Moses Malone Rookie Cards
Moses Malone is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, known for his dominant rebounding and powerful post play. He was a three-time MVP and a Hall of Fame inductee, playing for several teams throughout his career, including the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Washington Bullets. His nickname was “Chairman of the Boards” due to his prowess at rebounding. He was also frequently called “Mo”, short for Moses.
Malone’s most recognized rookie card is the 1975-76 Topps card, which is highly sought after by collectors. He also appeared on several other early basketball cards, including a few sub-set cards from the same Topps set as his most popular and valuable rookie card. In this article, I’ll walk you through all the relevant early Moses Malone cards.
1975-76 Topps Moses Malone #254
Moses Malone’s 1975-76 Topps rookie card #254 is a valuable piece of basketball history that holds a special place in the hearts of fans and collectors alike. Malone was a dominant force in the NBA, winning the MVP award three times, and was named to the All-Star team 12 times in his illustrious career. He won an NBA championship in 1983 with the Philadelphia 76ers and also helped lead the Houston Rockets to the Finals in 1986. Malone’s impact on the game of basketball cannot be overstated and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. This rookie card is a great representation of the dominant and influential player Moses Malone was during his time in the NBA.
Any rookie card of a player with this kind of success would be valued by collectors, but other factors also help drive the value of Moses Malone’s rookie cards:
- “Chairman of the Boards”: Moses Malone was a dominant rebounder in the NBA, known for his strength and athleticism. He set the record for most offensive rebounds in a single season (560) in 1978-79. He ended his career with 9,183 offensive rebounds which is one of the highest marks ever. Malone’s tenacity on the boards earned him a reputation as one of the greatest rebounders in basketball history. Very few players have this type of a reputation as a rebounder and some of the ones who do, like Dennis Rodman, fall well short of Malone’s career accomplishments.
- 27,000 Points: Moses Malone wasn’t just a rebounder, he was also a prolific scorer in the National Basketball Association (NBA), known for his powerful and efficient offensive game. Throughout his career, he averaged 20 points per game and was named to the All-Star team 13 times. Malone’s scoring ability, combined with his rebounding prowess, made him one of the most dominant players of his era and solidified his status as a basketball legend.
- Widely regarded as underrated: Despite his many achievements and dominant play, Moses Malone is often considered to be underrated. He was a dominant rebounder and scorer, and his contributions to the game helped to pave the way for future generations of players. Despite this, he is often overlooked in discussions of the greatest players of all time. In an ironic twist, Malone tends to be talked about a lot and remains relevant because he’s a trendy pick for one of the “most underrated” players in basketball history.
1975-76 Topps Basketball Set Details
There are a lot of things to like about the 1975-76 Topps basketball set. It has both NBA and ABA cards and the 330-card count makes it the largest set to date. The 1975-76 set boasts several noteworthy rookie cards, with Moses Malone’s rookie card being the most prominent. It also includes the rookie cards of Hall of Fame inductees Keith (Jamaal) Wilkes (#50), Bobby Jones (#298), and five-time All-Star Maurice Lucas (#302). The base cards feature a minimalist design, with a clean and straightforward layout with the team name appearing at the top of the card, and vertical stripes located in the upper right corner. The player’s name is located at the bottom of the card.
- Year: 1975-76
- Manufacturer: Topps
- Size: 2-1/2” by 3-1/2”
- Number of cards: 330
- Leagues: NBA & ABA
- League Leaders (NBA: #1-6, ABA: #221-226)
- Team Leaders (NBA: #116-133, ABA: #278-287)
- Team Checklists (NBA: #203-220, ABA: #321-330)
1975-76 Topps Moses Malone #254 Details
- Card no: #254 of 330
- Name on front of card: Moses Malone
- Name on the back of the card: Moses Malone
- Team: Utah Stars
- Position: Center
- Height: 6′ 10″
- Weight: 215
- Birthdate: 3-23-55
- Birthplace: Petersburg, Va.
- Home: Petersburg, Virginia
- School: Petersburgh H.S (Va.)
- Drafted: #3-1974 by Utah
Front of the card
Design: The 1975-76 Topps Moses Malone #254 features an in-action shot of Moses Malone jumping near the basket. From this single frame, it’s hard to say if this is a layup or rebound. The other player featured prominently in this photo is San Diego Conquistadors’ power forward Tim Bassett. The “Stars” team name is in the upper left corner with diagonal white, orange, and green stripes in the upper right corner. Moses Malone’s name appears centered at the bottom in orange text -which is a little hard to read over the photo.
Shop for the 1988-89 Fleer Moses Malone rookie on eBay (affiliate link)
Back of the card
The back of the 1975-76Topps Moses Malone card has a classic feel and is quite colorful compared to some sets. A small green rectangle in the top left corner has the card number (#254) and the top 4/5ths of the card is dominated by a large graphical circle. The circle, most likely intended to be a basketball, is surrounded by a blue box with clipart of basketball players competing. Malone’s name, position, team, and biographical information are inside the top half of the circle. The bottom half is green and contains a few highlights from Malone’s amateur and early pro career. Malone’s career stats (consisting of just one year at this point) and copyright info take up the bottom fifth of the card.
Was 2-time Prep All-American in high school.1975-76 Topps Moses Malone #254
Set Stars’ record with 29 rebounds in a game.
Drafted: #31974 by Utah
Moses Malone Rookie Card Value
The 1975-76 Moses Malone Topps rookie card is one of the most valuable basketball cards made in the 1970s. The chart below was pulled from the popular card grading site PSA on 02/06/2022. It shows prices for the Moses Malone rookie card in various conditions.
Keep in mind that prices fluctuate. While PSA is a great way to find out the value of a card, we recommend going to eBay to see what cards are currently selling for on the world’s most popular auction site. Click here to view current auctions for the 1975-76 Moses Malone rookie card #254
Other Relevant Moses Malone Cards
The 1988-89 Fleer Moses Malone rookie card (#20) is his most recognized rookie, but it’s not the only Moses Malone rookie cards in the hobby. He has several oddball rookies, one of which came packaged with a toy. I’ll also cover a very valuable Moses Malone card that I do not consider to be a rookie.
1975-76 Topps ABA 2-PT Field Goal Percentage Leaders (#222)
A lot of collectors overlook subset cards and refuse to consider them rookies, but this is a card you don’t want to overlook. Not only does this card have three players who have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but it’s also a rookie-year card for both Bobby Jones and Moses Malone. I don’t normally focus on the value of cards, but I can say with certainty that this one is undervalued. Two Hall of Famers on the same rookie card is rare, and this one can be picked up at a bargain price!
1975-76 Topps ABA 2-PT Fieldgoal Percentage Leaders (#222) (affiliate link)
1975-76 Utah Stars Team Leaders (#286)
Here’s another card from the 1975-76 Topps Basketball set that is an affordable and very cool Moses Malone rookie card. Malone was an excellent rebounder in his rookie season, and that’s great news for collectors. He finished the 1974-75 season with 1209 rebounds, which is more than twice as many as anyone else on the team and easily enough to earn a spot on this card. He also finished second in scoring for the Stars behind four-time All-Star Ron Boone. This card is a great, and often overlooked, gem.
Shop for the 1975-76 Topps Utah Stars Team Leaders on eBay (affiliate link)
1975-76 Utah Stars #222
Here’s one more 1975-76 Topps basketball card that has Moses Malone on it. This is an area where I might be considered a little inconsistent, but I don’t think this qualifies as a rookie card even though it’s a similar situation to the two cards above. This card features the full team while the leader cards feature Moses Malone as an individual even though both cards have multiple players. Because Malone isn’t featured as an individual on this team card, I don’t consider it to be a rookie card. However, if you’re inclined to consider this a rookie then that’s fine with me. Either way, it’s a noteworthy card that is often overlooked and deserves consideration.
Shop for the 1975-76 Utah Stars team card (#329) on eBay (affiliate link)
1976-77 Topps Moses Malone #101
Now that we’ve covered all the cards that can reasonably be considered Moses Malone rookies, let’s look at one more interesting early Moses Malone card. It’s the 1976-77 Topps Basketball Moses Malone. This card is from a “tallboy” set that measures 3 1/8″ x 5 1/4″. This is Malone’s second-year card and is memorable for a couple of reasons other than the great close-up photo. Malone is a member of the Portland Trail Blazers on this card, but he never actually played a regular-season game for them. Because the Blazers already had Bill Walton playing Center, and because they couldn’t afford Malone’s salary, they traded him for a first-round pick to the Buffalo Braves in a trade that is considered among the worst in NBA history.
Shop for the 1976-77 Topps Moses Malone on eBay (affiliate link)
Moses Malone’s Legacy
Moses Malone was a dominant force in the NBA during his illustrious career, known for his well-rounded excellence on both offense and defense. A three-time MVP and Hall of Famer, Malone was a key contributor on several great teams and a fixture in the All-Star game throughout his career.
Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Malone began his professional career straight out of high school, skipping college and joining the American Basketball Association. After several successful seasons in the ABA, he made the jump to the NBA, where he quickly established himself as one of the league’s premier players.
Throughout his career, Malone was a tenacious rebounder, a formidable scorer, and a tough defender. He was named to the All-Star team 12 times and was named to the All-NBA first team six times. He was also a member of the All-Defensive team twice and won a championship in 1983 with the Philadelphia 76ers.
In recognition of his impact on the game, Moses Malone was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. He finished his career as one of the greatest players of all time, ranking third in all-time rebounds and seventh in all-time points scored.
Here are some of Moses Malone’s career accomplishments:
- 3-time NBA MVP: 1979, 1982, 1983
- 12-time NBA All-Star: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991
- 6-time All-NBA First Team: 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986
- 2-time All-Defensive Team: 1983, 1984
- 1983 NBA Champion with the Philadelphia 76ers
- Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001
- Finished career ranking third in all-time rebounds and seventh in all-time points scored.
Get Your Moses Malone Rookie Cards
Do you want to add a 1975-76 Topps Moses Malone rookie to your collection? If so, we recommend starting your search on eBay – the world’s #1 card trading place. Even if you’re not planning to buy one just yet, it’s fun to look at all the great cards currently for sale.
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