Thursday, March 28, 2013

Party Like It's 1989

I've said it before on this blog and I know I'll say it many more times.


I don't really know what year signified the start of the "junk wax era", but my guess would be 1987.

Coincidentally, that was also the year I got back into baseball card collecting.

I don't remember why I stopped, but I hadn't bought any cards since 1983. I also don't remember why I started again.

What I do remember is that I would go to a flea market every Sunday, and buy at least one box of 1987 Topps, sometimes two. They would cost $15 a box.

I really enjoyed the 1987 Topps set. A lot of people don't, but I enjoy it more because of where I was in my life, not so much the design of the card.

But this post isn't about '87 Topps. It's about '89 Topps. Or maybe just baseball cards from 1989 in general. This was the first year that I really began to notice just how plentiful they had become. Before there had only been a few places where I could find cards, but in 1989 they were everywhere. Even now in 2013, baseball cards from 1989 are still everywhere.

Like right here.

I love repacks. There is a Five Below in the same plaza as my second job, and they will have repacks of football and baseball for $4.99. There is a bunch of loose cards, as well as a few packs.

Well, the last three times I have bought the baseball repack, I have gotten one of these:

Now I'm not changing my stance, I still love junk wax. However, I really don't need any more '89 Topps. I've already completed the set, I'm sure I have enough for a second and probably are well on my way to a third.

It's amusing now to read all of the baseball card literature back then and realize how much of it was about investing in baseball cards.

Here's a few examples:

$50 Canseco, $10 Jefferies - how you can profit
How To Collect Baseball Cards For Fun & Profit (and Maybe Get very Rich!!)

Don't Wait - Take Advantage Of This Great Investment Opportunity Now!

That last one was for 1989 Upper Deck single cards. I could have "invested" $4.25 for a Gregg Jefferies card or $4.50 for a Gary Sheffield. In hindsight, I'm glad I passed.

And finally the piece de resistance:

Great Investments 1989 Topps

I am not making this up. It actually says this in an advertisment in one of my baseball card magazines (that I saved) from 1989. Great Investments 1989 Topps. It looks so bizarre now that I had to type it again.

The baseball card world was changing. It was the first year of Upper Deck (which I did not buy any of because it cost too much. I think it was 99 cents then), so now there was five sets to choose from. Each year there seemed to be a few more sets that would appear until the mid to late '90's, when it just got completely silly. I'm still finding out about sets from that time period that I didn't know existed.

So let's open this jumbo pack of 1989 Topps. But just to have some fun, instead of it being March 28, 2013, let's pretend that it's October of 1989. October 28th, 1989 to be exact. Oakland has just beaten San Francisco 9 - 6 tonight to win the World Series 4 games to 0.

I'm not going to show all of the cards, just the "hits".

First up, the glossy photo quality card depicting an outstanding American or National League Rookie.

I present to you the outstanding American League Rookie Gary Sheffield.

532 - Jerry Browne (Rangers)
659 - Al Leiter (Yankees)
650 Kirby Puckett (Twins)
404 Bob Boone AS (Angels)
142 Mike Diaz (White Sox)

500 Jose Canseco (A's) - at the time one the bigger cards in the set
731 Mike Young (Brewers)
418 Bob Dernier (Phillies)
507 Steve Farr (Royals)
769 Junior Ortiz (Pirates)
321 Boston Red Sox Team Leaders
425 Jay Howell (Dodgers)
512 Donnie Hill (White Sox)
689 Stan Jefferson (Padres)
397 Don Mattingly AS (Yankees)
319 Greg Booker (Padres)
73 Pascual Perez (Expos)
521 Mickey Tettleton (Orioles)
396 Kirk Gibson AS (Dodgers)
169 Mike Jackson (Mariners)
673 Don Baylor (A's)
193 Sparky Anderson (Tigers)
190 Mike Witt (Angels)
152 Mark Thurmond (Orioles)
399 Wade Boggs AS (Red Sox)
457 Mackey Sasser (Mets)
289 Ernie Whitt (Blue Jays)
216 Jack Howell (Angels)
416 Fred Lynn (Tigers)
273 Jose Lind (Pirates)
466 Chuck Crim (Brewers)
56 Pat Tabler (Royals)
110 Paul Molitor (Brewers)
158 Mike Aldrete (Giants)
472 Brian Harper (Twins)
785 Ellis Burks (Red Sox)
39 Mike Maddux (Phillies)
188 Dennis Lamp (Red Sox)
636 Bill Wilkinson (Mariners)
115 Jody Davis (Cubs, but "Now With Braves")*
287 Juan Nieves (Brewers)
676 Ernie Riles (Giants)
409 Ken Dayley (Cardinals)
788 Mike Morgan (Orioles)
332 Tony Armas (Angels)
625 Eddie Murray (Orioles)
488 Kevin Coffman (Braves, but "Now With Cubs")*
311 Chris Bosio (Brewers)
323 Gary Thurman (Royals)
294 Juan Berenguer (Twins)

Wow, pretending that it's 1989 doesn't help one bit. That rack pack completely sucked regardless of what year it is. Guess I didn't do too good with my "investment".

The only positive I can take out of that rack pack is I'm probably closer to finishing set number three and on my way to set number four.

This is my plea to the repack gods. You can give me all the '90 Donruss you want, all the '92 Topps you want, even all the '91 Fleer you want, but please no more '89 Topps.

Unless you can help me finish my third and fourth set.

Thanks for partying like it was 1989.

*Kevin Coffman along with Kevin Blankenship was traded for Jody Davis on Sept. 29, 1988.

1 comment:

  1. I say this lovingly, because 1989 Topps is my favorite set from childhood, but those damn things populate repacks like weeds! Furthermore, I think if you left a stack of 10-15 '89 Topps cards in the sunlight and came back a week later, there'd be about 75 more.