Saturday, November 4, 2017

Oversized in My Collection: 1981 Topps Supers (Part 1 of 2)

Last week I started a series that I'm running on Saturdays, of oversized cards.  This week, we are featuring the 1981 Topps Supers.  I don't have too many of these, but I'm going to show all of the ones I have, broken up into two posts.  To start, we have Hall-of-Famer Goose Gossage.
Rich "Goose" Gossage.
Gossage of course was a premier relief pitcher, finishing with 310 saves.  My personal opinion is that they should stop recording saves as a statistic.  I think the idea of having a great relief pitcher only go into games when it's a save situation is stupid -- the statistic shouldn't drive the game like that.  The Hall-of-Fame also isn't good at determining which relief pitchers should be enshrined, given that Lee Smith hasn't made it while Gossage, Bruce Sutter, and Rollie Fingers did.
Back of 1981 Topps Super of Gossage.
Back of another 1981 Topps Super of Gossage.
The funny thing about the Gossage is that I have two of them, and they're not the same.  The fronts are the same, but the backs are different.  As you see here, the back of the one on the right has a checklist of Yankees and Mets.  There apparently are "national" and "home team" editions of the 1981 Topps Supers.  The one on the right must be the "home team" version, and the one on the left is the national version.
1981 Topps Super Tommy John.
"Home Team" back of the Tommy John.
My Tommy John super has the "home team" back.  You might see, if you look closely, pinholes in the Tommy John and in the "home team" Gossage.  I pinned these up on my bulletin board as a kid; I had these two long before I got the rest.  I wasn't especially a fan of Gossage or John, but these were the only two of the Supers I had for a long time, and they seemed like the kind of thing you might pin up.
Reggie Jackson 1981 Topps Super.
National back of the Reggie Jackson.
My Reggie Jackson has the national back, not the home team.
Here we have the two great third basemen of the 70s and 80s, George Brett and Mike Schmidt.  While Eddie Matthews, George Brett, and Brooks Robinson all had their strong points, it's clear that Schmidt is the greatest third baseman of all time when both offense and defense are accounted for.
1981 Topps Super Buddy Bell.
1981 Topps Super Dave Parker.
I'll close this post out with Buddy Bell and Dave Parker.  This is the third time I've recently featured Buddy Bell (I had him on a 1984 Donruss All-Star and on a Topps Rub-Down).  I think this is a great picture of Dave Parker.  I say this a lot, but I can't help thinking how much greater Dave Parker could have been if not for the drugs.


  1. I love oversized cards, and these are no exception. The "Home Team" sets were issued for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Texas/Houston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Boston... everybody else presumably got the National cards. I grew up on Long Island, so I have a bunch of the New York cards, and I bought the Reds & Red Sox sets from an offer on the wrapper. I didn't realize there was a National version of the set until years later.

    1. I don't know why I ended up with the Home Team Gossage and John in the 80s -- we lived closest to Philadelphia, between Philadelphia and Baltimore. But for the longest time, those were the two Supers that I had. I don't think I've seen (in person) any of the non-New York Home Team cards.