Thursday, September 18, 2008

1983 Topps

I don't really know where to begin, so I'll just start yammering until I figure something out. 

This may be my favorite card set ever.

Ok, I'll start with that. This is hands down one of the best sets Topps ever produced. Hell, that anybody ever produced. The design pays homage to the '63 cards, yet improves upon it. Pretty much the entire set is made up of action shots. There's the nice little still shot in the bottom corner. The cards just radiate with color. 

There is also a great deal of sentimental value with these cards. This was the summer that my family moved to Michigan when I was a kid, and not long after became a Tiger fan for life. For the first time ever I lived somewhere that had a baseball team that I could go see and read about everyday. For this 14 year old kid, that was pretty much heaven. 

One of the all-time greats, the 1983 Detroit Tigers:
4 Record Breaker Lance Parrish
13 Larry Herndon
41 Jerry Turner
65 Jack Morris
95 Alan Trammell
119 Tom Brookens
147 Rick Leach
174 Jerry Udjur
196 Bill Fahey
225 Enos Cabell
261 Detroit Tigers Team Card
285 Lance Parrish
304 Dave Rucker
332 Glenn Wilson
373 Kevin Saucier
430 Kirk Gibson
457 Milt Wilcox
483 Lynn Jones
509 Lou Whitaker
536 Johnny Wockenfuss
562 Dave Rozema
588 Pat Underwood
613 Mike Ivie
636 Dan Petry
666 Sparky Anderson
691 Dave Tobik
727 Chet Lemon
753 Elias Sosa

My only disappointment with this set, and I understand why it's that way, is the omission of any Tigers from the cool Super Veteran subset. A neat subset featuring the greats of the game containing two pictures. The first was a sepia toned photo from very early in that players career and the second was a current photo depicting that player on his '83 team. 

As Milt Wilcox was pretty much the only veteran on the team, and nowhere near "Super", it's easy to see why no Tigers were included in the set. But it was one of the best subsets Topps would ever make, and it would never be used again. Too bad, because there are a slew of Tigers today that could make it a cool set. Hmmmm......

Topps added a new twist to the Traded set in 1983 by printing them on white cardboard stock in stead of the standard gray. (One day I'll get an answer as to why it took them nine more years to actually do this for the base set, especially when O-Pee-Chee was already doing it, but I won't hold my breath waiting for it.) The set inlcudes three key guys from the '84 team, so it's got that going for it too.

Another interesting thing of note is the inclusion of Aurelio Lopez in the set. Señor Smoke was acquired by the Tigers in a trade all right. December 4, 1978. It looks like Topps didn't include him in the base set because of his injury plagued '82, but when he came back strong in '83 they decided to add him to the "Traded" set. Hey, it's Topps. They don't need any excuses to do the stupid shit they do.....

1983 Topps Traded:
5T Doug Bair
38T Johnny Grubb
63T Aurelio Lopez

So why did I post a card of Johnny Grubb and not Lopez? Because Johnny makes the RobbyT all-time scrubs team, that's why. 


Jon said...

1983 Topps Stickers
Same drill...2"x2-9/16" stickers..thin border, number in lower left, name & position on back. 330 in complete set.
63. Lance Parrish
64. John Wockenfuss
65. Lou Whitaker
66. Alan Trammell
67. Kirk Gibson
68. Larry Herndon
69. Jack Morris
70. Dan Petry
193. Lance Parrish Record Breaker
194. Lance Parrish Record Breaker
318. Glenn Wilson "Stars of the Future"

Jon said...

1983 Topps Glossy All-Stars
This 40 card set could be obtained by sending in winning scratch-off cards found in packs of the 1983 Topps base set. 2-1/2"x3-1/2", the cards have a player photo with a yellow border and the player's name in small caps on the lower left.
27. Lance Parrish

robbyt said...

I've got a blog entry for the '83 Stickers. One of Topps best releases ever.

I've also got the Glossy Send In sets from '83 to '87. Bought them on ebay all together for like $12 a couple of years ago. Not a bad deal.