1980 Topps parallels – Steve Carlton

19 04 2016

In my last post I brought up my next thing to go over for this monster that I’ve created called the Lifetime Topps Project.  The next 20+ posts will be the parallel cards I got from each year.

1980 Topps

Card I selected:  #210 – Steve Carlton

One thing about this part of the project, I want to select cards that have as many parallel cards as possible.  So I’m limited in this by players who have all cards in the various “parallel” sets.  There’s a Phillies set that was issued in Philly area Burger Kings, and there’s a national Burger King set called Pinch, Hit, Run.  Only Carlton and Pete Rose are in both, and I like the Carlton card better.  Carlton was also the 1980 Cy Young winner in a bit of a resurgence, helping the Phillies to their first World Series title.  So he’s a good pick from that perspective.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  4

The parallel sets in 1980 include:

  • O-Pee-Chee
  • Burger King Pinch, Hit, Run
  • Burger King Phillies


1980 Topps #210

1980 Topps Steve Carlton

1980 Topps Steve Carlton back

1980 O-Pee-Chee #113

1980 Topps Steve Carlton

1980 OPC Steve Carlton back

From 1965 to 1992, O-Pee-Chee issued a Canadian version of the Topps set.  The set was usually smaller than the actual Topps set, so it’s not numbered the same.  In 1980, it was 374 cards, a little more than half the size of the Topps set.  The front of the card is exactly the same as Topps.  There are 3 ways to tell the difference for this card, all on the back:

  • the different number.
  • the copyright says O-Pee-Chee and notes the card was printed in Canada.
  • the card is printed on white card stock.  Also, the cards tend to be poorly cut (as mine is) and much harder to find in good condition.

1980 Burger King Pinch, Hit, Run #2

1980 Burger King PHR Steve Carlton

1980 Burger King PHR Steve Carlton back

This 34-card set (33 players and a header card) was issued in participating Burger King restaurants in 1980 and contains cards of stars of the era.  Both Nolan Ryan and Joe Morgan are shown with their new team in 1980, the Astros, so they have a different picture from their 1980 Topps card.  There are a few others like that, too.  But Carlton has the same pose.  There are quite a few ways to differentiate this card from the Topps version:

  • The front has the BK logo in the top left where the position is on the other cards.  The words “collector’s series” appear above that at the top.
  • The card number is different.
  • The back is red.
  • There’s a “pinch hit run” cartoon in the cartoon section of the card.

1980 Burger King Phillies #15

1980 Topps Steve Carlton

1980 Burger King Phillies Steve Carlton back

This 23-card set (22 Phillies and a header) was handed out at local eastern PA Burger King restaurants.  It’s a Phillies team set from 1980.  There are actually a few guys in the team set that aren’t in the Topps set.  Like the O-Pee-Chee card, the front is indistinguishable from the Topps card.  On the back, you can differentiate the cards by:

  • The card number is different.
  • There is a BK logo where the Topps card has the card number.
  • The card number is moved to the right hand side.

The “Rainbow”:

1980 Topps Steve Carlton rainbow

Any sets I didn’t get:  There’s a very rare Topps Pepsi test set that was never released.  Topps sold off the cards from their vault in 2005.  The test cards include the 22 players with All-Star designations on their 1980 Topps cards.  Which means Carlton does have a card – I just don’t know if I’ll be willing to dole out the coin if I ever see it.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  George Foster, Joe Morgan, Nolan Ryan, Joe Niekro

Foster and Niekro have 2 of my favorite cards in the set.  Morgan and Ryan also have cool cards, and the BK Pinch, Hit, Run card has a different picture as I noted above.


1980 Topps odd-ball sets

9 11 2011

Since I began this blog over a year and a half ago, I’ve learned a lot about how to research what kind of card sets were issued in the past.  I’m getting pretty good at using Wikipedia, baseballcardpedia, my SCD Standard catalog to figure out what kind of sets are out there.  I found out about a few older Topps sets I didn’t mention when I went through these specific years – here are 3 interesting ones from 1980.  I updated my original write-up on the sets to now include these.

Other releases associated with the Topps flagship

#1 – Topps issued a 23-card team set for the Phillies and distributed it as a promotion in the areas surrounding Philadelphia.  The design and photos are the same as the base Topps set, however there is a Burger King logo on the back where the Topps logo is.  There are 3 players (Keith Moreland, Lonnie Smith, John Vukovich) who aren’t in the base Topps set.  Kevin Saucier is on the Phillies Prospect card, but the Phillies card is a solo picture.  Manager Dallas Green also has a different picture – as he’s featured on the Team Checklist / Team Photo card in the base set.

#2 – Topps issued another set as a Burger King promotion nationally called “Pinch, Hit & Run”.  The 34-card set contained, in order, 11 pitchers, 11 “hitters”, 11 “runners” and a checklist card.  Some cards have the same photos as the base set, but some are different.  The design is similar, except the Burger King logo replaces the flag with the position at the top of the cards.  This set has the first cards of Joe Morgan and Nolan Ryan pictured with the Astros.

#3 – Topps planned on a 22-card “Pepsi All-Star” set that was never actually released.  Topps later sold what was printed of these cards on-line in 2005.  They are extremely rare and very expensive.  Like the Burger King set, a Pepsi Logo replaces the top flag.  The flag on the bottom is white with blue letters.  All of the cards have the same picture as the 1980 set, except the Mike Schmidt photo is actually the one from his 1979 Topps card.

Completed set & master set – one last look at 1980 Topps

21 09 2011

As I displayed a few posts ago, I am using all resources available to complete my Topps sets.  Including the Topps Diamond Giveaway.  I got the last 10 cards for the 1980 set from trading on the Topps Diamond site, and I’ve still been able to get Diamond Die-Cuts of 2 Reds and of one of my all-time favorite players, Rickey Henderson.

Anyways, here’s my standard “look back” at this set.

Info about my set:

How I put the set together:

  • 456 cards from the wax box
  • 214 more cards from a vending box
  • 45 cards from trades
  • 1 card bought at LCS (Mike Schmidt)
  • 10 cards from the Diamond Topps Giveaway

Card that completed my set: #700 – Rod Carew (1 of the 10 cards from the Diamond Giveaway – my rule is I pick the one I like the best when I get a group all at once to finish up a set)

Read the rest of this entry »

’90 Reds Catchup Post – 1980-1981 Topps

4 01 2011

As mentioned in the last post, I’ll be scanning in players from the 90 Reds postseason roster. Here’s the lone 1980 card – though it’s not even really a 90 Reds. Sweet Lou still playing in pinstripes!

1980 – Lou Piniella

Ron Oester’s RC was in 1979 – he was shown on the Reds’ 3-player prospect card. However, he didn’t have a card in 1980. Rick Mahler, along with Oester, was the elder statesman on the Reds’ 1990 championship team. He saw (limited) MLB time in 1979, though he didn’t have RC until 1982.

1981 – Lou Piniella, Ron Oester

Pack Promotions

20 09 2010

I haven’t really mentioned much in previous posts about what pack promotions Topps had in previous years. I’m updating those previous posts with that info, but here’s a quick summary:

1980 Topps

  • You could send in for information on personalized trading cards, “just like cards in this pack”, except supposedly “with your personal data on the back”
  • For 1 Topps baseball wrapper and 50 ¢, you could send in for an uncut sheet of all the Team Checklist cards.
  • Topps also issued some “test” wrappers with the “Hit to Win” promotion that was available in every wax pack in 1981 – I would presume this was issued later in the release run
  • You could send in 1 Topps wrapper (any sport), plus $5.25 plus 75 ¢ S&H to receive a Topps Sports Card Locker that held 1300+ cards

1981 Topps

  • Every pack contained a scratch off game called Topps “Hit to Win”, where various hits would win you prizes ranging from a Wilson Jim Rice model glove to various supersize glossy photos of “top players”
  • You could again, (though for 75 ¢ now) Send in 1 Topps baseball wrapper for an uncut sheet of all the Team Checklist cards
  • For $1 and a baseball wrapper, you could receive a collecting box with 5 “easy-to carry files”
  • For $8 bucks and a wrapper, you could get a “classic stripes cap” of an MLB team of your choice

1982 Topps

  • The back of packs advertised buying an album for the insert stickers where Topps cards were sold.
  • For $2 + 60¢ S&H, you could send in for 10 “Official Topps Sports Card Collectors Sheets”; these are 9-card sheets to store your cards, similar to what Ultra-Pro has today
  • Again, for $5.75 plus 75¢ S&H and 1 Topps (any sport) wrapper, you could send for the 1982 version of the Sports Card Locker
  • You could send in for the collecting box for the same cost as the year before

1980 Topps vending box break

5 06 2010

I’ve been living out of a hotel for the last month while I transition from Ohio to New Jersey.  So, after a long layoff from this blog and from baseball cards, I’m back to updating my project.  I opened the 1980 vending box, which contained ~500 cards (512 actually).  Numbers below don’t include my first box; this gives a feel for how close the vending box got to completing a set:

35 doubles (9 of which were triples and 3 of which are quads)

477 of the 726 card set. (65.7% set completion)

One good thing about the vending box – there are no gum stains or wax stains, so all the cards are allowed to go into my set.  I didn’t do quite as well with this box.  I did get another Henderson, so that was pretty good.  Other than that, though I didn’t get an Ozzie, a Ryan or a Rose from this box.  I still don’t have a Mike Schmidt or a George Brett – the two MVPs! – which kind of stinks to be missing both of those guys.  I did get Eddie Murray this box.  Again, pretty shocked at how good the collation was; I’d read that the vending boxes tend to get you a ton of doubles – I was hoping for like 6 Henderson rookies 🙂

However, the crossover between opening both a wax and vending box wasn’t quite as good as I thought, though I can’t complain too much.  I’m 56 cards short out of 726 after opening both boxes.  So the vending box netted me 214 singles after opening the other box.  Now the task is to get those last 56 cards, maybe through trading or other means.  I’ve posted a list of what I still need on the website – “Topps Cards needed” at the top of the page.

1980 Topps wax box break

11 04 2010

So my first Topps box break is completed. “Statistics” listed below:

36 packs per box * 15 cards per pack = 540 cards overall

– 31 doubles

509 of the 726 card set. (70.1% set completion)

Additionally, there were 53 cards out of the 509 that have wax on the front of the card or a gum stain on the back of the card. Basically, the first card opened of each pack usually had a residue from the was pack stuck to the front of the card and the gum was next to the back of the last card. Usually this was pretty noticeable and caused these cards to look pretty bad. I guess I need to decide if I want to include these cards in my set. I’m really just trying to complete these sets, so on some level it seems like I should just keep the cards. But there are a couple of factors here – these are actual foreign substances on the cards, and I consider this much worse than a poorly centered card, or even a nick or crease. Also, I’d be a little worried about the gum or wax rubbing onto the other cards in the set. Adding 50 more cards to collect won’t be that bad since none of them we’re really good players (I think Dave Parker and Bert Blyleven were the best two players), and I’m still going to buy a vending box that may eliminate the problem for a majority of these cards anyways. So I’m not going to include those in my set. This will probably be an issue for any of the card sets that have gum in them and/or are from actual wax packs, so I’ll follow this rule throughout my quest. I will, however, include those cards in my “statistics” I track from each box. My rationale is that most of these stains wouldn’t be there in the summer of 1980, or even a few years later; this is more of an issue of the fact that I’m opening these 20-30 years after originally packaged.

As mentioned in the last post, I did pretty well in this box. I got the 4 best cards available (Henderson RC, Ozzie  2nd year, N. Ryan, P. Rose). Some of the better cards I didn’t get include Mike Schmidt, George Brett and Eddie Murray. Only 31 doubles and no triples shocked me at how good the collation was for 1980. Makes you wonder how it was so notoriously bad (at least from what I remember) for all companies in the late 80’s and early 90’s. My next step is to open a vending box for this set, which I ordered from BBXC and received last week. I’ll probably open that next weekend.