Tuesday, March 20, 2018

My 1988 Topps Set Project: Cards 201-400

Today we're checking in on my 1988 Topps set project.  To remind you, I have about 1600 cards that I bought pack-by-pack back in the day.  I was 12 years old when 1988 Topps was released, was still living very near a 7-Eleven that my friends and I could walk or bike to, and we also started going to a baseball card shop (Stale Gum, on Main Street in Newark, DE), and later that year I went to my first show.  The cards I have are roughly the equivalent of having opened 3 wax boxes; I was hoping that I would have a complete set since it's about twice as many cards as is needed, but, it's turning out that I only have about 85%-90% of a set.  In these posts, I'm highlighting the cards that I have the most copies of.
Mike Marshall.
We have a new winner with Mike Marshall of the Dodgers.  In the previous post, covering cards 1-200, the most copies I had of a single card was 6.  I have 8 of this Mike Marshall.  I remember Marshall for two reasons -- he was on the Dodgers, who won the 1988 World Series, and his rookie card with Topps also features Steve Sax, who was something of a star (perhaps a minor star) at the time.  After leaving the Dodgers after the 1989 season, Marshall played briefly with the Mets, Red Sox, and Angels.
Bob Walk.
The rest of the cards I'm featuring here I have six copies of.  First up, cardblogosphere celebrity Bob Walk.  I've posted about Walk a few times before because I talk frequently about how the 1980 Phillies winning the World Series is one of my earliest memories, and Walk pitched and won the first game of the series for the Phils.  Walk was a reliable starter for the Bucs through their early 90s postseason run, and had a solid year in 1988 with a 12-10 record with a 2.71 ERA.  Walk was an All-Star for the only time in 1988; he pitched 1/3 of an inning in the All-Star game, getting Carney Lansford to ground out.
Rafael Ramirez.
Richard Dotson.

Rafael Ramirez played with Atlanta from 1980-1987, and then with Houston from 1988-1992.  He was an All-Star in 1984, and put up 1432 career hits and 484 RBI.  Richard Dotson pitched with the White Sox from 1979 through 1987, and then was with the Yankees, White Sox again, and Royals before retiring after the 1990 season.  He was also an All-Star in 1984, and led the league with 106 walks in 1983 and with 17 losses in 1986.  His career record is 111-113 with a 4.23 ERA.
Drew Hall.
Alejandro Pena.
Reliever Drew Hall pitched in the majors from 1986-1990 with the Cubs, Rangers, and Expos.  In 125 career games, he had a 9-12 record with 5 saves and a 5.21 ERA.  Alejandro Pena I do remember, probably mainly from the 1988 World Series, in which he went 1-0 pitching in two games in relief against the A's.  I might also remember him for pitching against the Pirates in the 1991 NLCS, when he was with the Braves.  Other than 1988, he was on two other championship teams, pitching in the 1981 NLCS with the Dodgers, and in the 1995 NLDS, NLCS, and World Series with the Braves.  He was a starter for a couple of years, and in 1984 led the NL in ERA with 2.48 and in shutouts with 4.
Tom Henke.
Mike Trujillo.
The Blue Jays had a number of great players in the run-up to their back-to-back World Series wins in 1992 and 1993, and Henke was their closer for many years (including the 1992 championship).  He played for Texas in 1993 and 1994, and then for the Cardinals in 1995 before retiring.  He had 311 career saves.  Mike Trujillo pitched for the Red Sox, Mariners, and Tigers between 1985 and 1989, compiling a 12-12 record with 3 saves and a 5.02 ERA in 83 big league games.

That's it for this installment.  We're making progress, and soon I'll know exactly how many 1988 Topps cards I fell short by from a complete set.  It's looking to be about 10% short, but I don't know exactly yet.  Thanks for reading!


  1. Holy smokes! I used to go to Stale Gum when I went to visit family in Delaware in the 80's. I lived in Maryland at the time though. Small world.

    I remember my brother and I one time buying a pack of 85 Topps there and the guy at the counter said he'd give us $5 if we pulled the Doc Gooden card. My brother pulled it and we ended up buying the rest of the wax box with the proceeds. No idea what else we pulled but still remember that story 30 years later.

    1. That's great! I'm from Newark, and have many fond memories of Stale Gum.