Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sets in My Collection: 1988 Topps K-Mart Memorable Moments

1988 Topps K-Mart Memorable Moments
This Sunday, we feature the 1988 Topps K-Mart Memorable Moments boxed set.  It clocks in at 33 cards, since it is a standard Topps boxed set.  The 1982 and 1987 K-Mart offerings were of a nostalgic variety, and this one is too to a certain extent, but focuses on current players at the time.  The reason I say it is still a bit nostalgic is that instead of treating memorable moments only from the past year, it digs back into all of the 80s, as the card backs make clear.
Dave Righetti.
Dave Righetti card back.
Since the 1987 Topps set was so influential to me, I of course remember the record breaker card of Righetti.  In 1986, he had 46 saves to set the record.  Of course, that has long since been surpassed, with the current mark at 62.  I have also come to see the save as a terrible statistic, one which drives how managers choose their relief pitchers -- rather than putting in the best pitcher for the game situation, managers are guided by whether it's a save situation or not.  In any case, Righetti was a good relief pitcher for a while.
Pedro Guerrero.
Pedro Guerrero card back.
Pedro Guerrero is not very well represented in my collection, probably because his best years were on the other coast, before I started paying serious attention to baseball.  This card commemorates his spectacular June, 1985, in which he set an NL record with 15 home runs that month.
Paul Molitor.
Paul Molitor card back.
They say the past is another country.  I remember during Paul Molitor's hitting streak in 1987 we would watch the news on TV every night, waiting for the sports reporter to tell us if Molitor's streak was still going.  He was in the AL and in the midwest, so I didn't really know about him before the hitting streak.  Molitor's 39-game streak is the 7th longest all time, and is still the longest since Pete Rose's 44-game streak in 1978.  Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies came close in 2005-06, with a 38-game streak.
Fernando Valenzuela.
Fernando Valenzuela card back.
Fernando Valenzuela surely had many memorable moments in the 80s.  This card recalls a streak of 41.1 consecutive innings at the beginning of the season without allowing an earned run, in 1985.
Mike Schmidt.
Mike Schmidt card back.
I'll close this post out with this card of Mike Schmidt in a batting stance.  Like Valenzuela, I'm sure Schmidt had many memorable moments in the 80s that Topps and K-Mart could have picked.  They chose to write about becoming the all-time HR leader for third basemen in 1987, surpassing Eddie Matthews.

I've done posts on about 15 of these 1980s boxed sets (it depends what you count as being one of these sets).  I am starting to run out -- I think I have 6 left (again, depending what sets you count).  When I run out, I'll need to find something else to write about on Sundays.

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