Archives 1987 All-Stars – 30 cards (1:4)
This insert set basically replaces the 1983 All-Star subset from last year. This year, Topps paid homage to the inserts from the mid-late 1980′s. These tended to be available as 1-per-pack inserts in rack packs back then. They always featured 22 cards – the 9 starters from the previous year’s Midsummer classic, the manager and the honorary captain. The honorary captain was pretty cool way to get a Hall of Famer in the set, though in 1987 they showcased a second pitcher instead of the captain (thus Rusty Staub and Charlie Gehringer got excluded).
The Archives versions of these cards come 6 per box, with 30 cards in the set. I wish they held true to the old set and made it 22, but what can you do. It has old and new players. Again, I think it would be cool to do only current players, with last year’s starters included. MLB discontinued the honorary captain practice after 2007, but this is easily replaced - David Ortiz and Michael Cuddyer started as Designated Hitters. Or you could put Mariano Rivera in as the game’s MVP for Cuddyer (since the DH in the NL wasn’t fan-elected).
There are 20 current players in the Archives set. 7 of them were starters from last year’s game (Rivera was also included):
- Chris Davis
- Miguel Cabrera
- Mike Trout
- Jose Bautista
- Matt Harvey
- Bryce Harper
Not included: Max Scherzer, Joe Mauer, Robbie Cano, JJ Hardy, Adam Jones, Yadier Molina, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, David Wright, Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Beltran, Cuddyer
There are 10 retired players in the Archives set. Six of them were featured in one of the old versions of the insert set. The one on the right is the original card, whereas the one on the left is the Archives version. You can also tell because the Archives version has the Topps logo and a smaller league logo in the bottom left corner.
Carter was something of a poster boy for these insert sets, though he doesn’t have the most. He was featured on 5 sets – 1984-85 and 1987-89. Archives re-used this photo for about the umpteenth time and attributed it to his appearance in the 1988 All-Star game for this set.
Boggs was also featured 5 times – consecutively from 1987 through 1991 (the ’86 through ’90 All-Star games). Archives matches up with his second season in the old version of the set.
Dwight Gooden was featured in the 1987 and 1989 sets – he was the starting pitcher in the ’86 and ’88 All-Star games. The 1988 All-Star game he’s credited with here was in Cincinnati (though his photo is clearly from Wrigley Field). I attended that game. I taped the broadcast, and I remember Al Michaels saying that Gooden’s first pitch to Rickey Henderson could have been a preview of a subway series in October.
Those are the only 3 comparisons where the year matches up perfectly – here’s a few more that were featured in Archives for All-Star years they didn’t have a card in the actual Topps set.
Ozzie Smith is the true “poster boy” for this set. In fact, he was the only player featured in all 8 sets from 1984 to 1991. (Ripken – 7 – and Sandberg -6 – were the closest). Interestingly, Topps chose to include his 1995 All-Star year on the Archives version of the card. He definitely looks older in the Archives version – 1995 may be the right year.
Howard Johnson was featured on the 1990 set (1989 All-Star game). 1989 was his second best season in the Majors. 1991 was his best season, so it’s somewhat appropriate Topps included that here. He led the NL in homers and RBI that year – but he wasn’t the starter. Chris Sabo beat him out in the All-Star voting that year. HoJo did make it as a reserve.
Graig Nettles was featured on the 1986 Glossy insert set – he made the All-Star team with the Padres. This one features his appearance in the 1980 All-Star game with the Yankees.
Additionally, Goose Gossage made the 1984 and 1985 All-Start team – but since he was a reliever he’d have never been in the original set. He’s shown for his 1981 appearance in the Archives set.