Completed set & master set – one last look at 1984 Topps

2 12 2011

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)

General set info:

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 or 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 over a year 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.

Topps Reprints:

  • 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
  • 2011 60YoT – Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson
  • 2012 Archives Reprints – Mattingly, Cal Ripken Jr.
  • 2013 Rookie Card Patch – Mattingly, Strawberry

Not surprisingly, 6 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.




4 responses

2 12 2011

Loved this year. Got the complete set for Christmas of ’84. This was the year I gave up on Fleer and Donruss because their quality (the pervious three years) was so bad. I only wanted those cards which would appreciate in value… Topps!

About two years later, I got the Beckett annual for my birthday and found that the Mattingly had soared to $8!!! I still remember going through my now mixed up set and just pulling out Yankees. After I found about ten Yankees, I looked for the Mattingly and put it in my album. I traded it two weeks later for an ’85 Topps Gooden and an ’83 Traded Strawberry.

3 12 2011

3 guys who never quite lived up to their potential. The ’84 Donruss is a pretty cool set, though.

3 12 2011

I am about 50 cards or so from completing this one which would be my oldest complete set. Even though I was never a Mattingly fan (or Strawberry for that matter), I always did like this set because of all the 80s sets I think this is my favorite card BACK. The big logo in the top right corner made it for me.

3 12 2011

If you send me over your wantlist – I bet I could help make a dent.

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