Thursday, April 29, 2010

What is your favorite card set?

When I think of baseball cards the first thing that comes to mind is the colorful banners and round borders of the 1980 Topps baseball set. For me it's the quintessential baseball set. I wasn't up on baseball much in 1980. I would rather be outside playing baseball or soccer or playing army or Star Wars rather than watching games or keeping up with certain players.

But when I was watching Magnum P.I. with my mom and felt like going through my cards I always held the 1980 Topps cards in much higher esteem than the 84 and 85 Donruss or the Fleer cards. That doesn't mean that I didn't hold them together with a rubber band or stuff them in a shoe box, because I did. This was before the days of highly profitable error cards or penny sleeves or plastic toploaders. Maybe their was this technology available, but not in a small town in south east Oklahoma. And to my recollection it was a couple of years later that everybody was trying to keep their comics and baseball cards hermetically sealed so they would be worth something someday.

Since I got back into collecting I have thought to try and finish this set. I could only rescue about 5 badly dinged up cards from that set.

You can see how the years of being lost in the attic with a rubber band wrapped around them has taken a toll on the cards.

A good example of this is the Roy Thomas card.

I tried positioning the card in such a way that you could tell how disfigured it is.

Besides the few cards that I've seen online and the 5 that I have in the shoe box, I really haven't searched out many examples to see what they look like. I wanted to surprise myself when I finally got around to trying to collect the set. I wanted each card to be new to me even if I had already seen it before.

So that brings me back to the present.

I'm pretty excited to have "won" an auction on ebay for about half the 1980 set. Part of me feels like it's cheating the other part of me thinks that this is an easy and somewhat affordable way to get started on the set. It's definitely not a complete set so I still have a way to go to finish it and some of the cards are well worn which is fine by me. I'm just interested in seeing all the cool cards from this year finally.

I don't remember there being many action shots and so far I'm right. Out of the 300 or so cards that I've gone through only a handful are "cool" action shots.

My guesses are usually wrong, but I believe that is Joel Youngblood sliding into Foli on this card. Foli has a great "OH CRAP!" expression on his face.

This what I mean by cool action shots.

This is a somewhat pedestrian action shot. Their are loads of these in this set so far. Or at least from what I've seen. Still a cool shot: it's definitely from a game and you can see emotion and the ball is in the frame.

Most of the cards seem to be of the posed shot or candid shot variety. Like this one of Tony Scott.

This is one of the few underexposed cards that I've seen so far in the set. Besides that it's pretty indicative of the type of candid head shot found in these cards.

Here's one of the more goofy candid shots in the set:

"Hey look who's down there takin' my picture. Hello photo boy!"

I'm guessing every baseball set pretty much recaps the previous year in some form. Here we have a Manny Mota highlight.

I'll be lazy and let the card back do the talking.

It's got the ripped out of a newspaper and fake headline theme on the back.

On the other end of the spectrum would be the Future Stars cards:

I'm not sure if Tim's hat is airbrushed. It looks a little weird. He played for the Padres his entire career with a few years of minor league ball so I don't know why it would be airbrushed. I'm also not sure why they felt the need to airbrush his face. It's a little disconcerting that his head looks so cartoonish.

A Victory Leader stat card.
This card features two brothers that led the N.L. with 21 wins apiece. Flanagan led the A.L. with 23 wins. Runner up was Tommy John with 21 wins.

This is atypical of the team checklist cards. Most of them are outside shots with the entire team and managers sitting in rows like we all expect. Going through my stack of cards I came across this floating head Cubs team card. It's weird enough for me to want to show it off. I've seen floating head manager cards, but not floating head team cards.

Going back to the backs.

I didn't realize how blue all the backs were. I mean to say that I realized that their were no variations in the backs, but I didn't realize how the two shades of blue really make the card backs kind of bland.

The backs do have a pretty nice layout though.

And of course they have the cool cartoons with a little home plate looking emblem containing the card number. Gotta love cartoons on the card backs.

Alright! That's it for now for my trip down 1980 Topps memory lane. I'm still not quite sure how many more cards I need, but it's roughly half of the set. I'm pretty excited to try and finish my favorite baseball card set. In the next few days I'm going to stick them in the binder so I can look at them easier. I don't want to have them cluttered all over my coffee table.

Thanks for reading.


night owl said...

Good post. I like the 1980 set a lot. It was the first one I tried to complete.

You gave me another blog idea. You seem to do that a lot!

Play at the Plate said...

I second the Owl's opinion. Nice post. Since I started collecting in 1981, it was always a thrill to come across a pack of 1980 Topps. It was rare, but it felt as if we were going back in time.

Dean Family said...

Thanks for the wonderful 1980 review. I am trying to run it down card-by-card here:

Jeremy said...

I'm glad I was able to influence someone positively, Night Owl! I'm looking forward to seeing what you are talking about.

Brian, I'd love to come across an unopened pack of 1980 topps right now. That'd be pretty cool.

I'm definitely checking out your blog Dean Family. I think it looks pretty cool.

Collective Troll said...

1980 is a pretty sweet set, some nice shots and a good design... 1983 is my favorite set of the 80s, but '80 is in the top 3. I have a handful of singles when I get a list. Good luck!

Jeremy said...

Thanks Marck! I should have noted that I have a bunch of duplicates for trade too, if anybody is interested. Only about 50 or so.

gcrl said...

1978 topps is my fave!

that tim foli card is one of my favorite cards though - it has to be the most awkward action shots ever.

MattR said...

I always preferred the Cubs team cards. Even though they pictured fewer players at least it was easier to figure out who was who.

--David said...

Awesome job! Tim looks like his face was added ti the rest of his head. What a weird picture!

Jeremy said...

GCRL: The Foli card is definitely an "Awkward Action Shot" card.

MattR: That's a good point, I hadn't thought of it like that. I guess you're right though, it'd be a little easier to figure out who was who on the team card.

Daved: Their were a few more of those Future Star cards like that where the person looked plastic. Strange!

TonyGillen said...

Great job on the post on the 1980 set.

Since I've been building the older sets, I've started with a lot from eBay. It's a very easy and cheap way to get started (obviously, you can just go out and buy packs) and it helps me focus on which direction I want to take next in completing the set.

Good luck!

Jeremy said...

Thanks Tony. I like looking over your 1973 set blog too, as I'm sort of starting to build that set too.