1967 Topps Tom Seaver Rookie Card: The Ultimate Collector’s Guide

1967 Topps #581 Tom Seaver Rookie CardThe 1967 Topps Tom Seaver rookie card is one of the most recognizable and sought after cards of the 1960’s.

Its dual-panel design meant that Seaver had to share his rookie card with teammate Bill Denehy but collectors still love this card…

The young Seaver doesn’t look too intimidating even though he’d go down as one of the game’s most feared pitchers of all-time.

I’ve had the opportunity to buy and sell a few of these over the years and it’s always been a personal favorite of mine.

In this guide we’ll discuss everything you need to know about collecting Tom Seaver rookie cards.

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Tom Seaver Rookie Card Value

The first thing people usually ask is: how much is a Tom Seaver rookie card worth?

It’s actually one of the most expensive cards of the 1960’s…

Along with the Rod Carew rookie, it’s a key rookie in the 1967 Topps set and one of its most expensive cards.

If you find one graded by Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA) in PSA 9 Mint condition then you’re looking at a four figure price tag.

PSA is considered to be the benchmark in the vintage card industry so collectors put heavy premiums on their graded cards.

The following are typically what you would expect to buy or sell this card in each of the different conditions:

PSA 9 MINT: $7,000

PSA 8 NM-MT: $2,000

PSA 7 NM: $1,000

Key Facts

Distinction: This is Tom Seaver’s only recognized mainstream rookie card. There was, however, another Seaver card printed in 1967 which was part of the New York Mets team issue postcard set (picture farther down in this article). But it is his 1967 Topps card that collectors are typically after.

Number: This is card #581 in a set of 609 cards. That also makes it part of the “high number” run of cards in the set that ran from #534 to #609. High number cards in any set were typically printed in fewer quantities making them more scarce than others.

Design: The 1967 Topps design featured player images on a vertical layout but the “Rookie Stars” cards were printed horizontally as two rookies were shown per card. In this case, Seaver is shown alongside teammate Bill Denehy, who did not end up having nearly as impressive of a career. A young Seaver is shown in his New York Mets jersey and cap with a facsimile autograph just below his chin. His name and position are shown atop a black background underneath his image. What really makes the card pop is the bright yellow background, in my opinion. It’s a fairly straightforward design overall and makes for a great looking rookie card of one of the game’s all-time greatest pitchers.

1967 Topps #581 Tom Seaver Rookie Card1985 Topps #181 Roger Clemens Rookie Card

Reverse Side: The reverse side of the card is printed vertically and contains a brief mention of his four games as a New York Met. His Minor League stats are also shown although he only had one year as a Minor Leaguer. The card also covers the same topics for Bill Denehy as well.

1967 Topps #581 Tom Seaver Rookie Card Reverse Side With Bio and Stats

Condition Issues: Centering will usually be the biggest condition obstacles that you’ll find with this card. This is a common issue throughout the entire 1967 Topps set. The green borders on the back side of the card can also show wear and chipping quite easily.

1967 Mets Team Issue Postcards

As mentioned earlier, Seaver also appeared in the Mets team issue postcards series in 1967. Despite it being printed in 1967 as well, it is not considered to be an official “mainstream” rookie card. But I think it’s still a really nice card that depicts Seaver starting his windup in full color photography.

1967 Mets Team Issue Postcard Tom Seaver

Tom Seaver’s Legacy

Tom Seaver goes down in history as one of the game’s best pitchers of all-time. The guy could flat out throw the ball and strike fear in opposing hitters.

Nicknamed “Tom Terrific” and “The Franchise”, he is one of only three Mets to have his jersey retired by the team, the others being Gil Hodges and Mike Piazza.

His list of accomplishments is outstanding:

  • NL Rookie of the Year
  • Twelve All-Star selections
  • Three NL Cy Young awards
  • One World Series championship
  • 311 career wins
  • 3,640 strikeouts
  • 2.86 career ERA

Seaver was an amazing talent and will forever be remembered for his uncanny pitching ability.

That’s why Tom Seaver rookie cards remain some of the most sought after rookie cards in the vintage baseball card hobby today. And certainly, one of the top rookie cards to collect from the 1960’s.

Ross Uitts
 

Ross is the founder of Old Sports Cards and has been collecting sports cards for over 25 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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