I do know that I didn't get a factory set. I couldn't even get the 25 cents from my parents to mail in for the popular Snake and Mongoose Hot Wheels cars that were offered around that time. Once I started my paper route I had a bit of money around.
Here are some PSA stats for the 1974 cards.
9,919 cards have been graded. That's an average of over 183 copies of each card.
3,378 - 10s. (34.0%)
4,941 - 9s. (49.8%)
1,174 - 8s. (11.8%)
That's over 95.6% of the cards submitted. The 1974s tend not to curl as much as other years. Like most years, the 1974s have sturdy corners too. At some other point I will compare these to other years.
What about the individual cards?
The Wilbur Wood and Ron Santo variations are not surprisingly the lowest graded cards.
I've had a problem with cards 1 - 9. Cracks, cracks, cracks. How do the PSA numbers look for these cards? Pete Rose and Reggie Jackson have more graded cards than Nolan Ryan. Tom Seaver's numbers also almost equal those of Ryan.
Rick Monday (#02) and Joe Coleman (#03) are the least graded cards. Greg Luzinski (#09) is in the lowest six graded cards as well.
Overall cards 1 - 9 are being graded less, but are they receiving similar grades?
1,541 cards have been graded. That's an average of over 171 copies of each card. That doesn't seem to be a big difference from the overall set average of 183, but consider that Nolan Ryan (#08 with 421 graded samples) skews these numbers.
219 - 10s. (14.2%) -- not many 10s here
878 - 9s. (57.0%) -- lots more 9s here since there are less 10s
325 - 8s. (21.1%)
That's over 92.3% of the cards submitted. A lot less 10s than the total listed for the entire set.
When excluding cards 1 - 9, the remainder of the set (10 - 54) has the following grading percentages -
10s - 37.7%
9s - 48.9%
8s - 10.1%