30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, May 17, 2013

Flashback Friday #11: 1988 Topps Oddballs

Can you believe that it's been 25 years since 1988 Topps baseball was released?  It makes me feel old just thinking about it.

I was still in my "bulk busting" phase, where I was spending every last dime busting wax boxes of this stuff.  Unfortunately, it's one of the worst products of the decade and one of my darker memories from the collecting period.  If I never bust another pack of 88 Topps, I can assure you I won't be disappointed.

In fact, I don't even want to talk about the stuff.  But if you're a fan of this product, The Night Owl wrote an awesome post about them earlier this week.  He even called it "one of the best-designed sets ever", which is a bit of a stretch in my humble opinion.

But that's what I love about our hobby.  There's thousands of cardboard options for us to choose from and some things float your boat, while others don't.

So instead of focusing on the Topps base set, I figure I'd write about three other Topps related items from 1988.

First up... my 1988 Topps Super Shot Portfolio of Tony Gwynn:

If you're into oversized cards, then these are for you.  They're huge compared to your standard 2.5" x 3.5" trading card, but are very affordable.  I picked this one up a while back at the flea market for a buck.

On the opposite end of the size spectrum are the 1988 Topps Gallery of Champions.  Here's my Benito Santiago from the set:

As you can see, they're made of metal (mine is the aluminum version).  However, they're smaller than the standard cards, measuring only 1.25" x 1.75".

And last, but not least... here's my October 1988 issue #282 of Mad Magazine:

This was easily my favorite magazine to read as a kid.  I loved everything from the movie parodies to Spy vs. Spy to the "fold-in" back covers.

This issue featured
Alfred E. Neuman on a 1988 Topps parody card.  The back cover added eight more cards of all-star flops like George Bush and Cher.  This seems fitting, since I personally think that the 1988 Topps baseball card design was one of the decade's biggest flops.

What about you...

How do you rank the 88 Topps design compared to other Topps designs of the 80's?

One of the best?  One of the worst?  Close to the middle?

Happy Friday and sayonara!

Extra Innings

Okay.  If Greg & John are willing to take a few minutes out of their busy schedules and rank the 80's... I guess it's only fair that I do the same.  So here's how I break down the Topps baseball card designs for the 80's:

#1 - 1983
#2 - 1982
#3 - 1984
#4 - 1980
#5 - 1985
#6 - 1981
#7 - 1986
#8 - 1987
#9 - 1989
#10 - 1988
Least Favorite

I'm pretty sure I've ranked them before... and I'd be willing to bet my lists have fluctuated.  Things can happen over a few years.  Heck... who knows... next week my rankings might shift a little... with the exception of the top spot.  1983 will always be my favorite design of the decade.


  1. I ranked them before on my blog once. This is what I wrote:

    1. 1983
    2. (huge gap between '83 and the rest of the decade)
    3. 1988
    4. 1985
    5. 1984
    6. 1980
    7. 1981
    8. 1986
    9. 1987
    10. 1989
    11. 1982

    I might adjust that slightly now, but the top two remain the top two.

    (1988 Topps has a few fans on Twitter by the way).

  2. 1. 1983
    2. 1988
    3. 1987
    4. 1985
    5. 1984
    6. 1986
    7. 1989
    8. 1981
    9. 1980

    In 1987, I would have told you the 87 wood grain set was the greatest of all time. But over the years 1983 and 1988 set passed it by.

  3. Well... I guess it's cool that we all agree on the #1 design. But we're on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes down to the 82T and 88T designs. But like I said in the original post... that's what makes our hobby great.

  4. 1. 1984
    2. 1983
    3. 1981
    4. 1987
    5. 1980
    6. 1985
    7. 1989
    8. 1988
    9. 1982
    10. 1986

    1988 is the only set I didn't complete between 1986 and 1989. boring

  5. I laughed when I saw that issue of Mad... I know I had that issue, and may still have it somewhere. You combine baseball card parodies with a Star Trek parody and baby, I AM THERE!

    My rankings as of this particular moment: 1983, 1988, 1985, 1980, 1986, 1984, 1982, 1987, 1989, 1981... and I'm still waffling on some of them (190 vs. 1986, 1984 vs. 1982)

  6. 1. 83
    2. 85
    3. 82
    4. 87
    5. 88
    6. 89
    7. 84
    8. 86
    9. 81
    10. 80