Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sets in My Collection: 1988 Topps Woolworth Baseball Highlights

I've been doing these posts of 1980s boxed sets for months now, and I think this is it: the last one in my collection.  It's a Topps Woolworth Baseball Highlights set from 1988, recapping the 1987 season.  While I had watched baseball casually before, 1987 was the first year I followed baseball religiously, so the 1987 season meant a lot to me.
Don Baylor.
Hit by many pitches.
The stats on the back of this card, declaring Don Baylor to be the MLB record holder for being hit by pitches, don't match what's available now on the internet.  Instead, a quick search shows that Hughie Jennings and Tommy Tucker would have been ahead of Baylor at the time (Craig Biggio has surpassed Baylor since).  I suppose more reliable statistics are available now.
Mike Schmidt.
3B home run record.
I can't verify this as clearly as the hit by pitch record, but I believe it is accurate, even now, that Mike Schmidt is the record holder for home runs by a third baseman.  Almost all of his career home runs were hit while playing third base, since that is almost always where he played.
Andre Dawson.
1987 NL MVP.
Andre Dawson insisted on being signed by the Cubs, and went on to hit an awesome 49 home runs.  It was a great story all season.
Bert Blyleven.
Game 2 of the World Series.
I have some vague, early memories of the 1980 World Series, but I was only 4 years old (just about to turn 5) back then.  After that, I think 1987 was the first World Series that I watched.  It was great, going 7 games, and being (I think) the first World Series in which the home team always won.  It was Bert Blyleven's second World Series win, after helping lead the Pirates to the 1979 championship.  In the DVDs of the 1979 series, it's stated that Blyleven had a reputation for never winning the big game.  His response, when questioned about that, was that he hadn't even played in the big game yet.  1979 put all that to rest, as he was instrumental for the Pirates.  He was a winner for the Twins again in 1987, as this card shows.
Don Baylor, again.
Game 6 of the World Series.
Here we have Don Baylor again, in the second of three consecutive World Series appearances, all with different teams.  He was on the 1986 Red Sox who lost to the Mets, and on the 1988 A's who lost to the Dodgers.  I'm glad his storied career includes a World Series win!
Kent Hrbek.
Game 6 of the World Series.
Here we have another card celebrating the Twins' victory in Game 6.  The previous one was for Don Baylor's 3-run homer which tied the score, and this one is for Kent Hrbek's go-ahead grand slam.  Hrbek is a Twins Hall-of-Famer and retired number who hit 293 home runs with them and was on both the 1987 and 1991 championship teams.  I love guys like this, who don't quite make Cooperstown, but mean the world to the local fans.
Kirby Puckett.
Game 7 of the World Series.
The 1987 World Series was my introduction to Kirby Puckett.  It was awesome watching him play.  Being NL fans on the east coast, we never saw Kirby in person (probably -- I did go to a handful of Orioles games, but I don't really remember who I saw play there).  It was fun seeing him again in the 1991 World Series, when the Twins beat the hated Braves (hated specifically because they beat my Pirates in the NLCS).

So, that's it for my Topps and Fleer boxed sets from the 80s.  I think I'll probably put up a post summing up what we've seen from these sets, but otherwise, my Sunday posts will move on to another topic.  Thanks for reading!


  1. Schmidt indeed still has the most HR by a third baseman.

    1. Ah, great -- 509 of Schmidt's 548 homers were as a 3rd baseman. Thanks!

  2. Jennings and Tucker were either deadball or 1800s players, I can’t recall off the top of my head. Thus Baylor (and now Biggio) was considered to have set the modern record for HBP. Dawson, from what I’ve read, insisted on the Cubs because playing everyday on the grass at Wrigley would be better for his torn up knees than somewhere with turf.