Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Collection Goals: Maury Wills

The 1987 Topps set, with its wood-grain background, made a big impression on me as a kid.  Reading around various articles about the "junk wax" era, this was not a unique experience.  It seems like kids were either brought into collecting by the 1987 Topps set or the 1989 Upper Deck set.  For me, part of the influence was coincidental, since I was starting to be old enough to do a hobby seriously, there were other kids in the neighborhood interested in collecting, too, and we could ride our bikes to the neighborhood 7-Eleven to get new cards all the time.  It was 1987, and Topps is all that this 7-Eleven carried, so that's what we bought.

The 1987 Topps Maury Wills Turn Back the Clock card: a card of a card which never existed.
All the different subsets of the set were interesting, especially Turn Back the Clock, which showed cards from 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, and 1982.  I knew what 1982 cards looked like, since I already had some, but getting to see the other old designs, and reading about the players' accomplishments, was very interesting.  Of course, soon after that, I subscribed to Beckett, started regularly going to card shops and card shows, and got to see, and sometimes buy, all sorts of cards.  But this subset was a first window for me into older Topps cards.

I stopped collecting, really, in the pre-internet age.  I first used the internet when I went to college, in the 1993-1994 school year.  At that point, there was almost nothing on the web.  I completely stopped collecting that summer, buying my last cards, until now, in the summer of 1994.  I say this because it occured to me just the other day to look up how much it might cost to buy the card pictured on this Turn Back the Clock.  Everyone reading this probably knows the story, but imagine my surprise to find out, 30 years later, that this is a card of a card that never existed.  Wills didn't have a 1962 Topps card because he wasn't under contract with them, so they had to mock one up of him to highlight his 1962 base stealing.  This wasn't information that was easily available to me at the time.

I mentioned in another post that I purchased a 1954 Jackie Robinson, to help someday teach my son about the history of black players in Major League Baseball, and that I want to get more cards of black players from that era for him.  I've always been fond of the base stealers, Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman from my time, Lou Brock before them, Bill Bruton who I wrote about before, and Maury Wills.  I've made out a wantlist of cards that I feel will "complete" my collection, with the aim of buying just a few more cards over the next few years.  I also don't have any of the 1963 Fleer cards, which I've heard people call a great set.  As a part of all of these collection goals, the 1963 Fleer Maury Wills is on my want list.

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