Completed set & master set – one last look at 1983 Topps

8 03 2012

On a happy birthday for me – a good present to myself was getting one more set from the 80’s finished!  The 1983 Topps and Traded set is my seventh set completed!  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.  I must say – I think the ’83 set is right up there for me as the best set of the 1980’s.  It’s got the best photography of the decade, hands down.  And if I took out the nostalgia factor I have for the 1987 and 1988 sets, I really think this one would win.

Info about my set:

How I put the set together:

  • 449 cards from the wax box
  • 155 cards from a vending box
  • 2 cards from “Michigan” foil test pack
  • 181 cards from trades
  • 4 cards purchased from Sportlots
  • 1 card purchased from Check Out My Cards
Card that completed my set: #163 – Cal Ripken, Jr. (purchased from COMC – Ripken’s RC will also be my last card from the ’82 set – but that one will run me back a lot more)

General set info:

Set composition: 792 cards (663 individual player cards, 26 Managers, 6 Record Breakers, 22 All-Stars, 8 League Leaders, 35 Super Veterans, 26 Team Leaders, 6 Checklists)

Representation of ’82 MLB season: Out of those 663 players, 2 didn’t play in the majors in 1982.  Ed Ott and Jim Bibby were both injured.  The remaining 661 players represent 70.9% out of the ~932 players who played in MLB in 1982.

Last active player from this set: #369 – Jesse Orosco

Orosco played his last game on September 27, 2003.  He was the answer to this question in 1980, then didn’t have a card from 1981-1982.  He’s back in 1983, replacing Rickey Henderson, who played his last game 8 days earlier than Orosco.

Player with the most cards in the set: Steve Carlton – 6 cards

Cartlon beats out Reggie Jackson and Rickey Henderson (5 each) for this “honor”.  Carlton was featured on his base card, a Super Veteran card, the Phillies Team Leader card, an All-Star card and two League Leader cards for leading in wins and strikeouts.

Carlton – #70, #71 (SV) #229 (TL), #406 (AS), #705-706 (LL)

First Card and the Hundreds: #1 – Tony Armas RB, #100 – Pete Rose, #200 – Rod Carew, #300 – Mike Schmidt, #400 – Dave Concepcion AS, #500 – Reggie Jackson, #600 – George Brett, #700 – Keith Hernandez

Highest book value: #482 – Tony Gwynn RC (see below)

Most notable card: #83 – Ryne Sandberg RC, #482 – Gwynn RC, #498 – Wade Boggs RC
Again, this is probably what a lot of collectors think about when they think about this set.  Gwynn’s is generally considered a little more valuable than the others.

Best card (my opinion): #550 – Carl Yastrzemski

When I think of “best card”, I usually consider significance, the photo and the player.  I was between 5 cards here – the 3 rookies noted and the 2 really notable guys who had their “Last Topps Cards”.  Both Yaz and Johnny Bench had their last individual Topps cards in this set.  That’s 2 first-ballot, “special room” in the Hall of Fame hitters.  I went with Yaz, because, frankly, it’s the best picture.  None of the 3 rookie cards are very good photos, and after putting my Reds bias aside, I think the Yaz is better than Bench.  He looks like he’s moved into “veteran coach mode”, hitting infield practice to the future Fenway stars.

Second best card (also my opinion): #370 – Gary Carter

Great action shot of another Hall of Famer.

Best subset card: #2 – Rickey Henderson RB

This card honors Rickey shattering the single season SB record.  You can’t beat that – though I’d give a special nod to Phil Niekro’s Super Veteran card, just because it shows him in an Atlanta uni next to an old shot of him in a Milwaukee pose from his rookie year.  A Milwaukee Braves uniform in 1983 Topps?  Only Rickey’s big record can beat that!

Favorite action photo: #768 – Chris Speier

Here I usually go for just the purely best action photo.  I thought I was going to give it to Carter, but when I flipped through the cards one last time I noticed this gem.  Speier is tagging out a diving/jumping/flying Derrel Thomas in a photo that you just don’t see in this era of cards.  There are a number of really good photos in this set – so winning it in this set did require a great photo!  Others I considered are Rich Dauer, Bob Boone, Dan Quisenberry, Mookie Wilson and Lou Piniella.

Favorite non-action photo: #156 – Billy Martin

This was actually an even tougher one to pick.  There’s a lot going on here.  First, it’s a close up of the intriguing Martin.  Second, he’s the manager of the A’s – where I think most folks think of him as the Yankee skipper (because he held that job for a record 5 different stints).  The A’s hat has an interesting cross at the bottom of the “A” – Roger Goodell would probably fine him for that.  And, my favorite thing, you can look at the reflection in his glasses and try to guess what’s happening!  Others I considered were Rod Carew’s All-Star subset, Dale Murphy, Steve Balboni and the cool shot of Yankee Stadium in the background, and Marc Hill who appears to be pulling a floating ball trick.  You’ll have to go find those on your own :).

My Favorite Reds card: #580 – Tom Seaver

This was also really tough – I feel like I should go with the aforementioned Bench “Last Topps card”.  But this Seaver card is just a great shot of him going low, extending toward home plate.

Topps Reprints:

  • 1999 Ryan reprints – Nolan Ryan
  • 2001 Through the Years – Tony Gwynn
  • 2001 Archives – Gaylord Perry, Bobby Murcer, Joe Rudi, Reggie Smith, Luis Tiant, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Kaat, Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg, Johnny Bench, Sparky Lyle
  • 2001 Topps Traded – Tom Seaver (’83T)
  • 2002 Archives – Dale Murphy, Jose Cruz
  • 2002 Gallery Heritage – Gwynn
  • 2003 Gallery Heritage – Gwynn
  • 2005 Rookie Cup Reprints – Cal Ripken Jr., Willie McGee
  • 2005 Gallery Heritage – Mike Schmidt SV
  • 2010 CYMTO – Sandberg, Gwynn, Boggs
  • 2011 60YoT – Ozzie Smith, Ripken Jr.
  • 2012 Archives Reprints – Boggs
  • 2012 Archives Autographed Framed Minis – Sandberg, Gwynn, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk, Dennis Eckersley, Fergie Jenkins, Bert Blyleven, Ryan, Paul Molitor, Mike Schmidt, Reggie Jackson
  • 2013 Topps Rookie Card Patch – Sandberg, Boggs, Gwynn

The Gwynn RC has been reprinted a whopping 6 times.

Other Notable Cards: #60 – Johnny Bench

Finally, I’ve got to show the aforementioned “Last Card”.  Bench and Yaz do have a retirement card (with Gaylord Perry) in the 1984 set, but not a regular card.

My Master” Set Info:

964 cards – 792 “base”, 132 “update”, 49 “insert”

  • Update set: Traded
  • Insert set: Glossy All-Stars (send-in), Leaders Sheet (promotional)

How I put the other sets together: I purchased the Traded set and the Glossy Send-In sets online

Update set composition: 132 cards (125 players, 6 managers, 1 checklist)

In the update set not in the base set: 50 players, 5 managers

Total in base and update sets: 714 players, 31 managers

Highest book value in the update set: #108T – Darryl Strawberry XRC

Most notable card from the Update set: #108T – Darryl Strawberry XRC

This was pretty easy – this card was a really big deal at the time.

Most notable insert card: Glossy Send-Ins #28 – Nolan Ryan

Best Insert card: Glossy Send-Ins #28 – Nolan Ryan

These send-in cards made their debut in 1983, and nobody is a bigger deal than Nolan Ryan.  This is a good shot of him in his Astros uniform.

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4 responses

8 03 2012
marbaseball

Gary Carter had a lot of great action cards.

9 03 2012
chuckneo

Yeah – he did for sure. R.I.P.

9 03 2012
Dean

Congratulations on completing the set. It truly is a great one.

Right on the money about the Yaz card.

9 03 2012
chuckneo

Thanks! Yes – it is a great set, for sure – really sticks out compared to some of the other 1980’s sets.

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