Monday, August 16, 2010

Ranking Topps 1980's Baseball Card Sets: #8 - 1982

I'm not gonna lie. 1982 was a fantastic baseball season. There were lots of up and coming stars like Valenzuela, Raines and Henderson, several Hall of Famers at/near their peak (Brett, Schmidt, Ryan, Ozzie, Murray and Carew) and several Hall of Famers winding down their careers (Carlton, Bench, Yaz, Seaver). Just a lot of fun all the way around after a bitter 1981 season.

The Braves started the season with a 13-game win streak and were 40-4 through 44 games. I vividly remember this run because I spent 10 days in Florida in April, where I got turned onto the wonders of TBS on cable TV. God bless Ted Turner for letting me watch the Atlanta Braves from Delray Beach, FL. Other memories of that trip include watching a big screen TV for the first time (bad-ass), playing Intellivision for the first time on that big screen (very bad-ass) and playing Intellivision baseball on that big screen (very bad-ass until I got thrown out by a left-fielder at first base when I thought I hit a single; not bad-ass at all). And Rickey Henderson was as exciting as a baseball player got for a 7 year old like me. I remember watching sports programs that would cut away to A's games to show Rickey when he got on base, because you KNEW he was going to run. He ended up stealing 130 that year (and was caught 42 times). I don't see that being surpassed any time soon. I think the talking heads at ESPN would get an aneurysm with the Moneyball-esque debates about a player trying to steal 172 times in a year.

These memories are some of the best I have of baseball as a kid. But I have to say that they pale in comparison to the undying heterosexual affection I had for the 1982 Brewers. I have no idea what it was about this team, but I loved the hell out of them. And they came closer to the World Series than most people remember. They were up 3-1 in the sixth inning of Game 7 of the World Series against the Cardinals before blowing the lead. I remember the epic seasons that Yount, Gorman Thomas and Cecil Cooper had. I don't think I can ever forget the names - Vuckovich, Cecil, Gorman, Ogilvie. The team had 4 players with at least 29 HRs and 102 RBIs. Not too shabby in that era.So with this great build-up, let's recap the rankings to date and examine why 1982 didn't make it higher than #8 on our list.

#10 - 1986
#9 - 1988
#8 - 1982

Pros

We've talked about what a great regular- and post-season it was. And the cards themselves had some (but not many) redeeming features. Most importantly, the cards featured an onslaught of porntastic mustaches. Like this one:


And this one:

We also got a slew of good-but-not-great rookies this year. Guys you fondly remember watching for 10-15 years. Names such as Kent Hrbek, Chili Davis, Dave Stewart, Lee Smith, Brett Butler, Steve Sax and Jesse Barfield. We also had a Danny Ainge card (he had 665 MLB at-bats over three years with the Blue Jays). But the big gun in this year's rookie set was the Bonner/Ripken/Schneider rookie. Yes, you read that right. Which is a good reason to segue into the cons for this year.


Cons


Topps made a tactical error over a few years with its "Future Stars" series designed to put three rookies on the same card. And we see with the Ripken card how goofy it is in retrospect. Cal Ripken is flanked by Bob Bonner and Jeff Schneider. Who wants to see their mugs on a Ripken rookie? Not me, that's who. Topps addressed the issue by giving Ripken his own card in the 1982 Topps Traded Set, but it ain't the same.

And while we're nitpicking, let's ask ourselves why Topps chose such a cheesy logo for the cards that year. It looks like a pair of hockey sticks. And the colors often had nothing to do with the color of the team's uniform. Maybe I'm overly concerned with aesthetics when looking at the Bonner/Ripken/Schneider card, but having green, blue purple and light blue surrounding the black and orange uniforms of the Orioles rookies is a mess. We also take points away for including the dreaded checklist in the traded series. It is a weak way to pad the set to get to 132 cards.

63 comments:

Dave said...

great post!

i was also weirdly obsessed with the brewers during that time. loved gorman thomas, cecil cooper, ben ogilve, and robin yount -- what color were robin yount's spikes?

and i also rmemeber playing intellivision baseball-- although i thought you could only throw someone out from right field-- i thought hitting it to left field got you a hit, but i'll have to check youtube.

d-train said...

rob - to your last post yesterday...thanks. and that really sucks for your friend. that's my biggest fear right now. is that the same guy that did augusta last year?

TR said...

Many of you may remember Rob Wilfong from his off-season acting career, when he was known as Joey Silviera (don't google that name at work).

Marls said...

MLB network did a great "yearbook" show on Harvey's Wallbangers. DVR it if you get the chance.

Not sure why, but Wilfong's name just sounds dirty.

T.J. said...

Jets/Giants tonight, for absolutely no marbles at all!!!!

T.J. said...

Jets/Giants tonight, for absolutely no marbles at all!!!!

T.J. said...

Fuck you double post.

I wonder if Michael Beasley saw that Haslem arrest report and was bumed out for his pal Udo, or bummed cause that was his 20 grams of herb?

翊翊翊翊張瑜翊翊翊 said...

祝福你人氣不減ˊˇˋ............................................................

Igor said...

Tim Kurkjian takes a lot of potshots from the Alpha Beta crowd, but I always enjoy his enthusiasm, and here's a good article about his obsessive box scores collection coming to an end.

Mark said...

My earliest baseball memories are from the 1982 season. I can remember watching the World Series with my Dad (St. Louis native) whilst on vacation in North Carolina, and then making it home in time to watch Game 7 from my couch. I was already a Cardinal fan (not much choice in my house) but watching a World Series victory at that young an age sealed the deal for life for me.

d-train said...

the expendables beats eat, pray, love this wkd at box office.

d-train said...

break-up of bball talk unintentional.

1st bball memory - daddy d-train takes d-train to boston for 2-game series - 1979 - reggie, nettles, dent, gossage, guidry....good good shit. 1st autograph ever collected - bucky dent in hotel - remember it like it was yesterday. watched reggie eat bfast from afar...as a 9yr old - wow.

Igor said...

D-train, tell 'em about Warren Spahn.

d-train said...

oof.
will get bulleted version out shortly...

TR said...

I saw Dave Winfield in the Macy's Thanksgiving parade when I was 7. He waved in my direction. I told my sister and Dad he waved at me. My 11 year-old sister told me I was an idiot, that there were a million people there, and that there was no way he was waving at me. I'm pretty sure I cried.

I got an 8x10 photo of him autographed a few years later. I left it on my kitchen table and my cat attacked it, creasing and ripping it. My dad took a picture of the moment. He captured me and big Dave and we both had our eyes shut.

Need to step away to set my appointment to see a therapist...

TR said...

And to Whigor/Marls and/or Jerry:

I have an autographed Magadan rookie card for anybody who's interested. I treasure that almost as much as my autographed Hillbilly Jim photo.

T.J. said...

Squirrel, how bummed out are you everytime you see the Chatham Highlander 2?

Marls said...

My first game in person was 1982. The only details I actually recall were that the Mets played the Expos, Dave Kingman homered twice, and the Mets lost. Doing a bit of poking around, I found the box score for the game. Apparently, the Mets starter Randy Jones only managed to get 2 outs and gave up 4 runs before being relieved by Jesse Orosco who gave up another 2. Down 6-0, Mets fought back only to lose 7-6. I should have known then and there that rooting for this team was going to be a losing proposition.

http://tinyurl.com/Metsie

Marls said...

TR,
I will trade the Magadan card for a Yankee program autographed by Joe Pepitone.

d-train said...

cooperstown, ny...circa '78 (must have been the summer of d-train)
-hall of fame bball game - white sox vs pirates
7th inning - spahn introduced and given some award, i think it was an anniversary of some sort - i didn't really care b/c i didn't know who the f he was. i was only concerned about the coke and cracker jax. fuck warren spahn.
my old man knew where all the boys would be hangin' out post game...i'm sure it had nothing to do w/him wanting to get a beer w/some of his buddies...sure nuff -warren spahn...signed a baseball for me....
fast forward 2-3 summers....played lots of baseball in back yard...beyond backyard and down steep precipice was a creek....went thru a lot balls at the house...down to one and only one...the spahn ball. yep. used it. yep. creek. all b/c i tried to get cute and imitate his wind-up...shown here...

http://tinyurl.com/2g9o2lg

Igor said...

Thing is, I bet you remember Warren Spahn and his signing your ball 10 times more because you belted it into the creek than if it were still sitting in some trunk in your attic. Story is enjoyably told in person, seeing the anguish and head-shaking on ol' D-train.

T.J. said...

Bars with your same last name are the best ever, yes?

mayhugh said...

The hotel where I'm staying in Czech Republic only gets 4 TV stations, and they are all in Czech. This is a significant problem because I like to watch TV while falling asleep. The hotel does have an advertisement in the information package that they have DVDs available at the front desk. So I asked the young lass at the front desk and the options in English were somewhat astounding:

-Butterfly;

-Casablanca;

-Spartacus;

-A documentary about the Czech Republic; and

-Aladdin (yes, by Disney)

I went with Casablanca but am now thinking I should have grabbed Aladdin.

zman said...

I may be alone in this, but I find it unsurprising that TV shows are broadcast in Czech in the Czech Republic.

mayhugh said...

Granted that is usually the predominant broadcast language. But CR is a little more cosmopolitan than you suspect, Zman - in most places you can get the English-broadcasted Eurosports channel with nonstop motorbike and snooker action, and maybe get MTV in half-English, half-German.

Jerry said...

Spartacus is good.

Eurosport is the most disappointing channel in the world. Snooker, ski jumping, cycling, track. Everything that you don't want to watch.

T.J. said...

The fact that there are actually "Slow Pedestrians Walking" signs in Cape Cod make me laugh on many levels.

zman said...

I think the spirit of those signs is "Slow, Pedestrians Walking".

rob said...

so k-rod fucked up his hand pummeling his girlfriend's father? quality dude. on the plus side, the mets are running away from him as fast as they can.

Dave said...

these comments are eclectic.

mayhugh is in the czech republic and t.j is on the cape? i want to be either place-- it's 90 degrees in central jersey and 125% humidity.

joe pepitone was one of my prank call names in college.

my dad got a ball signed by ALL the '61 yankees (mantle, boyer, berra, etc. EXCEPT maris, who was cranky) and he VARNISHED the ball-- ostensibly to preserve it-- but varnish sort of melts away the names so you can only make out a few faded signatures now.

Dave said...

greasetruck has been awful quiet lately . . . it's weird.

Shlara said...

Mayhugh--I always put some hour-long podcasts on my iPod when I travel to the ME or Europe for work--just for the purpose of having white noise when falling asleep. You can never count on the TV options. Except in Dubai...they have an amazingly diverse set of English language stations. Three soccer channels alone...

rob said...

sorgi!

rob said...

so we're to believe that this preseason jets/giants game establishes permanent bragging rights/de facto 'ownership' of the new stadium? i see.

zman said...

All night Czech, Czech, Czech. Pay him his money.

mayhugh said...

Shlara - good advice. I'm not known for my superior planning, let alone my ability to remember my iPod charger. I was watching old Deadwood episodes until there was no more juice.

And it turns out that some lousy American decided to abscond with Casablanca - I opened up the case and was left with "Disc 2 special features." Considering I've never seen the movie (this is where Jerry tells me to go to hell) I didn't think I'd get a lot out of the deleted scenes and whatnot.

mayhugh said...

And Jerry, Snooker is terrible, though I was kind of excited when I witnessed someone actually get snooker. Do you get snooker or do you get "a" snooker?

Eurosport is only really good in the late evening when they replay WWE from the 80's. I recall watching about 2 hours of the Rockers (which probably covered their entire career trajectory) and also watching Demolition take on Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick the Model Martel).

zman said...

Practice tip # 71: Turn your cell phone off, or at least set it to vibrate, before entering a client meeting, particularly if your ring tone is "Shimmy Shimmy Ya."

TR said...

Dontrayevous Robinson just made a strong early push to be on college football's All-American First Name Team.

mayhugh said...

Anybody local want to catch Piranha 3-D this weekend? I'd normally look to Swint to fill this order, but sadly he's not an option.

zman said...

I think LeBron consciously decided to be as unlikeable as possible.

http://tinyurl.com/26kyneo

T.J. said...

Mayhugh, I am back from Cape Cod Sunday. Can you wait til Monday to watch the greatest 3D movie ever made?

zman said...

In an ironic turn of events, it appears that Lou Gehrig didn't have Lou Gehrig's Disease.

http://tinyurl.com/2cqwz4s

I guess they'll rename it Stephen Hawking's Disease?

mayhugh said...

TJ - I can wait until then, but not much longer...

Squeaky said...

zman, interesting article.

Squeaky said...

some twitter fun. if you twitter.

@BestWorstAdvice

Not as good as Buzz but amusing none the less.

T.J. said...

Reporting in from a bar in Hyannis called "Tommy Doyles".

I'm never leaving...

zman said...

I look forward to seeing the Teej in green shorts with pink embroidered anchors at OBFT.

T.J. said...

I have a new affinity for Old Milwaukee Light.

Squeaky said...

TJee, they wouldn't let you on the ferry, huh? Hyannis is a weird place to hang out on the Cape.

T.J. said...

I told them I was here for the Zman elopement. I was immediately banned.

T.J. said...

This Philip Markoff fella kills himself in jail and gets even more pub for it. Screw you pal.

zman said...

Forbes' "Cash Kings of Hip-Hop" list for 2010:

1. Jay-Z, $63 million (right)
2. Diddy, $30 million (uh-huh)
3. Akon, $21 million (what?)

Is that shit right? It can't be. Akon makes more than Pharrell and Kanye?

Swizz Beatz made $9 million last year. Lil Jon made $5 million. They are marketing geniuses.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Zman -- Akon made a ton of money of ringtones and guest appearances. I'd bet very little of that money is from record sales or touring. As for Swizz Beatz and Lil Jon, that's believable. Brand name producers make obscene amounts of money per track. Kanye would be at the top of the list in cash earned if he still focused on producing instead of his solo career.

Igor said...

Bardo:
Cape Codder
Not the strongest ever. AC was kaput. We left.

Press 626:
Cape Codder
Cape Codder
Cape Codder
Cape Codder

Increasingly stronger made with each round. Sky as we walked out was a beautiful shade of fuzzy.

A.W. Shuck's (goofy name, best bar in Norfolk)
Dale's Pale Ale
Dale's Pale Ale
Dale's Pale Ale
Dale's Pale Ale
Dale's Pale Ale

To Be Continued...

rob said...

oh, this has promise

zman said...

How many oysters?

Igor said...

Colley Cantina:
Cape Codder
Cape Codder
Cape Codder
Cape Codder
Cape Codder

first time I was challenged to a fight. Defused. But, uh, fuck that asshole. Might have to pipe up.

Igor said...

Band in the bar covers Sweet Virginia. Predictable.

Follows with Buenas Tardes Amigo. I am flabbergasted. Nobody in the bar knows this but me.

Igor said...

Wow. They just followed up with "What Deaner Was Talking About.". I am stunned. And drunk.

Igor said...

Cape Codder
Cape Codder
Cape Codder

d-train said...

you givin 'em requests?