1987 Topps Traded

21 02 2011

Topps again issued a 132-card “Traded” set in factory form 1987 in the same format as previous years; cards were numbered in alphabetical order, separately from the base set with a “T” suffix as #1-132.  The set contains XRC’s of players who didn’t have a card in the base set, players who signed with or were traded to new teams, and new managers. The design is the same as the base set, and the cards were again printed in Ireland on white cardstock. It seems like the quality improvement was particular noticeable in this set – the quality of this set seems particularly better than the ’87 base set!

Dealers who ordered cases of the Topps Traded set again received a miniature Bronze Card. For the second year in a row, this bronze replica was of a historic Topps card – this time the 1953 Topps Willie Mays card. Topps again issued a limited Tiffany set that had a glossy picture on the front.

There are no Big Red Machiner players in this set.  There are 2 members of the 1990 Reds World Champion team in the set. Jeff Reed, backup catcher on the ’90 team, was traded from the Twins to the Expos as part of a deal that involved closer Jeff Reardon.  Next – Danny Jackson is included in this set. Was Danny Jackson a rookie in 1987? No – through 1986 he already had 14 and 11 win seasons under his belt. He had a postseason shutout and a complete game World Series victory for the winning 1985 Royals. Was Danny Jackson traded in 1987? No – he was still playing for those same Royals.  Jackson had actually had a Donruss card in 1984, and had both Fleer and Donruss cards in 1985, 1986 and 1987.  Yet he had no base Topps card in those years.  I’m not sure if there’s a story behind that – maybe he didn’t sign an individual contract with Topps until 1987?  I vote for a 1985 “The Lost Cards” inclusion of Danny Jackson in Topps 2011 series 2.

There are four Hall of Famers in the set – these are the last Topps cards for both Steve Carlton and Reggie Jackson:

  • Carlton had signed as an 1987 off-season free agent with the Indians after a brief stint with the White Sox in 1986. The tribe eventually traded him to the Twins, where he would end his career with the Twins, but he didn’t have a Topps card with the Twins or in 1988 (I believe he did have a Fleer card).
  • After 5 seasons and 2 playoff appearances with the Angels, Jackson returned to finish his career where it started, in Oakland in 1987.
  • Just before opening day, Dennis Eckersley joined Jackson in Oakland via a trade for 3 minor leaguers from the Cubs.  He switched to a reliever that year, having a nice season where he saved 16 games. He’d go on to become an MVP and a Hall-of-Fame closer in his time with Oakland.
  • After spending 11 seasons with the Expos, free agent and perennial all-star Andre Dawson wanted to move to a team that had natural grass. Playing his home games in Montreal had worn on his knees, and Dawson felt this was the best way to extend his career. However Dawson didn’t have any suitors, likely due to collusion by the owners. Dawson showed up in the Chicago Cubs’ camp in Arizona with a blank contract. He would go on to win the 1987 NL MVP with the Cubs, and his time in Chicago also catapulted a great career into a Hall-of-Fame one.

Though there was still some evidence of collusion by MLB owners in the 1987 offseason, though there were some other free agency moves. had been found to be colluding during the 85/86 offseason, and there were still some remnants so there are a few more free agents in addition to the Hall-of-Famers above. Dawson was hands down the biggest name to move that off-season, most of the bigger moves were younger guys who blossomed with their new teams. Doug Drabek would go on to win a Cy Young with the Pirates, and Andy Van Slyke would become part of the great trio with Bonds and Bonilla in the late 80’s early 90’s. Kevin Mitchell went to the World Series and won an NL MVP with the Giants.  Two guys who are relatives of Hall-0f-Famers are in this set – Joe Niekro and Cal Ripken Sr.  Also – I couldn’t have told you that Terry Francona was ever a Red.



The rookies from this set aren’t quite as impressive as the previous year – but the set does have the rookie card of Greg Maddux, who would go on to win more games than any other player since Warren Spahn. Matt Williams, Fred McGriff and Benito Santiago also had RC’s in this set. This is David Cone’s first Topps card, though he is also in here because of his trade from the Royals to the Mets. Cone had a card with the Royals in the 1987 Donruss set.


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20 02 2017
Bubble Gum Dreams: Complete Guide to the Golden Era of Baseball Cards (1948-1994) - Wax Pack Gods

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