Certain junk wax is like wine... it gets better with age.
Twenty-seven years ago, I couldn't stand the 1986 Topps baseball card design. Why the disdain? I think it had to do with the lack of the team logos and the overall abundance of Topps compared to Donruss and Fleer.
Donruss was always my favorite. Fleer next. And finishing dead last was Topps.
Then a few years ago, things began to change. I started to appreciate the base card's design. What once was considered boring, was now considered intriguing. I like how the team's name and colors stand out across the solid black bar on top of the card. The player's name is easy to see as the black lettering contrasts against the thin white border at the bottom. Topps also did a fine job with the player's position by inserting it into a perfect sized color coordinated circle in the bottom left hand corner of the card.
The more I see these cards, the more I like them. And for a while now, I've had this yearning to bust a box in search of a 50¢ Vince Coleman rookie. Remember when he was worth something?
I guess I should be grateful that this stuff is practically worthless, because a few weeks ago, I purchased a wax box for $10 at the Serramonte Mall Card and Collectibles Show. There will be those who say I overpaid. Heck, the most valuable card is the 2nd year Roger Clemens card that books for $4, but can purchased for 60¢ on COMC.
But who cares? I look at it differently. Ten dollars gave me 45 minutes of entertainment and helped fill my vintage card binder. Although 1986 isn't exactly vintage, it happens to be the cutoff year for me, because 1987 was the first year I started buying cards in bulk. Before that, it was just a few packs here and there. But that's a discussion for another day.
Okay, I've dragged on long enough. Let's check out the goodies I pulled. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
All five of these cards have two things in common. First, Topps used well cropped action shots that show off the athlete's strengths (okay... so maybe Ozzie should be snagging a line drive or performing his famous back flip, but you have to admit that's a sweet shot of him). Plus, I love how the team name and color on top complement the player's uniform (and the fans in the stands) in the photo. They look like they should be hanging up in a museum somewhere.
But if I had to choose one card that's in a league of his own, it would be card #250:
I really want to just stop and stare at this card. But unfortunately, I have other cards to show you guys.
I also pulled both base cards of the All-Time Hit King:
And three of the better rookies in this set:
Cha-ching! Winnah... winnah... chicken dinnah. These three cards remind me of the flag. Good old... Red, White, and Blue.
And how about dem managers from that era?
Sort of makes me appreciate my childhood during the 80's just a little bit more. And speaking of the 80's... remember when card companies utilized the bottom of boxes? Here's what was sitting at the bottom of my box:
I guess the only downside to this box was the fact that I didn't find the Dwight Gooden box bottom or pull any base cards of my favorite players: Tony Gwynn, Kirby Puckett (the card above is from my binder), Steve Carlton, or Rickey Henderson (although do I really need another card of him pictured in pinstripes?).
So what do you think...
Are you a fan of any of the 1986 baseball card designs? Which is your favorite? Least favorite?
I still like the Donruss set design the most. But I'm starting to favor Topps over Fleer. Who knows, maybe in twenty-seven more years Sportflics will be my favorite.
Happy Friday and sayonara!