Thursday, September 29, 2016

Card #5 - Nolan Ryan Highlight

The Card
This 1982 set had stellar "highlight" cards, but this one might take the cake!  Nolan gets the love and recognition for his record fifth no-hitter.  Of course, Nolan would go on to break his own record two more times.  I can't imagine anyone in 1981 would have believed you if you told them his SEVENTH no-no would come TEN YEARS LATER!

Check out Ryan's hat in this picture.  That's right, it's mesh-backed, just like a trucker.  Somehow that fits Nolan's personality perfectly.

The Story
Same as before - part of my eBay purchase.  I like  having this card.  Nolan is my brother's favorite player, so many of my Ryan cards from my youth got traded to him in return for Eddie Murray or Cal Ripken.

The Price
$1.11

The Condition
You can tell from the scan - this card is in rough shape.  Dinged corners, discoloration on the white borders...I was disappointed when I unwrapped it.

The Verdict
Bad condition and a vanilla pose in the picture aren't enough to detract from the awesomeness that is owning a Nolan Ryan card!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Card #4 - Pete Rose Highlight

The Card
I don't like Pete Rose.  I think he's a jerk.  I'm still mad at how he stole the thunder from Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley on their Hall of Fame announcement day.  I hate that he bet on baseball, and I'm in full support of his ineligibility for the Hall.

That being said, he is one charismatic dude who has always looked good on cardboard, including this shot.  Rose got the Highlight treatment for becoming the all-time NL hits leader.  It happened during this game.  He passed Stan Musial, whose Cardinals, ironically, were the opposing team that day.

The Story
This card came in the Highlight bundle I bought off of eBay.

The Price
$1.11

The Condition
It's not well centered - you can tell that more on the back of the card than the front.  The bottom left corner has a tiny ding, which I may have caused by putting it into the page.

The Verdict
I don't want to like this card, but I kind of do.  

Monday, September 19, 2016

Card #3 - Tim Raines Highlight

The Card
Here's a sweet looking action shot of rookie sensation Tim Raines, who stole 71 bases in his first full season in the big leagues.  But that's a bit misleading.  Between the strike and injuries, he only appeared in 88 games.  How many would he have stolen in a full, healthy season that year!?!

Raines didn't hold this record for long.  Vince Coleman would register 110 in 1985.  Raines did retire with one of the best career percentages in successful swipes, though, and is in the top five in total steals too.

The Story
Like the other "Highlights," I got this one via eBay.  But I noticed something for the first time tonight.  I wasn't sure how Topps picked the order of the Highlight cards, but I now know it wasn't random.  It's alphabetical!  Carlton, Davis, Raines, Rose, Ryan, and Valenzuela.

The Price
$1.11

The Condition
It's pretty crisp - great condition.  If I'm being nitpicky, the color is ever-so-slightly faded.

The Verdict
He should be in the Hall of Fame, shouldn't he?  I wish they would have used a picture of him stealing a base for this card.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Card #2 - Ron Davis Highlight

The Card
Here we have the bespectacled Ron Davis, honored for his historic relief appearance against the Angels on May 4, 1981.  The game was in California, so we know the card doesn't feature a photograph from the actual game.  But on that date Davis mowed down eight Angels in a row, by strikeout, a record for a reliever.

This is a record, to my knowledge, which still stands.  Davis actually tied the American League mark for consecutive strikeouts be it starter or reliever, though Doug Fister surpassed it with nine in 2012.

I love the picture on this card.  The fist pump after an assumed strikeout.  Great choice by Topps to mark the occasion.

The Story
I grabbed a copy of this from my local card store in the commons boxes, but also received one as part of the 1981 Highlights set I bought on eBay.  The picture you're seeing here on the post is the eBay copy - the cut was much more centered on it.

The Price
The same as my Steve Carlton and the next four highlights - $1.11.

The Condition
Minus the ink splotch on the "8" in 1981, this card is in immaculate condition, at least to my untrained eyes.

The Verdict
Not only does this card look cool and feature a somewhat random ballplayer, it's a record that still stands!  And the way relief pitchers are used in today's game, I don't see Davis losing his grip on that claim to fame anytime soon.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Card #1 - Steve Carlton Highlight

The Card
It's finally here!  Landing spot numero uno in the Topps set is a big deal, and you can't argue their selection of lefty Steve Carlton.  The southpaw was honored for surpassing Bob Gibson as the all-time leader in strikeouts for the National League.  He accomplished the feat by whiffing TWELVE Expos over TEN innings!  Carlton actually got a no-decision as that game lasted seventeen innings (and the Phillies lost).

You have to love this action shot.  The torque in his arm as he comes crashing forward...beautiful!

The Story
I'm making no bones about it - I'm a total noob when it comes to shopping for single cards outside of a card shop. I was so excited to get this project going I turned to eBay. Although I already owned two of the six "highlight" cards in the set, I figured buying the whole six would cut down on shipping and handling costs.  So a bit of brief haggling with kevi-gear netted me the first six cards of the set. He did  a great job in sending the package quickly!

The Price
With card price and S&H, I paid $6.66, meaning Carlton set me back $1.11.  I think this is probably more than I should have spent.  I'm open to suggestions in the comments on where to go when buying singles.  I just discovered COMC but I don't know how to use it yet.

The Condition
It's in great shape minus the ever-so-slight fraying in the top left and bottom right corners.  It was protected well in the mail.

The Verdict
I'm so pumped to be posting card #1!  I think it's awesome, if not a bit expensive to get things rolling.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Welcome to Collecting 1982 Topps!

2015 Topps Chrome Refractor
Hello and welcome to Collecting 1982 Topps!

This blog will chronicle my pursuit of the 1982 Topps set, the very first cards I ever received as a seven year old boy and brand new collector.  This will sound sacrilegious to most of you, but I've never completed a Topps set by individual card.  Every Christmas I receive the Topps factory set from my parents.  I have every set from 1985 to 2015, but they all came in a pretty box and without the sweat equity of ripping packs to finish a collection.

Now don't get me wrong, I've bought hundreds if not thousands of packs over the years (especially in the late 80's/early 90's).   I just never thought to complete a set on my own.  That ends now! In honor of my first cards and one of my favorite all-time Topps designs, I'm making sure I own all 792 "hockey sticks" the old fashioned way - one card at a time!

I already purchased a binder and pages.  I'm starting with thirty or so cards from the first packs I ever opened as a kid plus a stack I just grabbed at my local card store.  Here on the blog I'll post each card, in order, from Steve Carlton (#1) to Frank Tanana (#792).

Thanks for visiting the site!  I hope you find it enjoyable, please feel free to follow the blog and my twitter account (@Collect_82Topps).  On the left hand side of the page you'll see the cards I'm working on adding to my collection - let me know if you're willing to trade to help me out!

Now, I have to go track down card #1, the Steve Carlton Highlight.  Here we go!