2014 Topps Archives – cards #101-150 (1986 design)

2 07 2014

6 years later and 2014 Archives moves from 1980 to 1986 Topps as its base design.  1986 represented a big design change for Topps; the card front featured a black and white split border.  The team name was in block letter / team colors featured across the black top border.  The red card backs have a pretty dark die as well.

Archives cards are on the left as usual in each of these comparisons.

2014 Archives 86 Topps Eddie Murray1986 Topps Eddie MurrayEddie Murray

Murray is obviously with the correcte team in the Archives card, and it actually seems very close to “era correct”.  I think it may be from a year or two later than the picture in his original 1986 Topps card. It may even be the same year.

The color scheme is a little different here, too.  It’s a lighter orange, one that seems to match the Orioles team colors better.  Topps seems to pick a similar time for Murray – he was in the 1985 portion of the set last year.  The Archives card also seems like it really could be a card in the 1986 Topps set.

2014 Archives 86 Topps Cal Ripken1986 Topps Cal Ripken JrCal Ripken Jr.

Two cards – two Orioles to compare.  This was Murray’s teammate, the Iron Man himself.

I can’t tell for sure – but I think this is a later photo of Ripken than 1985/86.  He actually didn’t change in appearance all that much over the years.  His hair got gray toward the end, and he had a big longer hair very early in his career.  This seems like it might be late 80’s – but it’s hard to tell.  Maybe early 90’s.  Fairly close, either way.  I do like the original better in this case (with Murray – I may have sided with the Archives version).

2014 Archives 86 Topps Nolan Ryan1986 Topps Nolan RyanNolan Ryan

This isn’t nearly as close as the Catfish Hunter card from the 1973 portion of the Archives set – but this sure looks like it could be the same card.  Ryan is in a portrait shot, in the same Astros uniform.

You couldn’t get more era appropriate – this is very likely from the same year as the original.  If I put both these pictures in front of the casual fan, I bet you couldn’t tell which was the original and which was the Archives card.  That’s saying something for someone as iconic as Ryan.

2014 Archives 86 Topps Tony Gwynn1986 Topps Tony GwynnTony Gwynn

Up until this card – all of these were in the exact same era.  Clearly not the case here.  You can tell this is a late 90’s Gwynn photo from the haircut, the few extra pounds and the Padres uniform.  This seems like it could be from the 1998 World Series year.

In both cards, the late great Gwynn had a smile on his face.  He’s smiling wider in the Archives card.  Since that’s clearly taken when he was older – I think that’s appropriate.  Gwynn always struck me as someone who was humble and appreciated life.  The smile on this Archives card depicts the way I choose to remember him.

2014 Archives 86 Topps Mike Schmidt86 Topps SchmidtMike Schmidt

I don’t think this is the right era either.  I think the Archives card is showing Schmidt from the early 80’s – possibly even late 1970’s.

As far as competition goes – this is a no-brainer.  Schmidt’s card from the 1986 set was my pick as the best card in the whole set!

There were two other guys in the set who played in 1986 but are clearly shown with the wrong team.  First is Phil Niekro – who was hanging on at the end of his career in 1986.  Depending on which set – base Topps or the Traded variety – Phil was either with the Yankees or the Indians on his 1986 Topps design.  He’s clearly much younger here.

2014 Archives 86 Topps Phil Niekro

The last player here is Goose Gossage.  Gossage had moved out of the Bronx and onto the Padres by the 1986 season.

2014 Archives 86 Topps Goose Gossage

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