Friday, September 21, 2018

Sets Not in My Collection: 1985 Woolworth All-Time Record Holders

I have a handful of these 1985 Topps All-Time Record Holders.  I think of them as a boxed set available from Woolworth, but looking on eBay, you also find boxed sets of what appear to be the same cards labeled as 1987 Boardwalk Baseball All-Time Record Holders.  I'm guessing that Topps just repackaged the cards into a new box for a new client, and I'm guessing Boardwalk Baseball is the same as Boardwalk & Baseball, who had another Topps set, Top Run Makers.  Either of these assumptions could be wrong of course; I can't find any information about the 1987 All-Time Record Holders, other than seeing that it exists on eBay.  Anyway, here are the cards I have from this set from my original collection.
Owen Wilson.
36 triples in a season.
Owen Wilson, not the actor, hit 36 triples in a season for the Bucs in 1912.  Baseball Reference and Wikipedia both list his as "Chief Wilson," not Owen.  More recently, the post-WWII record is 23 triples by Dale Mitchell in 1949, and tied by Curtis Granderson in 2007.
Grover Alexander.
4 one-hitters in a season.
One of the Phils' Hall-of-Famers, Grover Cleveland Alexander, threw 4 one-hitters in 1915.  I picked up a few nice cards of Alexander recently, and fellow old-time Phillie Chuck Klein.  I'll try to post them soon.
Earl Webb.
67 doubles in a season.
Earl Webb of the Boston Red Sox hit 67 doubles in 1931.  Like the two above, this is still the current record.  Most recently, Todd Helton challenged with 59 doubles in 2000.
Rogers Hornsby.
.424 average in a season.
Rogers Hornsby hit .424 in 1924, which the card calls the modern record.  Baseball Reference lists this as sixth-place overall, with the five better averages coming in 1894, 1887, 1876, 1901, and 1897.  A notable attempt at .400 of my youth was George Brett's 1980 campaign, which Baseball Reference lists to a fourth decimal place as .3898, in 48th place overall.
Lloyd Waner.
5611 career hits by brothers, with Paul Waner.
Lloyd Waner, or Little Poison, if you will, is featured for combining with his brother (Big Poison) for 5611 career hits.  Odd that Paul Waner isn't also in the set, then.  Lloyd's modern record for singles in a season has been eclipsed, twice, both times by Ichiro.
Rudy York.
18 home runs in August.
Then, we have Rudy York of the Tigers, featured for some very particular records, like 18 home runs in August and 3 grand slams in a month.  Three grand slams in a month is still the record, according to Baseball Almanac, but has been matched many times: Mike Blowers, Jim Northrup, Larry Parrish, Shane Spencer, Carlos Beltran, Eric Davis, Mike Piazza, and Devon White share the record with York.  Same for home runs in August, but with more limited company -- Baseball Almanac says the feat has been matched just once, by Giancarlo Stanton in 2017.

I do have one more of these, of Rickey Henderson for stealing 130 bases in a season, which I posted earlier.

Other than the Henderson, which I bought recently, I don't know where I ever got these, but I do have a theory.  I was reminded of this when Toys'R'Us went out of business recently.  I think I used to buy repacks there.  They would have a few baseball card items on a shelf, including, I'm sure, Classic sets, since Classic was a game, and their own branded boxed sets.  I think they would have blister packs or something similar proclaiming 100 baseball cards for $3, or something like that (I'm just guessing about the price).  That would be a possible place to pick up odds and ends like a handful of cards from a boxed set.  Anyway, thanks for reading!

Postscript:  In the first few months of this blog, I showcased all of the old boxed sets like this that I own.  I've only bought one more of the kind, the 1985 Circle K Home Run Kings set.  I decided to try to make a list of all the 80s boxed sets like this that I don't own.  It's kind of depressing how many of them there are, not because I'd like to have them, but just because they're all so repetitive.  Here's the list, as far as I can tell, of 80s Fleer and Topps boxed set that I do not own, through 1989 (it looks like 1988 was the peak of this genre, although they did keep making a few into the 90s).

Fleer: 1985 Fleer Limited Edition, 1986 Fleer Baseball’s Best Sluggers vs. Pitchers, 1986 Fleer League Leaders, 1986 Fleer Limited Edition, 1987 Fleer Baseball’s Best Sluggers vs. Pitchers, 1987 Fleer Exciting Stars, 1987 Fleer Hottest Stars, 1987 Fleer League Leaders, 1988 Fleer Award Winners, 1988 Fleer Baseball All-Stars, 1988 Fleer Exciting Stars, 1988 Fleer Hottest Stars, 1988 Fleer League Leaders, 1988 Fleer Record Setters, 1988 Fleer SuperStars, 1989 Fleer Baseball All-Stars, 1989 Fleer Baseball MVPs, 1989 Fleer Exciting Stars, 1989 Fleer Heroes of Baseball, 1989 Fleer League Leaders, 1989 Fleer SuperStars.

Topps: 1985 Topps Woolworth All-Time Record Holders, 1986 Topps Woolworth Super Star Collectors’ Series, 1987 Topps Boardwalk and Baseball, 1987 Topps Kay-Bee Superstars of Baseball, 1987 Topps Toys’R’Us Rookies, 1989 Topps Ames 20/20 Club, 1989 Topps Hills Team MVPs, 1989 Topps Woolworth Baseball Highlights, 1989 Topps K-Mart Dream Team, 1989 Topps Kay-Bee Superstars of Baseball, 1989 Topps Toys’R’Us Rookies


  1. I always liked this set. In my youth I think it was my first real intro to the players of "yesteryear" outside the bigger names like Babe Ruth.

  2. I remember getting these as a kid in one of those binder packages. A relative bought me a big 3 ring binder shrunk wrapped in cellophane with 9-pocket pages and some packaged cards inside the binder. I'm fairly certain these cards, although not the full set, were inside.