That's why I'm such a huge fan of 1979 Topps Comics, which were issued as wax wrappers for individual pieces of 5¢ bubble gum.
Topps issued a total of thirty-three different players with a mixture of minor stars, stars, and super stars representing at least one player from each of the twenty-six MLB teams.
Some of the larger market teams like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants had two players on the checklist.
Thirty-six years after its release... over a third of the set has players with plaques hanging in Cooperstown. But the best part of this set isn't the checklist... it's the comics themselves.
Each one features the player's name, position, and has an interesting career highlight. Topps also included random baseball facts or rules in the bottom righthand corners of the comics.
The piece de resistance are the colorful and beautifully drawn comics that are reminiscent of the Bazooka Joe comics I read when I was a kid. Yup... they even feature MLB logos! Take that Panini and Leaf.
Now they're far from perfect. These oddballs are definitely oddball sized. They're approximately 3" x 3.25", so storage issues may arise. Plus they're pretty flimsy, which means they're often torn. And remember... they were once gum wrappers, so unless you find unused sheets... they're bound to have creases.
But I'm willing to overlook these flaws due to their budget collector price point. Complete sets sell for around $10 on eBay... but if you're patient you can find them in the $5 to $8 range. That's less than a quarter each.
I picked up a lot of three sets on eBay for $19.99 (+ $2.99 shipping), which means that I'll be giving a set away in a future contest... probably held sometime this summer.
In the meantime...
What are your thoughts on these? Thumbs up? Down?
Happy Monday and sayonara!