30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, June 6, 2020

(Not Really) Tempted to Scratch

I've been searching for a set of 1981 Topps Scratch-offs for years.  I remember seeing panels here and there over the years probably going back to the mid 80's.  Periodically... I'll see people write about them on their blogs, which reminds me just how cool and unique these cards are.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the product, they were an oddball issue intended to be played as a game.  Here's a quick peek at the instructions, which can be found on the back of some of the cards:

My attraction originally stemmed from the interest in acquiring the Rickey Henderson card from this set.  I quickly realized that he's featured on four different panels which you can see here:

I found it interesting that this 108 card set was distributed on 144 different panels.  So the hunt was on for a complete set with all of the different panels.  

Then a few weeks ago, I commented about my interest in purchasing a set over on Brian's blogHighly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary.

This led to Jim (GCRL) reaching out to me and offering to sell me a complete set of panels for whatever I felt was a reasonable price.  We agreed on $25 shipped.  The set arrived on Monday and I couldn't be happier with the purchase.  I was planning on doing a set spotlight post, but quickly realized that there was no way I was going to scan all 144 panels or even each of the 108 cards.

However I did manage to scan the four Rickey Henderson panels as well as each of the backs:

If you look carefully, you'll notice that he has two different variations in the set.  Three of the panels include the Super Sports Card Locker offer:

While one of the panels features the Baseball Hat offer:

I realize this might not be everyone's cup of tea.  But if you're a fan of oddball issues or collect a guy who played in the early 80's, then this might be right up your alley.

Thank you Jim for offering to sell me one of your extra sets.  I also appreciate the freebies you threw into the package:

That Laureano is awesome!  It's still my favorite card of 2020.  And this purple parallel helps me get one step closer to completing the rainbow.

And since I have no intention of ever scratching these cards, here's a different kind of scratching for you...

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. Excellent Laureano card. You know if he actually caught that thing? Also - any plans to scratch off each of your new cards? Maybe you'll win something cool, like a Members Only jacket.

  2. Wow, I have one of the Hendersons in the set, all by it's lonesome, not in the panel. I had thought about slowly accumulating them into a set, but now, knowing the scope of it, I probably never will get it done. I've only seen single cards, never panels, so its tough to imagine putting it together that way. Still, cool set!!

  3. Very cool! I've got a few of those scratch-offs from a trade with Nick last year sometime. Never once have I been tempted to scratch them off.

  4. Cool pick up! I’ve always thought it was an interesting set.

  5. I busted up the panels way back when. Never scratched them though. Pretty sure they are sitting on top on my armoir back home, lol.

  6. Cool pick ups. Never knew they existed and glad you were able to get them all. A true oddball set.

  7. I showed these on my blog about a year ago or so. Dime Box Nick sent me a bunch of them. NOT 144 OF THEM! You've always got to have the last word, huh?

  8. I would have ordered one of those hats so fast...

  9. Someone gave me one of these a few years back as a throw-in, always interested in the card. I think I picked up two or three more in a COMC order, but never posted them. I really want to finish up the Cardinals and former Durham Bulls players, not all in for the full 144 panels.

  10. jay - no desire to scratch... or own a member's only jacket. but one of my students was wearing one a few months ago before the lockdown. heck yeah, he caught it. you can see it on youtube:


    the diamond king - i learned a lot about this set by flipping through all 144 panels. it really is a cool set. i thought about buying a box on ebay for $40. i wonder if the collation allows people to build a complete set from one.

    adam - i see how collectors wouldn't want to scratch them here in 2020, but i wonder what percentage of kids back in 1981 had the willpower to not play this game

    the angels in order - yeah. it feels good to finally cross this set off of my list

    the lost collector - thanks. i don't remember seeing them back in 1981 when i started collecting, but i remember seeing them at card shows a few years later.

    johnnys trading spot - i'm tempted to pick up some single panels to bust them up for my binders

    sumomenkoman- thanks. i was surprised that nolan ryan wasn't included on the checklist

    night owl - lol. you're the ace... and i'm the closer ;D

    gregory - i actually want the sports card locker. i bought one at the flea market a while back but the plastic tray pretty much disintegrated as soon as I touched it.

    the snorting bull - there's actually a part of me that wants to go out and find a 108 card set of these too. plus i'd love some extra individuals for my binders. yeah... i'm a little crazy.

  11. I remember those very well from my days of hitting card shops every Saturday and collecting anything and everything Orioles. There were probably four or so Orioles in there w/different panels. I had to have them all, of course. I suspect mine were purged long ago.

  12. I got these in 1981 and I cannot remember if I even checked to see if I had all of the possible panels. Thanks for the research and the affordable project. I remember buying a wax box and then finding a few others over the years. I didn't scratch them at all.

  13. I've got a decent stack of tradeable panels.

  14. What a great pick-up. I have a few singles here and there, but a few of them have some minor scratching from improper storage and wear. I may have actually seen one or two that were actually scratched.

  15. commishbob - i remember seeing palmer and murray in the set. steve stone might be in there too.

    runforekelloggs - i'd be fun to crack a box of this stuff. i'm curious whether or not a box of 36 packs (with 6 panels per pack) would result in a complete set.

    gca - if you have any of the rickey panels (except the one with cooper and bell), i'd be interested in trading for them. i want an extra set for my rickey collection

    comatoad - i think most of the ones i've seen had some form of scratching... but it's not from a collector scratching it. it's more like the cards rubbing up against each other

  16. I love this set. I inherited a collection late last year that had almost all of the 144 cards. I need to create a want list and finish off that set, it is a cool one.

    1. arpsmith - you might want to contact gcrl or gca. both have some extra panels laying around for trade