Thursday, February 22, 2018

My 1988 Topps Project (Part 1 -- Cards 1-200)

I have about 1600 cards from the 1988 Topps set; I guess this means that I opened the equivalent of about 3 wax boxes.  That sounds about right.  I've started trying to put them in order and trying to see if I have a complete set, something I never tried before on the cards that I pulled from wax packs back in the day.  Even though I have approximately twice as many cards as would be necessary for a complete set, my hopes were quickly dashed.  I don't even have all of the first ten cards in the set, let alone all of the cards.  Instead of having a complete set, my work so far (I'm only done with cards 1-200) shows that I'm missing 24 of the first 200, while there are some of those first 200 that I have 5 or 6 each.  I'm not making a wantlist for the missing cards, because I'm not sure that I'm going to try to get them.  Instead, the cards I have from 1988 are a kind of monument to my childhood, and don't necessarily need to be completed.

I'll feature here the cards I have most of.  Winning the prize so far are Rick Rhoden and Eric Plunk -- I have six copies each of these.
Rick Rhoden.
Eric Plunk.
Rick Rhoden had been on the Pirates, but was traded in part for Doug Drabek.  As Drabek went on the be the ace of three division-winning teams and won a Cy Young, I think it worked out for the Pirates.  Rhoden went on to be a two-sport guy, having a professional golf career after baseball.  Plunk didn't hang around with the A's long enough to be part of their World Series-winning 1989 team, as he was traded (to the Yankees) in part for Rickey Henderson.  That worked out for the A's, too.

As runners-up, we have Dave Engle, Brian Dayett, Steve Lyons, Lance Parrish, Frank Tanana, and Bruce Sutter, with five copies each.
Dave Engle.
Brian Dayett.
Dave Engle was in the majors 1981-1989, with the Twins, Tigers, Expos, and Brewers.  It looks like his best season was 1983 with the Twins, batting .305 with 43 RBI; the next year, he made his only All-Star appearance.  Brian Dayett played 1983-1987 with the Yankees and Cubs, so by the time this card was issued, his time in the majors had ended.  In October 1987, his contract was purchased from the Cubs by the Nippon Ham Fighters, and he played with them until 1991.
Steve Lyons.
Lance Parrish.
Steve Lyons played in the majors from 1985-1993, with the Red Sox (on three non-consecutive occassions), White Sox, Braves, and Expos.  He had a career .252 average with 196 RBI.  Lance Parrish has appeared many times in this blog, and was a star with the Tigers who never quite fit in during his two years in Philadelphia.  He was happier after departing for the Angels, and then for the Phillies, Darren Daulton developed into a homegrown All-Star catcher.
Frank Tanana.
Bruce Sutter.
Frank Tanana had one of those solid but clearly sub-Hall-of-Fame careers, going 240-236 with 2773 strikeouts and a 3.66 ERA.  Bruce Sutter was a premier reliever, and while people argue about what the Hall of Fame standards should be for a reliever, they took him and his 300 saves.

That's it for this installment.  In due time, I'll get the next batch, cards 201-400, processed.


  1. Aw c'mon. I've got a two row box of '88 from my two boxes of cello packs plus. Can't leave the set undone, can you? :) Email at QAPLAGCA at yahoo.

    1. I am conflicted on this. Thanks for the offer -- I'll think about it!

  2. And if GCA can't finish off the set, then I'll happily dive through my boxes. Between the two of us we should have you covered. :)

    1. Thanks for the offer -- I'll see what it looks like when I finish sorting what I've got.