1985 Topps parallels – Gary Matthews

24 04 2016

1985 Topps

Card I selected:  #210 – Gary Matthews

As I promised yesterday – in 1985 I’m finally picking a guy who isn’t a Hall-of-Famer.  In 1985, Topps made a pretty rare test version of 132 of their cards in “mini” format.  They also made a partial parallel, 60-card set of extra-large cards called Topps Super.  If you cross-check the two checklists, there aren’t many guys in both sets.  Gary Matthews is one of those players, and I kind of liked his card.  The Cubbie blue combined with the short team name seems to go well with the 1985 Topps design.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  5

The parallel sets in 1985 include:

  • O-Pee-Chee
  • Tiffany
  • “Mini” test
  • Super


1985 Topps #210

1985 Topps Gary Matthews

1985 Topps Gary Matthews back

1985 O-Pee-Chee #210

1985 OPC Gary Matthews

1985 OPC Gary Matthews back

The Canadian version of the Topps set was, again, 396 cards; half the size of the Topps set.  Matthews got the same number in both sets – there’s a 50/50 proposition for that.  If a player is in the OPC set, he’ll have the same number if he’s in the first half (#1-396) of the Topps set.

Here are the differences for this card:

  • The “O-Pee-Chee” logo on the front replaces the Topps logo in the top left.  It has a yellow box as background that isn’t there on the Topps version.
  • On some of the cards (not this one), the card number is different.
  • The copyright on the bottom of the back says O-Pee-Chee and notes the card was printed in Canada.
  • The card is printed on white card stock.
  • Any wording on the back is in both English and French.
  • It says O-Pee-Chee on the back instead of “Topps”.

1985 Topps Tiffany #210

1985 Topps Tiffany Gary Matthews

1985 Topps Tiffany Gary Matthews back

For the 2nd year, Topps issued a Tiffany variation in factory set form, printed on white cardstock with glossy coating on the front.  The 1985 Tiffany set had half the production of the previous year, limited to 5,000 sets, and is one of the most expensive sets of the 80’s given the plethora of rookies and short production.

1985 Topps Mini Test #210

1985 Topps Mini Gary Matthews

1985 Topps Mini Gary Matthews back

As part of its relationship with O-Pee-Chee, Topps tested printing equipment in Canada by printing variations of certain cards in the base set that were ~10% smaller than the base cards (2-3/8″ x 3-9/32″).  The cards were printed on white cardboard stock.  Only 1 sheet was printed, so there were only 132 cards printed.  These cards made it out the backdoor in Canada, and now can cost quite a bit if you want one of the star cards that were on that sheet.  I got this one for 10 bucks on eBay.  I’ve read estimates of around 100 of these cards out there.

1985 Topps Super #19

1985 Topps Super Gary Matthews

1985 Topps Super Gary Matthews back

Also for the 2nd straight year, Topps also made a set that was larger (4-7/8 x 6-7/8) than the base, this time with twice as many cards (60).  The numbering is obviously different from the base set, and this .  Called Topps “Super”, these cards came in 1-card packs, 36 per box.  Other than the size and numbering difference, these cards have an extra bit of write-up at the bottom, highlighting the player’s statistics.

The “Rainbow”:

1985 Topps Gary Matthews rainbow

1985 Topps Super Gary Matthews

Any sets I didn’t get:  There’s no others that I know of.

Other cards I would have liked to do:

Pete Rose, Darryl Strawberry, Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn and Eddie Murray were all great cards, but weren’t in the Mini set.  Joe Morgan was a cool card, too.  It’s his last card; he played with the A’s to wrap up his career in 1984.  His OPC card has wording on the front denoting his retirement.  Alas, while he has a mini card, it would be pretty expensive, and he wasn’t in the Topps Super set.  Matthews seemed like a good choice compared to the few other guys who would also have 5 cards.



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