The 1984 Topps and Traded set is my fifth set completed – thus I’m halfway through completing the sets from the 80′s decade! 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” for this set.
Info about my set:
How I put the set together:
365 cards from the wax box
195 cards from a vending box
100 cards from an eBay lot of rack packs
126 cards from trades
1 card from the Topps Diamond Giveaway
5 cards purchased from Sportlots
Card that completed my set: #251 – Tony Gwynn (1 of 5 cards I purchased from Sportlots)
Set composition: 792 cards (680 individual player cards, 26 Manager/TC, 6 Checklists, 6 Season Highlights, 8 League Leaders, 22 All-Stars, 18 Active Career Leaders, 26 Team Leaders)
Representation of ’83 MLB season: There are 683 different players represented in the set – the 680 individual player cards, and a 3-player highlights card of retiring stars Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski and Gaylord Perry. Out of those 683 players, 2 players didn’t play in MLB in 1983 – Rollie Fingers and Art Howe missed the season on the disabled list. The 681 players represent 71.4% out of the ~954 players who played in MLB in 1983.
Last active player from this set: #48 – Julio Franco
An ageless wonder, Franco played his last major league game on 9/17/07 for the Atlanta Braves. As a pinch hitter, He singled in a run in his last at bat. Franco did play professionally in the Mexican League in the beginning of 2008 - his 31st season in pro baseball, retiring in May of that year.
Player with the most cards in the set: Steve Carlton - 8 cards
Steve Carlton has an incredible 8 cards in this set, basically due to career achievements combined with the fact that he was still pretty good. In addition to his base card, Carlton had 2 cards in the Highlights set – one for winning his 300th game, another as a 3-player card with Nolan Ryan and Gaylord Perry commemorating the 3 pitchers’ passing Walter Johnson for the most strikeouts in MLB history. Carlton had an All-Star card (despite the fact that he was not an All-Star in 1983), and 3 cards in the Career Leaders subset (Wins, ERA, Strikeouts). Finally, he had a League Leaders card for pacing the NL in strikeouts en route to taking temporary hold of the all-time strikeout record.
#1, #4 (HL), #136 (LL), #395 (AS), #706, 707, 708 (CL), #780
First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Carlton HL, #100 – Reggie Jackson, #200 – Andre Dawson, #300 – Pete Rose, #400 – Cal Ripken AS, #500 – George Brett, #600 – Rod Carew, #700 – Mike Schmidt
Highest book value: #8 – Don Mattingly RC
Most notable card: #8 – Mattingly RC (rated #19 in Topps vote of 60 best cards)
You could argue the Strawberry card is a tie with Mattingly, but I think since Strawberry had a card in the 1983 Traded set, Mattingly’s is the only true RC here.
Best card (my opinion): #10 – Robin Yount
I’ll be honest, the photography in this set isn’t the greatest – the 1983 set was much better. But this is a pretty cool in-action photo of a great player.
Second best card (also my opinion): #8 – Mattingly RC (see above)
Again, I think this gets 2nd more for lack of competition than anything. I hesitated to put this card in here since the Donruss card is really his more famous rookie. But this card is pretty cool, too – so it ultimately came down to Mattingly of Strawberry for me.
Best subset card: #4 – N. Ryan / S. Carlton / G. Perry HL
This was actually a really tough one – there’s also the Carlton’s 300th win highlight card and the “retirement” card of Yaz, Bench and Perry. After Walter Johnson being king for nearly 60 years, these 3 guys all passed the Big Train in the same season. Then Ryan and Carlton went back and forth for a year-plus as the current strikeout king. This was such a big deal, it’s got to be this card.
Favorite action photo: #10 – Yount (see above)
Favorite non-action photo: #64 – Kirk Gibson
I really like the alternative Tigers jerseys here. Add to this the fact that this is the 1984 card of their best player who hit a memorable home run in the World Series – and this is a pretty sweet card!
My Favorite Reds card: #6 – J. Bench / C. Yastrzemski / G. Perry HL
It didn’t beat out the other 3-card highlight card above, but Bench’s last base Topps card will beat out just about anybody from the Reds – particularly the 1984 version of that team!
Other Notable Cards: #182 – Darryl Strawberry (rated #21 in Topps vote of 60 best cards)
As mentioned, the Strawberry isn’t a true rookie card, but it’s still a pretty big deal, and a pretty cool card. I included most of any notable cards from this set (i.e., the Carlton & Bench/Yaz/Perry HL) above.
- 1999 Ryan reprints – Nolan Ryan
- 2001 Through the Years – Don Mattingly
- 2001 Archives – Mattingly, Bert Campaneris, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Palmer, Bucky Dent, Billy Martin MG, Steve Carlton HL
- 2001 Cubs 50th Anniversary – Ryne Sandberg
- 2001 Topps Traded – Dwight Gooden (’84T), Bret Saberhagen (’84T)
- 2002 Archives – Willie Hernandez, Sparky Anderson
- 2005 Rookie Cup Reprints – Sandberg, Darryl Strawberry
- 2005 Gallery Heritage – Strawberry, Mattingly
- 2010 CYMTO – Mattingly, Sandberg, Strawberry, Julio Franco
- 2011 60YoT – Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson
- 2012 Archives Reprints – Mattingly, Cal Ripken Jr.
Not surprisingly, 5 Mattingly reprints…
My “Master” Set Info:
858 cards – 792 “base”, 132 “update”, 62 “insert”
- Update set: Traded
- Insert sets: Glossy All-Star Game Commemorative, Glossy All-Star and Hot Prospects (send-in)
How I put the other sets together: I purchased the Traded set and the insert sets online
Update set composition: 132 cards (126 players, 5 managers, 1 checklist)
In the update set not in the base set: 29 players, 5 managers
Total in base and update sets: 709 players, 31 managers, 3 retired players
Highest book value in the update set: #42T – Dwight Gooden RC
Most notable card from the Update set: #42T - Gooden RC
Honorable mention here is the Pete Rose Montreal Expos card, but it can’t compete with the Doc Gooden RC.
Most notable insert card: Glossy Send-Ins #29 – Darryl Strawberry
Best Insert card: Glossy Send-Ins #29 – Darryl Strawberry
I don’t think anything in the two Glossy sets can be particularly notable – but I’m sure the Strawberry card was a big part of this set. Plus, it’s a great photo, so I’m giving it my “best of” award. Also of note, Carl Yastrzemski was the AL Honorary Captain card in the 22-card Glossy insert set.