1981 Topps Traded

8 09 2010

As mentioned, I’m going to collect the Traded sets each year. In 1981 was Topps added a new twist to an old idea. Topps had created updated “Traded” cards in 1974 and 1976. In those years, Topps Traded represented players who were traded or signed with new teams in the offseason. The sets totaled 44 cards – 43 players and 1 checklist; the players’ cards had the same numbering as their base set, however they had a “T” designation at the end of the card # and were noted as “Traded” on the front. These cards were inserted in packs at the end of the production run.

In 1981 Topps issued a 132 card set numbered as an extension of the set – #726-858 and organized in alphabetical order. As before, the set includes players who switched teams, however it also includes players who made their rookie debuts early in the year. The set was issued in a factory box, and has the same design as the base set (see to the left for examples – my obligatory big red machine guys).

Danny Ainge has an XRC, so there is one future NBA General Manager in this set. Fernando Valenzuela and Tim Raines, who had “future stars” rookie cards in the base set, also have cards in this set. There are 78 Hall of Famers in this set.

  • Cartlon Fisk is featured in his first card with the White Sox,
  • Rollie Fingers as a soon-to-be MVP and AL saves leader with the Brewers,
  • Joe Morgan is shown with the Giants (above),
  • Gaylord Perry began a 1-year stint with the Braves, teaming with another future 300-game winner Phil Niekro,
  • After leading the NL in saves with the Cubs in ’80, Bruce Sutter switched over to bitter rival Cardinals to …. lead the NL Saves yet again
  • Don Sutton traded in Dodgers blue to also pitch with another 300-game winner (Nolan Ryan) for the Astros
  • Dave Winfield began his stint with the Yankees – that equals 2 former NBA draft picks in this set
  • Bert Blyleven made it in since I first posted this

Sutter is the only player depicted in the team whose cap he bears on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Bert Blyleven will likely make it next year, and Raines qualifies as my “should be in” list. Since Morgan was in a previous scan, I decided to add one more on here. Leon Durham in his first card with the Cubs. I don’t know why, but “Bull” was a favorite of mine when I was pretty young. Was never the greatest player, but I think the Cubs were my 2nd favorite team then because I could watch Harry Caray on WGN. Maybe I knew he was from Cincinnati originally? Maybe it’s because his nickname matched the movie? Either way, this is a solid card.

I picked up the set at the National. Going through it, I was surprised to see that it was not organized in order – the set order was completely randomized. This seems unusual for a factory set. I also got a pretty poorly centered Valenzuela. That’s fine for this set, but I may be careful when I buy more expensive sets. It’s probably worth another 10 bucks to know my ’82 Ripken is centered OK.



5 responses

11 09 2010

I think Bull Durham was popular with a lot of kids…I was a fan until 1988 when Mark Grace came onto the scene.

11 09 2010

Yeah, I think so. I also think, as a Reds fan, the Cubs were in the East growing up. For whatever reason, the Reds and Braves were in the West. So we didn’t play them quite as much, and it was the Giants and the Dodgers I rooted stronly against. Now I have that loathing for the Cardinals, both because I really don’t like Tony LaRussa and because they seem to be the Yankees of our division. Anyways, I always like the Cubs, particularly Hawk and Bull, but not as much Ryno. My mom grew up there, and my grandfather is still a die-hard Bears and Cubs fan, so that may have been an influence too.

Interesting note – the only team that came from the West to the Central with the Reds was Houston. I never really disliked them that much. But they had Nolan Ryan. It’s hard not to like Nolan Ryan!

12 09 2010

I was a big Cubs fan from 1989 on, but since moving back to Cincinnati and focusing on collecting Reds cards they have taken a back seat. The fact that the Cubs are playing like little leaguers hasn’t helped, either. I’ve been to Wrigley three times, and that’s what made me fall in love with them…that ballpark is just magical. Nothing against GABP, but you just can’t top Wrigley Field.

12 09 2010

If you haven’t – you’ve got to make it to Fenway at some point. It is the best park out there. Wrigley’s great, but nothing in sports is quite like Fenway Park. And I hate the Red Sox.

15 09 2010

I have been to Fenway once. My dad and I used to take baseball vacations when I was in high school — instead of going to the beach we would go to different parks. Yankee, Shea, Fenway and the Hall of Fame was the trip in…I think ’91. Always had a great time.

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