-back trophies in Super Bowl IX and X while Ham was arguably the most important player on those units.

In 1975, there was no offensive play for which Ham couldn't design a counter.

Using his keen football intellect and an array of jaw-dropping athletic gifts, Ham was equally valuable to the Steelers in coverage and as an explosive pass rusher.

With Ham quarterbacking the D, the Steelers finished fourth overall in total defense and second in scoring defense.

They also finished 12-2 to capture their second of six-straight division titles.

In the playoffs, the Steelers held their three opponents to just 37 combined points, averaging a stingy 12.3 points per game.

Following the season, Ham was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year by the Football News.

He was also selected to his third-straight Pro Bowl and secured First-Team All-Pro honors for the second-straight season.

1975 Topps #125 Jack Ham Football Card

1975 Topps #145 Roger Staubach

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,000

Dallas Cowboys star quarterback Roger Staubach returned to form in 1975 after an inconsistent 1974 campaign and helped carry the team to the playoffs.

Staubach connected on 56.9% of his passes in 13 games (13 starts) for 2,666 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions to pick up his second Pro Bowl selection.

However, his regular-season heroics paled in comparison to his magic act in the NFC Divisional Round.

Trailing 14-10 late in the fourth quarter in Minnesota, Staubach steeled himself.

On a game-saving fourth-and-17 at the Cowboys' 25-yard line, he threw a dart to receiver Drew Pearson who made a brilliant toe-tap catch on the right sideline to keep the drive alive at midfield.

With 24 seconds left, Staubach readied to deliver the dagger in front of a hostile Metropolitan Stadium crowd.

He dropped back, executed a brilliant pump fake to wideout Golden Richards, and launched a Hail Mary in Pearson's direction. Vikings fans still, to this day, claim Pearson pushed off...but it doesn't matter.

He made the improbable catch and scooted into the end zone without incident (or flags) for the game-winning score.

The Cowboys went on to blow out the Rams in the NFC title game before falling to the Steelers by three in Super Bowl X.

In three postseason games, Staubach went 48-for-79 (60.8%) for 670 yards, seven touchdowns, and four interceptions.

1975 Topps #145 Roger Staubach Football Card

1975 Topps #500 O.J. Simpson

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $1,000

In year four of perhaps the most incredible five-year stretch for any running back in NFL history, Buffalo Bills superstar OJ Simpson may have put on his greatest show yet.

Some point to his 1973 MVP campaign and his then-record 2,003 rushing yards as his best, but Simpson’s 1975 NFL season was arguably a more complete masterpiece.

While the team missed the playoffs with an 8-6 record, Buffalo led all of football with 420 points scored.

Improbably, Simpson accounted for nearly one-third of those points.

The 28-year-old running back topped the NFL in carries (329), rushing yards (1,817), rushing touchdowns (16), rushing yards per game (129.8), rushing yards per attempt (5.5), combined rushing attempts and receptions (357), yards from scrimmage (2,243), and combined rushing and receiving touchdowns (23).

In short, O.J. Simpson was both the nerve center and the backbone of the league’s most prolific offense in 1975.

While the defense struggled to stop anyone and forced the offensive unit into shootout mode more often than not, Simpson did his part with jaw-dropping numbers and consistent top-level production.

After the season, Simpson was named to his fifth Pro Bowl and earned First-Team All-Pro honors for the fourth-straight season.

1975 Topps #500 O.J. Simpson Football Card

1975 Topps #300 Franco Harris

Estimated PSA 10 Gem Mint Value: $900

Coming off an electrifying MVP performance in Super Bowl IX, Pittsburgh Steelers fullback Franco Harris wasn’t content to rest on his laurels.

In his fourth NFL campaign, Harris posted his third 1,000-yard rushing season as he carried the ball 262 times for 1,246 yards and ten touchdowns, all career-highs at the time. His workload as a receiver out of the backfield also increased.

A favorite target of Terry Bradshaw when the pressure notched up and things got dicey, Harris caught 28 passes for 214 yards and a score.

Harris was named to his fourth Pro Bowl and earned a second-team All-Pro selection to start his already illustrious career.

He also came through when it mattered most, answering the bell in the team’s run to back-to-back Super Bowl victories by rushing 81 times for 314 yards and two touchdowns in three postseason games.

At just 25 years of age, Harris was the driving force for the newest NFL dynasty.

Over the next eight seasons, he’d parlay his early-career success into a Hall-of-Fame resume for the ages.

1975 Topps Football Cards In Review

While the design of this set isn't as boisterous as other Topps football card sets of the 1970s, there is still plenty to enjoy within the 528-card checklist.

As you can see, there are some great rookie cards in this set and plenty of star players, especially if you're a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

Within it, there were also several different subsets, including:

  • Conference Leaders (#1 - 6)
  • All-Pro (#201 - 225)
  • Record Breakers (#351 - 356)
  • Highlights (#452 - 460)
  • Conference & Super Bowl Winners (#526 - 528)

This set continues to fly under the radar a bit as far as vintage football sets go but is still a great one for any football card enthusiast to try and piece together.

Ross Uitts
 

Ross is the founder of Old Sports Cards and has been collecting sports cards for over 30 years. He also loves to write about the hobby and has written for Beckett, Topps, SABR and of course, this website. Need help buying or selling cards or have a general question about the hobby? Contact him at [email protected]

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