1969 Topps Basketball

After the 1961 Fleer set, there was no major production of cards until 1969. It wasn’t until this year that Topps produced its first basketball set. Technically, there was a 1968 Topps Test set made before the 1969 Topps, but it was never released to the public (note: these cards are extremely rare and carry a high premium). These cards are known as tall boys due to how long the cards are in length (2 ½ by 4 11/16 inches). Because of this, it was tough for collectors to keep these cards in pristine condition. At this time, the hobby of card collecting had just started, so there weren’t many ways to protect these cards.


This set is quite interesting because of how the cards look. The front features silhouettes of players on the outer parts of the card with the main player being in color and in the middle. The player’s name and position is on the top of the card and the player’s team city is on the bottom.

The back of these cards contains red, white, and blue colors. The writing is in blue ink and shows a card number, player’s vital stats, description of their career, and basketball stats. Directly underneath is a ball going into a hoop with a silhouette player in the middle of the ball.

Notable Cards:

Lew Alcindor #25

Alcindor was one of the most dominant centers of all-time. This card is considered his rookie card and he is shown wearing a green shirt with a white collar. There is one Alcindor  card out of the 1968 Panini Tuttosport set that is a pre-rookie card. It’s rare and is the only card that shows him before his rookie year.

Lew Alcindor has an impressive resume which includes 6 NBA championships and 6 MVP awards. He also averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds throughout his entire 20 year career.

 Lew Alcindor is also known as Kareem Abdul Jabbar. He is renowned for his famous skyhook which was nearly impossible to block.

Wilt Chamberlain #1

Wilt Chamberlain averaged 30 points and 22 rebounds a game over his entire 15 year  career. During this time, Chamberlain was a 2x NBA champ, 4x MVP, 7x scoring champ, and also once won the assist champ title as well. He also once scored 100 points in a single game!


One fact about Wilt Chamberlain that most people don’t know is that he was not only inducted in the basketball hall of fame but also in the volleyball hall of fame. It’s cool how a player of this calibur gets to be the first card in the set.


1969 Topps Basketball Checklist

One interesting tidbit to note is that the checklist from the set is worth lots of money if it’s in excellent condition and not written on. It’s a tough card for set collectors to get since they were often thrown away or written on. 

There are 99 cards in this set and they are all listed by card number down below:

1 Wilt Chamberlain

2 Gail Goodrich

3 Cazzie Russell

4 Darrall Imhoff 

5 Bailey Howell 

6 Lucius Allen 

7 Tom Boerwinkle 

8 Jimmy Walker 

9 John Block

10 Nate Thurmond

11 Gary Gregor

12 Gus Johnson

13 Luther Rackley

14 Jon McGlocklin

15 Connie Hawkins 

16 Johnny Egan 

17 Jim Washington 

18 Dick Barnett

19 Tom Meschery 

20 John Havlicek 

21 Eddie Miles 

22 Walt Wesley 

23 Rick Adelman 

24 Al Attles 

25 Lew Alcindor 

26 Jack Marin

27 Walt Hazzard 

28 Connie Dierking 

29 Keith Erickson 

30 Bob Rule 

31 Dick Van Arsdale 

32 Archie Clark 

33 Terry Dischinger 

34 Henry Finkel 

35 Elgin Baylor 

36 Ron Williams 

37 Loy Petersen 

38 Guy Rodgers 

39 Toby Kimball 

40 Billy Cunningham 

41 Joe Caldwell 

42 Leroy Ellis 

43 Bill Bradley 

44 Len Wilkens 

45 Jerry Lucas 

46 Neal Walk 

47 Emmette Bryant 

48 Bob Kauffman 

49 Mel Counts 

50 Oscar Robertson

51 Jim Barnett 

52 Don Smith 

53 Jim Davis 

54 Wally Jones 

55 Dave Bing 

56 Wes Unseld 

57 Joe Ellis 

58 John Tresvant 

59 Larry Siegfried 

60 Willis Reed 

61 Paul Silas 

62 Bob Weiss 

63 Willie McCarter 

64 Don Kojis 

65 Lou Hudson

66 Jim King 

67 Luke Jackson 

68 Len Chappell 

69 Ray Scott 

70 Jeff Mullins 

71 Howie Komives 

72 Tom Sanders 

73 Dick Snyder 

74 Dave Stallworth 

75 Elvin Hayes 

76 Art Harris 

77 Don Ohl 

78 Bob Love 

79 Tom Van Arsdale 

80 Earl Monroe 

81 Greg Smith 

82 Don Nelson 

83 Happy Hairston 

84 Hal Greer 

85 Dave DeBusschere 

86 Bill Bridges 

87 Herm Gilliam 

88 Jim Fox 

89 Bob Boozer 

90 Jerry West 

91 Chet Walker 

92 Flynn Robinson 

93 Clyde Lee 

94 Kevin Loughery 

95 Walt Bellamy 

96 Art Williams 

97 Adrian Smith 

98 Walt Frazier 

99 Checklist 

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