30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Talkin' Tall Boys

The advantages of being tall easily exceeds the advantages of being short.  Trust me.  I've lived my entire life representing the bottom 25%.

But when it comes to sports cards, I feel like tall cards often get the short end of the stick.  Storage issues are one of the biggest card collecting pet peeves out there and cards taller than the standard 3.5" almost automatically lose popularity points no matter how cool they are.

Well today I'm sticking up for one of my favorite 80's oddball issues which happens to be exceptionally tall in stature and a huge pain in the butt to store.

Back in 1989, Topps and LJN Toys, Ltd. teamed up and gave baseball fans the opportunity to collect baseball cards with tiny records built into their backs.  These records could be played in a specially designed card player that came with four cards, while the remaining 160 cards in the set were sold in 4 card packs.

If you're interested in learning more about the set details and the special card player you can click here.

Right now... I wanted to focus on the card's physical appearance and breakdown my fascination with these oddballs.

It all begins with the card's design.  This set utilized the 1989 Topps baseball card design, which was ironically one of my least favorite Topps designs for years.  I would always see stacks of these cards sitting in flea market boxes and it reminded me of how card companies printed way too many cards during that time period.

However... after two-plus decades, I've actually grown to love the white bordered design that reminds me of something straight out of the 60's.  I think it's the team name written in cursive and the long flowing ribbon that houses the player's name.

The cards which are almost two inches taller than the standard base card allowed Topps to include full body images without zooming too far out.

When you combine these two things, you have a classic oddball issue... which is why I'm using this set for my Day 26 submission to Tony's 30 Day Baseball Card Challenge.  I'm not gonna lie... it was hard to pick this set over the early 80's Kellogg's and mid 80's 7-11 coins.  I love both of these oddball runs as well.  I just felt that this particular issue doesn't receive enough hobby recognition.

Okay... it's your turn.

What do you think of the 1989 Topps/LJN Baseball Talk oddballs?

Do they rise above the competition or fall short of your expectations?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Probably more to do with the era than the cards but they don't do much for me.

  2. I didn't even know they existed, I'll have to track down any Braves.

  3. You know I love the VC. I actually really like the fronts of this set but the backs-stink

  4. At least they fit in 6 pocket sheets!

  5. Kind of a fun product; I have a Dale Murphy in my collection. I wasn't collecting at the time these were released and was pleasantly surprised upon discovering them.

  6. I actually submitted a best offer for a Clemente Legends and Bonds yesterday. That's funny timing.

  7. I have both the player and a bunch of the cards that I purchased back in the day. It was pretty awesome to me back then. After a while, the novelty did wear off.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. A Junk-wax gem uncovered from amongst the plethora of over produced poppycock from '84-93, post "Tiffany" and pre Finest refractors. This design works well in a tall boy format as you mentioned. The Facsimile signature doesn't take away from what are mostly exspansive action shots as they might given lesser card space afforded on standard cardboard iconography. I hope Archives revisits this set as an Autographed box topper in future release with playable recordings. Awesome post as always Fuji. Have some A's & such to trade with you,seeing as how you're sticking to a budget thought you might be interested?

  10. hackenbush - beauty of our hobby. one man's trash is another man's treasure.

    john miller - i know there's a hank aaron for sure

    brady - yeah... the backs are weird, bc they had to fit the record on them.

    gca - i have my set sitting in 4-pocket pages. but they move around a little

    cardboard jones - yeah. if you can get past the storage issue, they're cool (especially for team and player collectors)

    collecting cutch - great minds think alike ;)

    offy - i have the player too. haven't turned it on since the day i bought it (years ago). i do listen to the cards on youtube from time to time while reading blog posts.

    xavier higgins - oh man... i'd love to see archives do something with this set. although, i don't know if it was ever popular enough for them to try it out. but i'll keep my fingers crossed. as for trading... i'm pretty bad at it. i already owe about 10 bloggers care packages. the biggest problem is i've traded or given away most of my trade bait. and what i do have left isn't actually documented. one of these days i'll get around to updating my trade lists. maybe then, i'll open myself up to trading again. thanks for the offer though. truly appreciate you reaching out.