Monday, October 04, 2010

Ranking Topps 1980's Baseball Card Sets: #5 - 1987


Mike Greenwell. Mike Fucking Greenwell. No player is as synonymous with the late 80's baseball card bubble like Mike Greenwell. He is to baseball cards what Global Crossing or Pets.com was to the stock market at the end of the last millennium. All sizzle and no steak. And a fucking Red Sox player to boot. Sure, he had a modestly successful career, and he managed to hoodwink Boston into paying him $21 million from 1990 to 1996. But his 1987 rookie card was among the most overpriced of the decade, topping out at $6. I vividly remember this because I purchased six rookie cards at a bargain basement price of $4.50 each that year. I probably felt just like the same suckers who bought Yahoo! for $100/share in early 2000.The Greenwell story is 1987 in a nutshell. The baseball card market exploded faster than Jose Canseco's biceps. Everybody hopped in and young, foolish collectors like myself started calculating paper gains in their pubescent heads. The crooked pricing catalogs I naively trusted were just leading me down the primrose path.


But we shouldn't let a schlub with a porn stache overshadow what was a pretty entertaining season. In the alleged "juiced ball" year, the upstart Twins, led by a short, fat man, a tall, fat man, an old man who owned the coolest shirt ever (see below), a Johnny Wad impostor and Steve Carlton's corpse, once again made losers of the speedy St. Louis Cardinals in a thrilling seven-game World Series.

(Is this the best shirt ever? Seriously, look at it. And remember that it came a generation before the ironic T-shirts that faux hipsters annoyingly wear all over town these days. The best part is that you can tell by looking at the neck that it's well-worn and beat up. Clearly, this was in the rotation for Bert for quite some time. If this isn't enough to get him into the Hall, I don't know what is.)

And let's not forget those who reaped the rewards of the juiced ball season. Juan Samuel and Wade Boggs each belted over 30 HRs, and the AL home run leaders included neer-do-wells like Mike Pagliarulo, Larry Parrish, Wally Joyner and Matt Nokes. Andre Dawson put up monster stats and George Bell and Jesse Barfield, along with Dawson, propelled the sales of jheri curl in Chicago and Canada.

To recap, here are the rankings to date:

#10 - 1986
#9 - 1988
#8 - 1982
#7 - 1980
#6 - 1985

The cards themselves were pretty cool in 1987. The faux wood design looked as cool on the cards as they did on my dad's 1986 maroon Dodge Caravan. The color schemes matched the team uniforms, the logo was cool and there was nothing else to get in the way. Simple stuff. We had a strange crop of rookies this year. Topps was kind of enough to designate the top rookies with a gold chalice, so we knew we were supposed to be excited when we got one of those cards (Danny Tartabull! Sweet!). They made things more confusing by also including a set of "Future Stars" players, and they nailed those players (looking at you, Dave Magadan). Unfortunately, there were manager cards in this set. And manager cards suck.

Surprisingly, this set, which many have called iconic for being the set that lured them into collecting, barely cracks the top half of our ranking for the decade. But too much sizzle and too few quality rookies doom the set. Stay tuned for the top 4 sets, coming at you (hopefully) before the end of the World Series. This year's World Series. Honest. In chronological order, the years left are 1981, 1983, 1984 and 1989. Thrilling stuff, I know.

P.S - Bonus card inclusion to remind Mets fans what a shit-show their franchise has been the last couple years. Sorry I couldn't find a picture of him shirtless, taunting 19 year-old Dominicans.

58 comments:

Marls said...

If you want, I think I have a photo of a shirtless TR taunting 19 year old Sigma Nu's while swinging a flip flop. You can post that.

Marls said...

In theory, the idea of staying home sick today and watching the Ryder cup is awesome. In reality, the US's current bed crapping combined with the destruction that a stomach virus has brought to my home makes this suboptimal.

I will spare you TResque graphic photos (the polyps still give me the willies) but needless to say, I think Satan has spent the last 14 hours trying to exit my body from the north and south exit ramps. Can't say I blame him, but this is really unpleasant.

d-train said...

cink...hard to berate the chap...but come on man

TR said...

You are mixing your stories of TR's cool juice overdoses. It was a Nike sandal, not a flip-flop, and it was swung at a townie urinating on our fraternity house. And I think the only thing that ever swung at Sigma Nu was the metallic bag of Franzia I tied around the belt loop of my pants at one of their parties. Surprisingly, I did not meet any ladies that night whilst filing a solo cup of cheap wine from a bag that hung between my legs like an engorged scrotum.

d-train said...

if we get 1.5 out of the cink & overton matches...i'm thinkin we got a good shot to retain

d-train said...

ruh roh rory....

d-train said...

meant furyk

d-train said...

woods commencing "step on throat" portion of his match.

Marls said...

So I am sitting here between bathroom events, an I was wondering if bert's shirt should be read as "I love to fart" or "I 'heart' to fart". I think I like the rhyming version better. Plus, "Heart to Fart" could have been a great 80's crime comedy-drama featuring a rich crime solving couple with flatulence issues.

"There's Mrs. H. What a gaseous broad!"

d-train said...

well, we're going to lose...
now just rooting for e. molinari to lose but that ain't happenin either

TR said...

where can one go on the world wide web to watch the Ryder?

T.J. said...

Brandon Marshall, why don't you let that ego and athleticism shine to the tune of 200 yds receiving and 3 TDs tonight. Thanks.
- Your friend in Christ, TJ

d-train said...

pgatour.com

Marls said...

Nice effort Bubba. Get to the hole dick.

d-train said...

i thought for sure phil would have someone relinquished his lead...but no. although he is playing one of the hanson brothers.

smell ya later f molinari. may you have a shitty winter.

TR said...

McDowell just left Mahan a hu-yuge opening.

TR said...

Or not.

d-train said...

way to go phil - some redemption for ya.
fowler just hangin around...
mahan too...ever so slight a chance we have.
it was all the 1/2-1 pt we should have gotten bet cink & furyk...

TR said...

Fowler showing some stones...

d-train said...

how's that taste molinari?

d-train said...

win lose or draw...great day...
omg...monty should never run on tv again, without a manzier anyway

Marls said...

Game over man. . .

d-train said...

i apologize to the us for predicting a thumping...

Squeaky said...

Cough, Cough. Hunter.

zman said...

The wood on your 1986 Caravan was actually made from 1987 Topps baseball cards.

T.J. said...

I added a very drunken Greg to Twitter on Saturday night...watch out world for @lobsterstuftwittacos.

TR said...

The Teej - Who are we rooting for tonight (besides your fantasy stats)? A tie and broken femurs for Henne and Brady?

T.J. said...

I need Brandon Marshall to come up huge in both my leagues...but in real life I hope tonight's game becomes a real-life version of that "Sum of All Fears" scene where the entire stadium gets obliterated by a dirty bomb.

TR said...

Two Monday questions:

1) With all the bad QB play in the NFL, why won't anybody sign Jeff Garcia?

2) Are we really supposed to believe Boozer broke a bone in his hand tripping over luggage?

T.J. said...

Jeff Garcia will be the starter by halftime of next Sunday night's game.

Boozer apparently went to the Jeff Kent/Brian Griese School of Lying About Injuries.

T.J. said...

Starter for the Eagles.

zman said...

I prefer the Carl Pavano School of Lying About Injuries, except for the part where an innocent 911 gets wrapped around a tree when its driver runs out of talent when hastily entering a turn.

T.J. said...

I feel like the Ryder Cup didn't even happen.

Yet I'm still pissed we lost to the EuroTrash.

Fuck.

d-train said...

yeah, i know what you mean. it's too bad they couldn't hold the event the week before cf season, or even the 1st week when all the shitty games are being played. between timing and it being held over in jolly old wales, it got lost in the sauce. i'm just glad e molinari ate a bag of penis' and ended up halving match after being 3 or 4 up. what an italian sausage he is.

twitter is currently over capacity. gtb must have much greater capacity - it's never happened here. suck it twitter.

Igor said...

Did the Blogger authorities remove Teejay and his comments? Teej, we shall avenge your silencing!

. . . Eventually. Right now, we're kinda tied up.

Squeaky said...

Ok, so I wasn't the only one to see the TJ comment.

Dave said...

i love this series almost as much as i hate ryder cup discussion.

T.J. said...

The greatest trick the teej ever pulled was convincing the blogspot did not exist...

T.J. said...

It's more effective when you don't fuck up the quote.

Igor said...

Unsung movie quote that I enjoy every time: "Red, I do believe you are talking out of your ass."

zman said...

I love how Danny Woodhead and Don Beebe are "the same kind of guy" but no one in the booth will say what kind of guy they are.

T.J. said...

I cannot believe blogger refused to work for three weeks on my blackberry. Stupid fucking technology.

mayhugh said...

I'm a little disappointed I gave up on the NE-Miami game after the first half - from the highlights I saw this morning it looked entertaining, if not competitive.

Igor said...

Ah, how Blogger resembles Albert Haynesworth.

zman said...

For the next week or so it will be professionally acceptable for me to talk about strip clubs, stripper clothes, and the judicial observation that "all strippers begin their routine with some kind of fantasy outfit."

Learned Hand himself would agree that "[i]t is incorrect to suggest that no costume in the context of the live adult entertainment industry could be considered inherently distinctive. Simply because the live adult entertainment industry generally involves 'revealing and provocative' costumes does not mean that there cannot be any such costume that is inherently distinctive."

http://tinyurl.com/35l98gj

zman said...

In other news, fall is upon us and fashion-conscious women are breaking out their finest gear for cool weather. One look I don't get is those boots with the extra flap of leather.

http://tinyurl.com/38hoqv4

They look uncircumcised.

TR said...

Speaking of Z-Man and strip clubs, we ever gonna have a bachelor party for you? WTF is up with that? How could you diss your friends like that?

zman said...

If anyone wants to step up and organize something, I will attend. Purely, of course, to determine whether stripper attire rises to the level of trade dress.

Mr. Truck said...

i love to fart.

mr. truck!

rob said...

who else is fired up for tonight's 30-for-30 offering?

Michael said...

TR, let's try to re-create for the z-man the wire hangar that was Specto's bachelor party.

Z-Man, I am down for giving you a bachelor party as well. I am available at any time for AC or Montreal. I will drive. Let's get Marls and TR. Denny will meet us for sure.

zman said...

I am not at all fired up for tonight's 30 for 30. Watching would be like getting a hemorrhoid transplant. Besides, Glee is on tonight.

T.J. said...

It's weird...I'm happy to be able to finally comment via my blackberry, but all I have to say is I still really love this Lionel Richie dvd...

mayhugh said...

Wow. The E:60 segment on Brock Mealer - let's just say it got dusty X 12 inside my palatial estate just now.

TR said...

Michael Jack coming out of nowhere with some enthusiasm. I like the way that deviant head of his thinks.

Montreal may be a bit much, but AC would be fun.

Marls said...

Gary Loveman creeps me out.

I concur with TR's assessment of the S-Dogger's suggestion. Let's set this up.

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