1988 Topps parallels – Wade Boggs (and Tom Browning)

27 04 2016

1988 Topps

Card I selected:  #200 – Wade Boggs

The 1988 set is one from my early days of collecting; it has a lot of nostalgia for me.  I remember organizing the cards based on guys who made the All-Star team that year – because I went to the 1988 All-Star Game.  Wade Boggs was one of those players, and I’ve dubbed his card as my best card of the 1988 set.

There’s something I need to address for the parallels in this set, however.  1988 had the standard 2 as far as Topps parallels go – there was O-Pee-Chee and Tiffany.  Tiffany was a full parallel, and O-Pee-Chee was again half the size of the Topps set.  But there’s one additional card that parallels the Topps set.  It’s the Topps Cloth cards, which were a pretty rare test set.  The problem is, I think the O-Pee-Chee and Cloth sets are mutually exclusive.  I haven’t checked every card, but I’ve gone through about 15-20 of them on Beckett’s site.  And none of the cards in the Cloth set are also in the O-Pee-Chee set.  So I think it’s impossible to get a full rainbow of one card here.  What I’ve decided to do in circumstances like this, are to still get a version of the “misfit” card.  I thought about getting the Boggs All-Star card, which does have a cloth version, but I picked Tom Browning’s card.  Basically, because I was able to find it on eBay for a decent price.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  4

The parallel sets in 1988 include:

  • O-Pee-Chee
  • Tiffany
  • Cloth Test


1988 Topps #200

1988 Topps Wade Boggs

1988 Topps Boggs back

1984 O-Pee-Chee #200

1988 O-Pee-Chee Wade Boggs

1988 O-Pee-Chee Boggs back

The Canadian version of the Topps set was, again, half the size of the Topps set (396 cards).  Boggs is in the first half of the set, so his OPC card has the same number as his Topps card.

Here are the differences for this card:

  • The “O-Pee-Chee” logo on the front replaces the Topps logo in the lower corner.
  • 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”.

1984 Topps Tiffany #200

1988 Topps Tiffany Wade Boggs

1988 Topps Tiffany Boggs back

For the 5th time, Topps issued a Tiffany variation in factory set form, printed on white cardstock with glossy coating on the front.  Like the year before, the 1988 Tiffany set was a lot more plentiful than the first 3 versions – it was “limited” to 25,000 sets.

1988 Topps Cloth Test #NNO (Tom Browning)

1988 Topps Cloth Tom Browning

1988 Topps Cloth Browning back

Topps created a test issue called “Topps Cloth”.  This was an experimental release of 121 cards from the base set printed on textured paper, similar to higher-quality paper towels.  These cards were pretty rare, which is why I went with Tom Browning – I could find his card for a decent price!  I could have got Boggs in his All-Star subset.  But that generally goes for around 50 bucks, which I’d rather keep away from.


The “Rainbow”:

1988 Topps Boggs rainbow

1988 Topps Cloth Tom Browning

Any sets I didn’t get:  There were 2-pocket folders with reprints of some of the 1988 Topps cards.  These were very popular when I was in the 2nd grade; I used to have Eric Davis.  Boggs does have a  folder, but I’m not counting that for the ones above – it needs to fit in a binder (those are closer to being the binder than fitting in the binder).

There’s a Don Mattingly card called “World of Baseball” that Topps created.  I don’t know much about it, except that it’s not a cheap buy.  I don’t really consider it a parallel, since it uses a different picture from Mattingly’s regular card.  It is an interesting “other” type card.

Other cards I would have liked to do:

I really like the cards of Dave Stewart, Bo Jackson and Jose Canseco.  And Eric Davis has a cool card, as he always does.  But he’ll get in this shindig next year!

Completed set & master set – one last look at 1988 Topps

1 11 2012

Continuing my “getting back into the swing of things” as far as the lifetime Topps project goes…

The 1988 set is one of my favorites.  There aren’t any great rookie cards.  It isn’t a blow you away design.  The photography is solid, but it won’t blow you away either.  But, for me, it’s got nostalgia all over the place!  I love that, when I was collecting this – there wasn’t some hot rookie prospect to find.  Maybe Mark McGwire was up and coming after his stud 1987 campaign (49 HR rookie record).  But he did that as an MLB player – not as a teenager who might do so-and-so someday.  I loved collecting the players who were good – even if they were just “semi-stars” by the Beckett definition that hadn’t even been defined yet.  Getting a Kirby Puckett was cool – because he played in the ’88 All-Star game I went to in Cincinnati!

Info about my set:

How I put the set together:

  • 401 cards from the wax box
  • 279 cards from a cello box
  • 3 cards from a Target re-pack
  • 109 cards from trades

Card that completed my set: #79 – Ernie Whitt (received in a trade with Scott Crawford that completed the set)

Read the rest of this entry »

1988 Topps Traded

22 03 2011

Topps issued a 132-card “Traded” set in factory form 1988 in the same format as previous years; cards were numbered in alphabetical order, separately from the base set with a “T” suffix as #1-132.  The set 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, new managers, and members of the 1988 US Olympic team.  The design is the same as the base set, and the cards were again printed in Ireland on white cardstock.  I love the Ireland card stock from these sets – but for this set in particular, a lot of the cards are poorly cut on the edges.

Dealers who ordered cases of the Topps Traded set again received a miniature Bronze Card. For the third year in a row, this bronze replica was of a historic Topps card.  They’d done two of the great 50’s centerfielders from New York – so this time they naturally did Duke Snider’s 1955 Topps card. Topps also again issued a limited Tiffany set that had a glossy picture on the front.

There are no Big Red Machine players in this set and all were significant to that team.  There are 4 members of the 1990 Reds World Champion team in the set. Most notably is the RC for Chris Sabo, who won the Rookie of the Year award in 1988 and made the All-Star game in Cincinnati.  Danny Jackson was just as important to the Reds 1990 success – and in 1988, he had a year that would have won a Cy Young most seasons (23-8, 15 CG).  Unfortunately, Orel Hershiser had a truly historic season.  Jose Rijo was the Reds best pitcher in the early 90’s, and won the WS MVP against the team we traded for him (the A’s).  Jack Armstrong, who started the 1990 All-Star game, also had his RC in this set.

There are 3 (now 4) Hall of Famers in the set – the Roberto Alomar RC is definitely the most notable card of this set:

  • Alomar now has the most recent First Topps Card of any Hall of Famer – taking that distinction over by 3 years from Kirby Puckett.
  • Goose Gossage had been traded by the Padres to the Cubs in February of 1988 for Mike Brumley and Keith Moreland.
  • Frank Robinson returned to the city where he won the triple crown, taking over for Cal Ripken Sr. 6 games into the 1988 season. He would go on to win AL Manager of the Year the next year.
  • Lee Smith – traded from Chicago to Boston in the 87/88 offseason – was elected since I made this post (see his card below)

Topps had included players from the ’84 Olympic team in its 1985 set, so this was the first time USA cards were presented in the Traded set.  This enabled them to get the USA cards into the set a year earlier.  There isn’t a card anywhere close to the magnitude of McGwire. However, there are a number of guys who had good careers from this sub-group, particularly Tino Martinez, Robin Ventura and Jim Abbott (go Blue).

There was more offseason movement in 1988 than in previous years, and free agent Kirk Gibson would go on to sign a lucrative deal with the Dodgers.  He’d win the MVP in 1988 and hit one of the most famous home runs in World Series history – a game winner of Dennis Eckersley in game 1.  Dave Parker was a big part of the A’s 1989 World Series championship – though the A’s gave up Rijo for the Cobra in the trade mentioned above.  Clark signed with the Yankees and had a good season, though he was soon traded to the Padres.  Welch would win the Cy Young for the A’s in 1990; his 27 wins that year are the closest anyone has got to 30 since Denny McLain in 1968.

The Alomar rookie and the Ventura/Abbott/Martinez from the USA set are the key rookies, but there are some others. I showed the Sabo rookie, but Mark Grace was the RoY runner-up and had the most hits of any player in the 1990’s.  Walt Weiss was the AL Rookie of the Year.  Brady Anderson is 1 of 2 player to have a 50-HR and 50-SB season.  Jack McDowell is a future Cy Young winner.  Ron Gant was a future 30-30 guy who would win comeback player of the year, and David Wells is probably the most successful player outside of Alomar (and maybe Grace) – he won 239 games, pitched a perfect game, and pitched on an astounding 11 different playoff teams (winning 3 World Series rings).

1988 Topps Glossy Sets

21 03 2011

Topps again issued three Glossy sets in conjunction with its 1988 base set.  Each set had exactly 1 member from the 1990 Reds World Series Champs.  Eric Davis is in both the All-Star Glossy and All-Star send-in sets, and Randy Myers is in the Topps Rookies set.  I bought all 3 of these sets at various times from eBay or other on-line venues.  The rookies was the toughest to find for a good price because of the McGwire.

All-Star Glossy

Back for the 6th year, this 22-card set commemorating the 1987 All-Star game was inserted 1 per rack pack. The set shows the manager, 9 starters, and Topps returned with the All-Star game honorary captains for the 11th card from each league (good move in my opinion). The previous 2 years Topps had included a team picture or a 2nd pitcher.  This allowed Catfish Hunter and Billy Williams to be included in the set – of note, these guys must have been included as captains to coincide with their induction into the Hall of Fame that summer.

11 Hall of Famers:     W. Boggs, C. Ripken, R. Henderson, D. Winfield, J. Hunter, R. Sandberg, M. Schmidt, O. Smith, A. Dawson, G. Carter, B. Williams (same # of HOF-ers as last year)

Glossy Rookies

In its second year, the Rookies 22-card set came 1 per 91-card jumbo pack.  The set depicts some of the best rookies from the 1987 season.  All 10 members of the Topps All-Star rookie team are included in this set, and it includes NL ROY winner Benito Santiago, who wasn’t on the ASR team because of the great rookie campaign by AL ROY runner-up Matt Nokes.  The AL winner, Mark McGwire, is easily the headliner from this set.

Glossy All-Stars and Hot Prospects

The send-in set was again 60-cards, called “All-Stars and Hot Prospects”.  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 current year All-Stars or up-and-coming prospects who’d had break out 1987 campaigns.

13 Hall of Famers:     A. Dawson, M. Schmidt, C. Ripken, G. Carter, R. Sandberg, R. Henderson, K. Puckett, T. Gwynn, D. Winfield, O. Smith, W. Boggs, G. Brett, P. Molitor (up from 11 from the ’87 set)

The pictures in all these sets seem to be getting better from previous years.  And then there’s the Sandberg picture here.  I honestly don’t ever remember Sandberg rocking the ‘stache shown in the picture below. 

Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire are also included in the set, because it’s so early in their career that makes this one of the more popular out of these send-in sets (at least as far as me finding it on eBay for a decent price).

1988 Topps – more scans of awesomeness!

20 03 2011

I’ve done my standard “Reds World Series” scans and scans of the ASR / Future Stars subset cards, so this is the post with the rest of the cool cards from the set (or the ones I have thus far, anyways).

I’m going to start off with an “All-Star” post.  The 1988 All-Star game was played at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.  My dad had season tickets, and I still remember attending the game.  We also recorded it on or VHS, and I watched Al Michaels’ call numerous times thereafter.  The opening at bat was Doc Gooden against Rickey Henderson – foreshadowing a potential Subway Series that never happened.  I remember Chris Sabo (aka “Spudz”) pinch-running and touching home plate after a foul ball – and thinking it was funny that the fans all cheered for the hometown rookie even though he just had to go back to first base!

The cards below represent the 9 players in each league who made up the starting lineup of the 1988 All-Star starting lineup.  I’m still missing Rickey from the AL and Will Clark from the NL.  I included Trammell and Ripken because this was the one year Ripken didn’t get voted in as the starter.  But Trammell was injured, and Ripken’s All-Star starting streak was kept alive.  Ozzie Smith was the top NL vote getter – Canseco was the top overall. I remember the topic of Canseco’s pre-game interview was whether or not he could become the first 40-40 man in ML history.  Hew would earn that distinction and the ’88 league MVP.

This set is awesome – and I really love this year’s record breaker set.  Every single record breaker card was a good record, which is saying something compared to most sets.  Coleman was in his 2nd RB card in 3 years – this one for being the first player with 3 consecutive 100-SB seasons.  The Mattingly card (featuring the other guy with 3 100-steal seasons) honored his 6 Grand Slams in one season.  Both Rookies of the Year had broken rookie records – McGwire obliterated the rookie home run record and Benito Santiago broke the record for the rookie hitting streak.  Nolan Ryan was noted for his 11th 200-K season, and the Niekro brother hurlers broke the record for most wins held by the Perry brothers.  Finally, the Murray card is tremendous – he had become the first player with consecutive games with homers on both sides of the plate.

The LaSorda golf-cart card below is also tremendous.  Here’s a few guys from the ’88 World Series matchup.  All cards I love.  Except LaRussa.  There is nothing to love about Tony Liar-ussa.  He is scum.

Below is #1 and #3 on the all-time strikeout list.

Here are some rookies and/or 2nd year cards.  Jamie Moyer – the only guy in this set still active in 2010.  I don’t remember this Maddux card, but I like the picture on this one and the Benito, too.  The Glavine RC is the most notable of the set.

Speaking of some more young stars – how great were these two Team Leaders cards back in 1988?!?  All 4 guys in their 3rd year or 2nd full year, they’d go on to lead their teams to numerous playoff appearances, but ultimately only 1 WS title.

Finally, here are some of the better cards in the set I haven’t covered yet.  Love the Bo Jackson card – though to me it doesn’t beat his ’87 Future Stars card.  I don’t think I’d scanned a Whitaker card yet, and I really like this one.  The dust is still settling on the Ed Hearn play at the plate, and the Brett/Mattingly/Puckett cards were 3 cards I probably put a lot of wear on playing with as a kid.

1988 Topps – All-Star Rookie Team and Future Stars

16 03 2011

Topps put designation for the All-Star Rookie Team on its cards again for the 2nd straight year in 1988 after a hiatus since 1978. Topps went back to 10 team members this year after having 4 outfielders they went back to a pitcher from each side and one position for each player.  Benito Santiago was a notable omission – he was the NL Rookie of the Year who set a Rookie record with a 34-game hitting streak.  He was a valid omission at catcher, however, as Matt Nokes had a phenomenal year at backstop and was the runner-up for the AL award.  Nokes was the only card I didn’t pull in opening my 2 boxes.

  • LHP – Jeff Musselman
  • RHP – Mike Dunne
  • C – Matt Nokes
  • 1B – Mark McGwire
  • 2B – Casey Candaele
  • 3B – Kevin Seitzer
  • SS – Al Pedrique
  • OF – Mike Greenwell, Ellis Burks, Devon White

The Future Stars subset was back for the 2nd year, this time with 5 cards instead of 6.  I did get all 5 of these cards.  The Al Leiter card is an interesting “variation card” – Topps initially put pitcher Steve George on the card and later fixed the error.  Leiter was the only player Topps got right here as far as being a “future star” – they did much better the previous year.  The Writer’s Journey does a great job writing this up in more detail, so I won’t try here.

1988 Topps – ’90 Reds Cards

15 03 2011

18 out of the 26 players and manager from the 1990 World Champions had cards in the 1988 Topps set.  All the players that had cards in 1987 Topps and/or Traded returned in 1988 Topps, as did Lou Piniella.  Danny Jackson’s first Topps card was in the ’87 Traded set, and his first base Topps card was in the 1988 set.  Two ’90 Reds players had their first cards – Paul O’Neill, Todd Benzinger.  Glenn Braggs and Billy Hatcher were featured on Team Leader cards for the Brewers and Astros, respectively.

1988 – Lou Piniella, Rick Mahler, Tom Browning, Jose Rijo, Danny Jackson, Randy Myers, Jeff Reed, Todd Benzinger, Ron Oester, Bill Doran, Mariano Duncan, Barry Larkin, Luis Quinones, Eric Davis, Herm Winningham, Billy Hatcher, Glenn Braggs, Paul O’Neill

1988 Topps Cards – Big Red Machine

14 03 2011

The Big Red Machine held at 4 guys with 1988 Topps cards, but went down from 7 total cards to 5 total cards.  Pete Rose had his last player card in 1987, so we were left with manager cards of Sparky & Rose, player cards of Griffey Sr. and Concepcion, and Griffey was featured on the Braves Team Leaders card.  These are actually some pretty pedestrian photos, though I like the Sparky card capturing him sending out directions from the dugout.  Or posing like he’s doing so.

1988 Topps cello box break

11 03 2011

As mentioned in my last post, I also bought a cello box of 1988 Topps.  This one I purchased from Baseball Card Exchange – the other site where I’ve purchased many of my boxes for this collection.  It was really fun busting 2 boxes of this set – this was my favorite set as a young baseball fan.

I got the Matt Williams RC from this box, so I’d say I got just about every “key card” between the 2 boxes.  If you can call any cards from a $10 or $15 set “key”! 

The box seemed a better deal than the wax box – if anyone out there is thinking about busting any boxes from any 80’s Topps sets, I’d recommend a cello box as your best chance to get a higher portion of the set.  There are far fewer cards that have some kind of defect – the gum didn’t seem to hurt the cards at all, and there is no wax to stain the card either.  Plus, there’s 100-200 more cards in these boxes, depending on the year.

I got ~290 more cards toward the set on top of the wax box I’d opened, so I ended with around 680 cards out of the 792 for the set.  The results would have been even better if it weren’t for the damaged cards in the wax box.

Stats for the box:

24 packs per box * 28 cards per pack = 672 cards

101 doubles

571 of the 792 card set. (72% set completion)

24 “Spring Fever” game cards

Including the wax box:

691 total cards toward the base set, with ~11 damaged singles

1988 Topps wax box break

10 03 2011

I bought my 1988 Topps wax box from Dave and Adam’s Card World – one of two online sites where I’ve purchased many of my boxes for this collection.  Since the 1988 set was my favorite memory of baseball cards when I was younger – I  also bought a cello box.  I’ll cover that box break in my next post.

The most notable card from this set is the Glavine rookie – which I did get from this box.  I also got the McGwire and Eddie Murray record-breaker cards, which are the other recognizable cards from this set.  I didn’t get the Matt Williams RC, but would pull that later in the cello box.

In 1987, Topps had gone up to 17 cards per pack (and raised the price) – this year they maintained the same price and lowered to 15 cards.  The collation was about the same as last year – I had ~50 less cards toward the set, which seems about the same since I had 72 less cards from this box.  Unlike most previous years, the gum usually did not leave a stain on the card backs, so I was only left with 1 card per pack that was “not repairable”.  Net result – only 1 less “keepable” card per pack for this box compared to the prior year.  As always – the numbers below don’t include the damaged cards (since if I’d busted these in 1987 they wouldn’t have been damaged).

Stats for the box:

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

113 doubles

427 of the 792 card set. (53.9% set completion)

36 “Spring Fever” game cards