Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sets in My Collection: 1988 Topps Revco League Leaders

In this edition of our Sunday feature, Sets in My Collection, we are featuring the 1988 Topps Revco League Leaders boxed set.  I don't actually have the box for it, and I'm not sure if I ever did.  We didn't have Revco in Newark, DE, so I'm sure I picked this up at a show, and maybe the dealer I bought it from had it in a team set bag instead of the box.  Or, maybe the box got banged around in my collection and I eventually got rid of it (it's been known to happen, as it did with my 1987 Fleer Eckerd Record Setters and my 1987 Fleer 7-Eleven Award Winners sets).

Revco was a drugstore chain, and while we didn't have them in Delaware, I did see one upon first arriving to college in Pittsburgh in 1993.  It was gone soon after, though -- according to Wikipedia, they started closing stores around 1992, and were out of business by 1997.
Kent Tekulve.
Kent Tekulve card back.
Now, to the cards.  I've said before that I strongly prefer the boxed sets like this that have a logic to them (in this case, these are players who led the league in some category), instead of those featuring more nebulous concepts like "Baseball MVP."   Here we see Kent Tekulve, the longtime submarine sidearm relief pitcher (and who is now a recently retired Pittsburgh broadcaster) being featured for leading the NL in games pitched with 90.  I'm always impressed when a pitcher appears in more than half of his team's games.  Tekulve's 90 games in 1987 led to a total 105 innings, so he was usually only doing an inning at a time, sometimes a bit more, but still, to go out there and pitch every other game is really impressive to me.
Orel Hershiser.
Continuing with another NL pitcher, we have Orel Hershiser, who was a big deal in the late 80s.  In 1987, Hershiser led the NL in innings pitched with 264.2, in 37 games, 10 of which were complete.  He had a 16-16 record and a 3.06 ERA.  He fared much better in 1988, winning the NL Cy Young and the World Series, with a 23-8 record (and again leading the NL in innings pitched).
Andre Dawson.
Moving on to an NL slugger, we have Andre Dawson.  Dawson was the NL MVP in 1987, his first year with the Cubs, leading the NL with 49 home runs and 137 RBI.
Tim Wallach.
Second in the NL in RBI in 1987 was Montreal's Tim Wallach, with 123.  To earn his spot in this Revco set, Wallach led the NL with 42 doubles.
Brian Downing.
Switching over to an AL slugger, we have Brian Downing of the team known at the time as the California Angels.  Downing tied Dwight Evans for the AL lead in walks in 1987, with 106.  Downing had 27 home runs and 77 RBI in 1987.
Willie Wilson.
Willie Wilson is a bit of a sentimental favorite for me, as he's a player whose skills I respect, but my first memory of him is my Phils beating him in the 1980 World Series.  I'm glad he got to win later when the Royals took the 1985 World Series.  He's featured in this Revco League Leaders set for leading the AL with 15 triples in 1987.  Wilson is tied for 56th on the all-time triples list, with a career total of 147.
Dave Stewart.
I'll close this post out with an AL pitcher, Dave Stewart of the Oakland A's.  Stewart was a big deal in the late 80s and early 90s, as one of the leaders of the Oakland pitching staff that won the 1989 World Series, and lost both the 1988 and 1990 World Series.  Stewart also won the World Series two other times, with the Dodgers in 1981 and with the Blue Jays in 1993.  To make his way into this Revco set, Stewart tied with Roger Clemens for the AL lead in wins with 20.  This was the first of four straight 20-win seasons for Stewart.

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