The 1982 Topps and Traded set is my 12th set completed in the project – and it completes the 80′s decade for regular cards for me! I’ve also completed my “personal master set” for this year as well – which I’m defining as the base set, the traded set, and any regular inserts. Here’s the “look back” I do for each completed set.
Also, because it completes the decade, look for a bunch of completed decade posts to be forthcoming this month.
Info about my set:
How I put the set together:
408 cards from the wax box
208 cards from a vending box
158 cards from trades
17 cards purchased from Sportlots
1 card purchased on eBay
Card that completed my set: #21 – Cal Ripken RC (and Bob Bonner too! – I didn’t get this in either my wax or vending box, so I finally bucked up and bought a nice copy on eBay for 18 bucks in November)
Set composition: 792 cards (658 individual player cards, 26 Future Stars tri-player, 26 Team Leaders, 22 All-Stars, 40 In Action, 6 Checklists, 6 Season Highlights, 8 League Leaders)
Representation of ’81 MLB season: There are 736 different players represented in the set – 658 individual player cards, and 78 players from the Future stars subset. Of those 736 players, all but 4 of them played in the majors in 1981.
- JR Richard was attempting a comeback from the stroke he’d suffered in 1980, but would ultimately be unsuccessful and never reach the majors again
- David Palmer of the Expos was hurt and only pitched a handful of minor league rehab stints in 1981
- Pat Underwood of the Tigers went to the minors to switch from a reliever to a starter, and would come back to the majors in 1982
- Brian Milner was on the Future Stars card for the Blue Jays, but was in the minors. The only cup of coffee he’d get was in 1978.
The 732 players represent 80.7% out of the ~907 players who played in MLB in 1981.
Last active player from this set: #610 – Rickey Henderson
Rickey played his last major league game on 9/19/03 for the LA Dodgers. He came in as a pinch hitter against the Giants in the 7th inning, was hit by a pitch, and came around to score the 2,295th run of his career (still the MLB standard) on a single by Shawn Green. Henderson kept trying to catch on – he played 2 more seasons of professional baseball in the minors with the Newark Bears in 2004 and with the Independent San Diego Surf Dawgs in 2005.
Player with the most cards in the set: Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose and Tom Seaver – 5 cards
These 3 guys all have 5 cards, though they get there in different ways. They each have a base card, a card in the In Action subset, and an All-Star card. Schmidt has two League Leader cards (for leading the league in Homers and RBI), Rose has a card in the Highlight subset (for breaking Stan Musial’s NL hit record) and in the Team Leaders subset (for leading the Phillies in Average), while Seaver is on a League Leader card (NL, wins), and the Reds Team Leader card (leading the Reds in ERA).
Seaver – #30, #31 (IA), #165 (LL), #346 (AS), #756 (TL)
Schmidt – #100, #101 (IA), #162-163 (LL) #339 (AS)
Rose – #4 (HL), #337 (AS), #636 (TL) #780, #781 (IA)
First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Steve Carlton HL, #100 – Mike Schmidt, #200 – George Brett, #300 – Reggie Jackson, #400 – Johnny Bench, #500 – Rod Carew, #600 – Dave Winfield, #700 – George Foster
Highest book value: #21 – Ripken RC (see above)
Most notable card: #21 – Ripken RC (see above)
Not really much of a question on this. Ripken’s first card is easily the most notable card in that set.
Best card (my opinion): #610 – Rickey Henderson (see above)
The all-time stolen base king ready to practice his craft. This is probably my favorite Rickey Henderson card picture.
Second best card (also my opinion): #90 – Nolan Ryan
There are a lot of things going on with the 1982 Topps set design. And this card uses all of them in a way that works. The hockey stick design works with this photo of Ryan. It’s showing him in that crazy tie-die Astros uniform from the 80′s. Nolan has one of the sharpest and most recognizable autographs of any athlete, and the placement here is great.
Best subset card: #111 – Cartlon Fisk IA
Favorite action photo: #111 – Carlton Fisk IA
I kind of hate picking the same card for two categories, but I don’t think there’s much choice here. This could be argued is the best card in the whole set. It’s definitely the best action shot if you just go by the picture itself.
Favorite non-action photo: #239 – Jon Matlack
We have found the true originator of the “Discount Double Check” move!
My Favorite Reds card: #400 – Johnny Bench
Another card that works with the design. Bench has a pretty cool signature himself. There aren’t a ton of great Reds photos here, so I’ll go with the best catcher of all-time.
- 1999 Ryan reprints – Nolan Ryan
- 2001 Through the Years – Ripken (cropped)
- 2001 Archives – Lee Smith, Al Hrabosky, Willie Stargell
- 2001 Archives Future Rookie Reprints – Ripken (cropped)
- 2001 Topps Traded – Reggie Jackson (’82T), Cal Ripken (’82T), Ozzie Smith (’82T)
- 2002 Archives – Claudell Washington, Robin Yount, Al Oliver
- 2005 Rookie Cup Reprints – Fernando Valenzuela, Mookie Wilson, Tim Wallach, Tim Raines
- 2010 CYMTO - Robin Yount, Steve Carlton, Rickey Henderson
- 2011 60YoT – Jim Palmer, Steve Garvey IA
- 2012 Archives Reprints – Jim Palmer IA
Yount is really the only duplicate, though they’ve cropped the Ripken RC twice.
Other Notable Cards:
There really aren’t any other notable cards, but I included cards that I like from the set – cards I considered for best action shot or best pose. I really like the Mookie Wilson; I think it’s the best action shot from a regular card (non-subset) in the set. The Wallach was in the running for best pose.
My “Master” Set Info:
924 cards – 792 “base”, 132 “update”
How I put the other sets together: I purchased the Traded set on eBay in 2010. This was an interesting purchase – because I wanted to see the Ripken, which is the most expensive Topps card from the 80′s. There were stickers inserted into packs, but they are identical to the Sticker product Topps released that year, so they aren’t included for me to collect.
Update set composition: 132 cards (131 players, 1 checklist)
In the update set not in the base set: 8 players
Total in base and update sets: 740 players
Highest book value in the update set: #98T – Cal Ripken
Most notable card from the Update set: #98T – Cal Ripken
Pretty easy. Though it’s not his rookie card, this card is his first Topps card by himself, and is the most expensive base Topps card to pick up from the 1980′s (ahead of the 80 Rickey RC by a decent amount).