1986 Topps parallels – Mike Schmidt

25 04 2016

1986 Topps

Card I selected:  #200 – Mike Schmidt

In 1985, I picked Gary Mathews for my parallel.  In 1986, I’m back on the Hall of Fame train.  I went with my personally deemed “best card” from the 1986 Topps set – Mike Schmidt.  The 1986 set is not one known for great action shots, or great anything shots for that matter.  But this is a really good one, and it’s of Mike Schmidt.  It looks like he just went yard.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  4

The parallel sets in 1986 include:

  • O-Pee-Chee
  • Tiffany
  • Super


1986 Topps #200

86 Topps Schmidt

1986 Topps Schmidt back

1986 O-Pee-Chee #200

1986 OPC Schmidt

1986 OPC Schmidt back

The Canadian version was, as always, half the size of the Topps set.  Since Schmidt was in the first half of the set, his OPC card has the same number.

Here are the differences for this card:

  • The “O-Pee-Chee” logo on the front replaces the Topps logo in the top right. It has a yellow box as background that’s not 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”.

1986 Topps Tiffany #200

1986 Topps Tiffany Schmidt

1986 Topps Tiffany Schmidt back

For the 3rd time, Topps issued a Tiffany variation in factory set form, printed on white cardstock with glossy coating on the front.  The 1986 Tiffany set had the same production run as the previous year – limited to 5,000 sets.

1986 Topps Super #49

86 Topps Schmidt

1986 Topps Super Schmidt back

Also for the 3rd year, Topps also made a set that was much larger (4-7/8 x 6-7/8) than the base, again with 60 cards.  The numbering is obviously different from the base set.  Topps “Super” 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 team leading stats.

The “Rainbow”:

1986 Topps Schmidt rainbow

86 Topps Schmidt

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

Other cards I would have liked to do:

I would probably have picked the Tony Perez card, which has Eric Davis on it.  But he didn’t have a card in the Topps Super set.  Pete Rose has a really notable card, Rod Carew has a nice last card in this set, and Bo Diaz was one of my favorite pictures.  Only Rose has a card in the Super set, and while card #1 of the set would have been a good pick, I just like the Schmidt card better.

Completed set & master set – one last look at 1986 Topps

3 03 2011

Since I have now completed the 1986 Topps and Traded set (my first year completed!), I wanted to do a “look back” at the set.  I’ll do this for each set as I complete a set, and each time I complete a “master set” – which I’m defining as the set and the insert sets I’m collecting from that set.  For any readers out there – if there’s any other information regarding these sets that you’d like to include – feel free to comment and let me know. I’ll be happy to add it – I’d like these pages to be a good place to come back to see random information about these sets.

Info about my set:

How I put the set together:

  • 385 cards from the wax box
  • 12 cards from a rack pack
  • 380 cards I already had from back in the day
  • 15 cards from trades

Card that completed my set: #500 – Rickey Henderson (1 of 5 cards I got in a trade that completed the set)

Read the rest of this entry »

1986 Topps Glossy Sets

2 02 2011

As they’d done the past 3 years, Topps issued 2 Glossy All-Star sets in conjunction with its base set in 1986.

The 22-card set commemorating the 1985 All-Star game was inserted 1 per rack pack and contained the manager, the 9 starters, and a card with the team picture for each league, which was different than the previous years when they’d had a card for the Honorary Captains. (Harmon Killebrew & Sandy Koufax were the “snubs” for this year’s card set).

10 Hall of Famers:     S. Anderson, E. Murray, G. Brett, C. Ripken, J. Rice, R. Henderson, D. Winfield, C. Fisk, D. Williams, O. Smith, T. Gwynn (down from 12 from the year before – which can be directly attributed to removing the honorary captains)

Sparky, managing the team as the defending AL/WS champ manager, is the lone Big Red Machine representative. Pete Rose is the lone Big Red Machiner in the send-in set.

The send-in set increased from 40-cards to 60-cards, and it was now called “All-Stars and Hot Prospects”. This time collectors could obtain it in 6 different 10-card portions by sending in 6 of the “Spring Fever Baseball Game” cards that came 1 per wax pack. The players were generally either previous years’ All-Stars and up-and-coming prospects who’d had break out 1985 campaigns.

18 Hall of Famers:     R. Jackson, R. Henderson, C. Ripken, R. Carew, M. Schmidt, G. Brett, T. Seaver, G. Carter, W. Boggs, C. Fisk, E. Murray, R. Sandberg, J. Rice, D. Winfield, N. Ryan, O. Smith, R. Gossage, T. Gwynn (up from 12 in ’85)

Finally, this set also has a Hall of Famer from a different sport. Yes, if you thought MJ’s stint with the Birmingham Barons in 1994 was his first try at baseball – well, take a look. Apparently, the years he was torching the NBA for 37 points a game, he was also doubling as San Francisco Giants outfielder under the alias of Chris Brown.

Johnny Kilroy

I bought a bunch of these sets (this and future years) on eBay. The rack pack insert set was part of a 4-set lot that I paid around $12 total for. So pretty good deal. The ’86 Send-In set I found on a random website, and paid $2.5o (good deal) plus $6.00 S&H (total rip). I didn’t even realize that was the shipping until I had already clicked purchase and was going into paypal. Oh well, I wanted to get each of these sets, and wanted to check this one off my list now and not later. As in previous years, the send-in sets tend to be in worse condition – the way the cards were cut tends to be pretty poor, leaving some of the sides looking like it good give you a hell of a paper cut.

1986 Topps Traded

21 01 2011

Topps again issued a 132-card “Traded” set in 1986 in the same fashion as previous years; cards were numbered in alphabetical order, separately from the base set with a “T” suffix as #1-132. The set again contains XRC’s of players who didn’t have a card in the base set, players who signed with or were traded to new teams, and new managers. The design was the same as the base set, and the cards were again printed in Ireland on white cardstock.

Topps only issued the set in factory form this year; in 1985 Topps ran a test issue of releasing the Traded cards in wax packs as well as the factory set. Apparently, this test didn’t convince Topps to keep up with this idea.

Dealers who ordered cases of the Topps Traded set also received a miniature Bronze Card – though this time the bronze card was not a replica of a current year base card. Instead, dealers received a bronze replica of the iconic 1952 Mickey Mantle Topps card. For the 3rd year, Topps also issued a Tiffany set that had a glossy picture on the front.

Ken Griffey is the lone Big Red Machiner in this set; in June of 1986, he was traded from the Yankees to the Braves for Claudell Washington. As a result, he got this airbrushed card in the 86 Topps Traded set.

There are 2 members of the 1990 Reds World Champion team in the set. Billy Hatcher was traded by the Cubs to the Astros after the 1985 season, and Lou Piniella was hired as Yankees manager, replacing Billy Martin. Piniella would be promoted to general manager before the 1988 season, and Martin would in turn replace Piniella. BUT!!! Then Martin would again be fired less than halfway through the 1988 season, and Piniella would then replace Martin for the remainder of that season. It’s all quite confusing.

There are three Hall of Famers in the set:

  • Tom Seaver traded his White Sox for some Red ones in June when Chicago traded him to Boston for Steve Lyons. Because of this, he got one of the worst airbrushed jobs I’ve ever seen. This one has to take the cake.
  • 47-year old Phil Niekro signed as a free agent with the Indians in April
  • After a winning record but a 3rd place finish, Dick Williams was let go by the Padres just before the 1986 season commenced. He was hired by the Mariners to manage their ballclub after a Chuck Cottier was fired 28 games in.

The MLB owners were found to be colluding during the 85/86 offseason, so there aren’t a lot of big name veterans who left via free agency. Niekro may have been the biggest free agent name to switch teams, and though he’d won 16 games the year before, he left because the Yankees didn’t want to re-sign him. Most of the veterans in this set switched teams via trades, and unlike the year before, this set has quite a few high-profile Rookie Cards. 

The biggest is the all-time Home Roid King, Barry Bonds – Bonds wasn’t in any 86 base sets, but was included in all 3 manufacturers Update sets. Also joining Bonds was his “Killer B” compatriot, Bobby Bonilla, who was still in the White Sox minor league organization. At the time this set was released and through the early 90’s, Jose Canseco’s card was even more recognizable than the Bonds card. That’s 2 of the 4 members of the 40-40 club (the other 2 were traded for each other at one point – can you name them?). Canseco bashed over 30 homers and was the Rookie of the Year in 1986, and his cards were the hottest in the hobby. Now it can be had for a few bucks, though it’s still the 2nd most valuable card in this set.

On top of that, you had future Giants great Will “the Thrill” Clark, who probably should have been the 1989 NL MVP, and at one point was arguably the best player in baseball. And “The Big Cat”, who hit 399 career homers, and along with Bonds is one of the few hitters in baseball history who has won all 3 jewels of the triple crown without ever winning the triple crown (so is one of those mystery 40-40 men, and so is Babe Ruth). And finally, the Heisman Trophy winning, NFL first overall draft pick. On top of these 6, there’s still a few more good RC’s in this set:

Bonds and Bonilla’s soon-to-be manager. Will Clark’s future teammate – who beat him out for that 1989 MVP award. And future Phillies All-Star / ESPN analyst John “I’m not an athlete” Kruk. All in all, this is a very solid set!

1986 Topps Scans

19 01 2011

I’ll start off my ’86 Topps (non-Reds) scans with some of the best players of the mid-late 80’s and (aside from maybe Stewart) the biggest hobby stars of this time period. Gooden and Strawberry would lead the Mets to a World title over the young Rocket’s Red Sox. Mattingly may have been the biggest hobby star of the mid 80’s. His ’84 Donruss card seems like one of the cards that started the Rookie Card craze. Sandberg was a great player, though like Mattingly his career didn’t see a lot of postseason success. Finally, I included Stewart. He certainly had some battles with Clemens later in the 80’s (and early 90’s), but – more importantly – I’d have bet the house that Dave Stewart had NOT every pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies! Oakland, obvious. Toronto, the Dodgers, even Texas; I would know. Could not have told you he played for the Phillies. There was a 4 year stretch for the A’s where Stewart was as good as any AL pitcher out there.

Even younger than this group are the rookie cards from this set. I don’t have the Lenny Dykstra, but honestly, it’s just Lenny Dykstra. The Razor Shines card is much more interesting – Shines is a bit of a minor league legend from Indianapolis, and he has a really cool name. This is one of 2 mainstream cards he has (the other being 1985 Donruss). This is Vince Coleman’s first base set Topps card, and he certainly burst on the ML scene the year before. Reading the back of his card – he had 145 steals one year in the minor league. Cecil Fielder’s RC shows him before he played in Japan, and when he still carried at a normal weight. Ozzie Guillen looks quite a bit thinner as well, though his infectious smile was there back then. And he was probably good for a few quotes even back then. I think Guillen was the only risk to Cal Ripken’s 19 game all-star starting streak; if I remember right, in 1988 (the 1 All-Star game I’ve attended), Guillen was voted to start over Ripken, but was replaced due to injury***.

*** – OK, after I initially wrote this, I did some more research – I had the wrong guy, right idea. Alan Trammell was voted to start in 1988, but was replaced by Ripken due to injury. Guillen was selected, but as a reserve, and also couldn’t play due to injury – his spot was taken by Kurt Stillwell.

Speaking of Ripken, here’s 5 members of the 3,000 hit club.

And here’s some Hall-of-Fame pitchers and one of the pitcher’s brother. Didn’t know they were teammates with the Yankees – they had been teammates for a couple of years in the 70’s with the Braves. Also included is the newest Hall-of-Fame hurler, Bert Blyleven. And so is Nolan Ryan, shown camping in the woods with his Astros uniform on.

I also wanted to show some of the subsets. In addition to the Rose hit-record, there were some “youngest ever” type records in this set. Gooden was the youngest pitcher to win 20 games, and Vince Coleman became the first rookie to steal 100 bases in a season. Along with those, was tribute to a much bigger record. The Turn Back the Clock subset wasn’t new in 1986, but it was the first I’ve seen because I started in 1980. And this one commemorates Maris passing the Babe 25 years earlier.

Finally, here’s some additional cards I like from the set. When I first became conscious of sports, Dave Parker was a Red. I know he had his best years, and most of his career, with the Pirates, but I’ll always remember him as a Red. This is a good shot; I’m guessing he just hit a foul ball. Willie McGee looks positively perplexed. “Huh – they gave me the MVP over Gooden?”. Brett Butler shown doing what he could do as well as anyone. Tekulve shown with his trademark shades, but even cooler is the background shot of the Vet. How can you not like the picture of Tony Phillips – do you think he’s about to sign all four of those items? And I always liked this photo of Steve Yeager. As a 6 or 8-year-old, I didn’t know about spring training, so I wondered which park had trees in the outfield. Also, we had neighbors with the last name “Yeager”, and I was convinced they were related.

Finally, I need to show my obligatory Rickey cards. I’m actually missing his base card, though I have his All-Star card. I forgot to scan the one I had, so I just got both of these from the world-wide web as opposed to the others above, which are scans. I’m ticked I don’t have this card! Rickey is cool! Even Rickey says Rickey is cool!


1986 Topps – ’90 Reds cards

17 01 2011

Out of the 15 cards I’m missing to finish up this set, 3 of them are ’90 Reds, 2 of them are Pete Rose subsets, and 1 of them is Rickey Henderson’s base card. 6 out of 15 out of 792 are cards I want to scan in!

Anyways, the 8 players that had cards in either 1985 Topps or XRC’s in Traded – Rick Mahler, Tom Browning, Jose Rijo, Ron Oester, Mariano Duncan, Bill Doran, Eric Davis, Herm Winningham – are all back. Manager Lou Piniella will be back in the 1986 Traded, but is MIA for now. The one new player is Billy Hatcher (1 of the 3 I don’t have, along with Davis and Rijo).

1986 – Rick Mahler, Tom Browning, Jose Rijo, Ron Oester, Mariano Duncan, Bill Doran, Eric Davis, Herm Winningham, Billy Hatcher

1986 Topps Cards – Big Red Machine

16 01 2011

Joe Morgan’s last Topps card was the year before, so the only BRM players left were Perez, Concepcion, Rose, Griffey and Foster. I believe this is Foster’s last card; he was released by the Mets in the middle of 1986 (but I think that means he would still qualify for a World Series game). The Rose card is card #1 in the set. I used to love that Perez card when I was younger – it shows him high-fiving Eric Davis. Beckett used to list it as “Tony Perez w/ Eric Davis”! A cool card, freezing the moment in time, veteran with Rookie, an aging Hall-of-Famer-to-be was playing with the most celebrated prospect the Reds had since Pete Rose and until Aroldis Chapman.

This is the last set that has more than a handful of Big Red Machine cards – though they went out with a bang, as you have 2 record breakers, Concepcion pictured on the Reds leaders card, the Rose manager card, and an entire subset of cards devoted to Pete Rose. The first record breaker is a big one – depicting the moment Rose passed Ty Cobb on the all-time hit list, with a single (naturally) off of San Diego’s Eric Show at Riverfront Stadium. The other card honors Perez for becoming the oldest player to hit a grand slam.

The Rose subset follows his player card, numbered 2-7. Each card depicts 4 of Rose’s Topps card, beginning with his 1963 rookie card, al the way through to his 1985 card back with the Reds. Because of this set, I always knew all of Rose’s Topps cards by memory. I’m sure many others my age were the same way. The back of the cards talk through his accomplishments from each of the 4 years shown on the front of that card. I’m down to about 15 cards to complete this set, but two of them are cards #2-3. I sniped a picture off the internet to show them all together.

1986 wax box break

14 01 2011

I actually got my 1986 wax box from the National Card show a few months ago – I was feeling like I needed to further justify my trip so when I saw a dealer who had the box, I bought it on my way out the door. I think it cost around 12 bucks or 10 bucks; no shipping, so that’s good! Though that completely neglects the gas spent on the 6 total hours of driving to Baltimore and back. 

There aren’t any key rookies to mention, I think I got both Dykstra and Fielder in the box. I got the Pete Rose card #1, but not all of his subsets. I got the Nolan Ryan, but not the Rickey Henderson. Other than that, I don’t really remember; since I had bought a full set when I was younger, I immediately filled most of the missing cards with cards from there. I must have removed a few and put elsewhere when I was a kid (looks like mostly Reds cards and the Rickey – I didn’t have any of the Pete Rose subsets). And, for card that is supposed to be #51, but is a UER in that the number on the back says #57, the 8-year old me decided to avoid confusion and corrected that mistake with a pencil. So I’m not quite done with the set, but very close.

The collation was again excellent, in fact, even better than the year before, which was a pretty good box from that angle. Collation wise, this one is about tied with 1980 as the best I’ve opened. I had 29 doubles out of the 540 cards.

However, the “unkeepable cards” was the worst it’s been by a large majority. 1985 was pretty bad for this, and in 1986 Topps was still packaging the cards so that the wax opening was touching the back of the bottom card and the gum was touching the front of the top card. As previously, I can’t rub the wax off the cardboard back, and the gum always ruins the front card. So at least 2 cards per pack were not salvageable. However, the gum sometimes bled through to the 2nd card, and a few other cards were badly damaged for other reasons. I think the nature of this set, which had very dark, black ink, caused most of this. It didn’t hold as well over time. So after having 72 non-salvageable cards (52 singles) in 1985, I had 126 non-salvageable singles (1 or 2 doubles on top of that). Not a big deal since I had almost every card from back in the day anyways. As always, the numbers below consider the damaged cards as if I had pulled them, because they’d have been fine in 1986.

Stats for the box:

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

29 doubles

511 of the 792 card set. (64.5% set completion)

36 “Spring Fever” game cards

1986 Topps Overview

13 01 2011

An overview of the 1986 Topps set:

  • 792 cards in the set – the same since 1982.
  • Subsets: Pete Rose Tribute (#2-7), Record Breakers (#201-207), Turn Back the Block (#401-405), All-Stars (#701-722), Team Leaders (26 cards throughout) and Managers (26 cards throughout).  The Rose tribute cards show a retrospective of each of his previous base Topps card since his rookie card.  Turn Back the Clock shows Topps cards of players with significant seasons 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years previously.
  • Set Design: This set represented a significant design change from previous years; the card fronts feature a black and white split border.  The team name in block letter / team colors featured across the black top border.  The Topps logo appears in the upper right-hand corner, the position is shown in a circle in the lower left-hand corner, and the player name appears across the bottom.  The red card backs feature a darker black die than previous years and features the player name and card number in the upper left-hand corner, next to player bio and stats from each season and career totals.  If there’s room, player-specific information or a “Talkin’ Baseball” fact is shown at the bottom.
  • Packs: Cards were issued in 15 card wax packs (35¢ SRP) that came 36 packs per box and 20 per case.  Also available in 49-card rack packs, 42-card grocery rack packs, and 28 card cello packs (59¢ SRP).
  • Rookies: The aren’t any really significant rookie cards in the set; Cecil Fielder and Lenny Dykstra are the most notable.  Topps didn’t do so well here compared to their competitors – Jose Canseco had a card in the Donruss set by himself and a 2-player card in the Fleer set.  Andres Galarraga, Fred McGriff and Paul O’Neill also had RC’s in other products.
  • Hall of Fame: There are 45 Hall of Famers in this set, the same as the year before.  Yogi Berra and Joe Torre were ousted as managers, and Joe Morgan had retired.  Earl Weaver was re-hired as the Orioles skipper, and the new Turn Back the Clock subset had cards of Frank Robinson from 1966 and Willie Mays from 1971.
  • Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Rod Carew, Steve Carlton, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Carlton Fisk, Goose Gossage, Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Paul Molitor, Jack Morris, Eddie Murray, Phil Niekro, Tony Perez, Kirby Puckett, Tim Raines, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken, Nolan Ryan, Ryne Sandberg, Mike Schmidt, Tom Seaver, Ted Simmons, Lee Smith, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton, Alan Trammell, Dave Winfield, Robin Yount, Sparky Anderson (mgr), Bobby Cox (mgr), Whitey Herzog (mgr), Tony LaRussa (mgr), Tommy LaSorda (mgr), Dick Williams (mgr), Weaver (mgr), Robinson (TBC), Mays (TBC)
  • Variations: There is no card #171 or #51; there are 2 cards #’d 141 and #57.
  • Last Active Player: Just like 1985 – this depends on what you count.  Julio Franco (last regular season game – 9/17/07) and Roger Clemens (9/16/07, last postseason game – 10/7/07) were the last players with a card in this set.

The yellow wax box has a picture of a stack of the current year cards, with card #1, Pete Rose at the top. Below the card is the “Topps” logo and a banner with the words “Baseball” on top of a blue square.  Below that are the words “the Real one”.  The bottom of the box has 4 cards resembling the base set.  There are 4 different options, so in total there are 16 cards, “numbered” A-P.

Factory Set

For the first time, factory sets were sold to hobby dealers.  The retail sets, also known as the “holiday” sets due to their time of release, came in much more colorful boxes than the hobby versions, which are descriptive, though not colorful.

Update Set

Topps again released a 132-card Topps Traded set in factory set form.

Parallel Set

For the 3rd year, Topps issued a Tiffany variation in factory set form, printed on white cardstock with glossy coating on the front.  The 1986 Tiffany again had production of 5,000 sets.  Topps also issued a Tiffany version of the Traded set.

Canadian-based O-Pee-Chee again issued a set that was a partial parallel to the Topps base set.  Each of the cards in the 396-card set had the same design and photographs as the Topps set, with lighter card stock and bi-lingual backs (French and English).  Again, no subset cards were included.


  • Each wax pack contains a “Spring Fever Baseball” game card where grand prize winners could win a trip to any Spring Training site for the next season.
  • Again, 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 makes today.

Insert Sets

  • All-Star Glossy – 22 cards (1 per rack pack).
  • Glossy “All-Star and Hot Prospects” – 60 cards (send-in).  By mailing in 6 of the cards and $1, collectors could send in 6 of these cards and $1 for one of six 10-card subsets of this set.  The set increased from 40 to 60 cards this year to include Hot Prospects.

Other releases associated with the Topps flagship

#1 – For the 3rd year, Topps created a set of 12 metal 1/4 size replicas of base cards, again called “Gallery of Champions”. There were now three variations of these cards – Bronze and Silver and (new) Aluminum, while there is a pewter Don Mattingly variant given to dealers who purchased the set.

#2 – Topps also produced a 60-card Super set again (4-7/8 x 6-7/8). The 60 cards differ from the base cards only in size and numbering. They also issued an Eddie Murray sample card for this set.

This was the first year since 1981 that a new company earned an MLB license.  Optigraphics began producing cards with its “magic motion” technology on the front of the cards that allowed you to see 2-3 different shots of the player.  These were the first cards with color photos on the reverse, however they were viewed more as a separate product than a direct competitor to Topps, Fleer and Donruss.

I was 6 years old when this set was released, though I wasn’t collecting yet, I did buy a set of these cards a year or two later. It’s the earliest set I really bought anything of; in my mind, the gap between 1985 and 1986 seems the point when cards started getting overproduced. Pete Rose was prominent in the set with the subset celebrating his history of Topps cards – and the record breaker for passing Ty Cobb – so this made it popular in the Cincinnati area.