Friday, September 12, 2008

1981 Topps

Oh, what a glorious summer. This was the summer that the T-family returned from Spain to live in the good old U.S. of A. June 8th as a matter of fact. In the three years since we'd left the States, young RobbyT became a huge baseball fan. Even made an All-Star team in Little League.

So imagine my excitement to finally return to the States. No more waiting on three day old box scores in the Stars and Stripes. No more waiting on three week old issues of The Sporting News to show up in the mail. No more waiting on Granny to send me a box of baseball cards that I would only get half of. Nope, this was going to be one awesome summer.

So guess what I got for my 12th birthday that summer? That's right, my birthday, June 12th. Summer of 1981.

You know what I got? Yeah, a @#$%!& strike!!! I got four days of baseball for the next two months. Whoo-hoo....

But the other thing I got on returning was discovering that there were three companies making baseball cards. Whoo-hoo!!!!!!! How was this possible? Why hadn't I been notified? Who cared? I was going to get them all!!!!!!

We went back to my grandparents in Arkansas that summer, and you can bet that I begged like hell to ride along with my mom to Wal-Mart to get whatever cards I could talk her in to buying for me.  Wally World had these rack packs for 85 cents a piece. And despite buying what I thought was approximately 1000 packs that summer, I still don't have the Kirk Gibson rookie card! D'oh!!!

This is another one of those sets that I love without question. I can't explain it. (The 2009 RobbyT cards also borrow a prominent feature of these cards as well) It might very well be the fact that any time you went in any place in 1981 that sold anything, you could find packs of these. I swear I bought a pack at church that summer.

I can't wait either, the 1981 Topps Detroit Tigers:
27 Champ Summers
59 Dan Petry
79 Bruce Robbins
102 Dave Tobik
123 Al Cowens
150 Mark Fidrych
177 Rick Peters
196 Duffy Dyer
217 Richie Hebner
234 Lou Whitaker
251 Tom Brookens
273 Stan Papi
291 Aurelio Lopez
315 Kirk Gibson
337 Lynn Jones
358 Mark Wagner
373 Pat Underwood
392 Lance Parrish
417 Dan Schatzeder
448 Tim Corcoran
468 John Wockenfuss
572 Jack Morris
593 Steve Kemp
614 Dave Rozema
626 Tigers Future Stars Dave Steffen/Jerry Udjer/Roger Weaver
658 Milt Wilcox
666 Detroit Tigers Team Card
709 Alan Trammell

This was also the year of the debut of the Topps Traded set as we would come to know it in the 80's. In 1981, it was more of a novelty than anything, as it really didn't have much more than the first solo card of Fernando Valenzuela, but it would become a staple from Topps in years to come. For the only time they would number it as a continuation of the base set. I guess it had that going for it.

The 1981 Topps Traded Detroit Tigers:
760 Bill Fahey
779 Mick Kelleher
827 Kevin Saucier

Mick, I'd be mad if they got a picture of my coif looking like that too....


Jon said...

1981 Topps Stickers
2"x2 9/16" stickers in a set of 262..fronts feature a white bordered photo of the player with the sticker number in the lower left corner. The player's name could only be found on the back, along with his position.
73. Lance Parrish
74. Steve Kemp
75. Alan Trammell
76. Champ Summers
77. Rick Peters
78. Kirk Gibson
79. Johnny Wockenfuss
80. Jack Morris

Jon said...

1981 Topps Scratchoffs
Issued as three-card panels, the 108 individual cards measure 1-13/16"x3-1/4". Each card features a small headshot of the player on the left, with a the remainder of the card dedicated to scratch-off dots as part of a card-based baseball game.
11. Steve Kemp
14. Lance Parrish
24. Champ Summers
38. Alan Trammell