Flashing forward about 9 years from 1971, we move on to 1980 Topps. This is the first Topps set featured on my blog – because it’s the Topps set from the year I was born! As I’ve said before, the regular cards from the Topps Archives set is broken up into 4 different designs in 50 card allotments based on earlier Topps sets. The third “allotment”, cards #101-150, is from this classic Topps set.
The card front features a white border, a small flag featuring the player’s un-abbreviated position in the top left corner, player name across the top, another flag with the team name on the bottom right, and a facsimile autograph somewhere on top of the player picture. The blue card back features season stats and career totals and a highlighted moment from the player’s career along with a comic-type depiction of the moment.
After only 1 player was “era correct” in the 1971 design, Topps is back with 2 players with cards in this grouping who also have 1980 Topps cards. The first one is a bit of a “c’mon, now Topps”. Ozzie Smith. The Wizard’s second year card is in the 1980 set, and it’s a pretty nice looking card (see it to the right). As you’ll note, he’s with the Padres. This is correct, as Ozzie wasn’t traded to St. Louis until the 1981 offseason. Unfortunately, Topps put him with the Cardinals here (see card to the left). I don’t think I need to tell you that I prefer the 1979 Padres Ozzie to the 1990’s Cardinals Ozzie on the 1980 card design.
The year doesn’t seem to be correct here, however. It’s hard to tell since I’m not a Royals fan, but I think this is late 80’s. Seems that way from the light blue uniform, and more importantly, the closer cropped haircut for Brett. Still, this is a pretty nice card, and not one I’ll complain about.
There’s a third card that’s worth mentioning from this group. Now this is what I think Topps should have tried to do more often. Jim “Catfish” Hunter retired from baseball after the 1979 season, after he’d become fairly ineffective. Sometimes players get a card the next season, sometimes they don’t. I can only assume that, since he was no longer part of the MLBPA, that’s why he didn’t get a 1980 Topps card. Well, thanks to this set – now he does! This goes along with the “Cards that Never Were” theme.
This card obviously gets the uniform right – as he was with the Yankees in 1979. It’s probably a few seasons off on the exact year – I doubt it’s 1979. But it sure looks like it goes, unlike the Brett card above.
(Update – it’s actually a cropped version of the photo from his 1976 card).
Other cards I like from this year’s Archives set are shown below. This grouping of cards was probably the best out of the 4. I’ll always love this 1980 designs, and the pictures just looked really nice in general when I flipped through these. Other than the guys below, Mike Napoli has a nice card, too. The Strawberry card doesn’t look right on a 1980 design, but it’s still a pretty cool looking card: