Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Everyone else is posting nifty obscure old Topps oddball packs and I'm feeling left out. Luckily there's a card store near me with a massive inventory of old packs, plus they never discount anything so there's a lot of stuff from the past 10-15 years there that other places blew out of their inventory years ago. There's one lone pack of T206 left that I'm seriously considering getting just so I can open it here. I decided to instead snag a pack of '85 Topps Photo Rub-Downs out of the dollar box since I'm not quite ready to invest 8 bucks in a pack full of likely doubles just for a post.
Rub-Downs are little decals of players and various baseball themed pictures that can be transferred to a piece of paper by rubbing on the sheet with a pencil or coin. Topps put out two sets of 32 sheets featuring 112 players in 1984 and 85. Each pack has 2 sheets of rub-downs, 1 checklist card and a stick of the bubbleblowingest gum around. The back of this pack has an awesome Bazooka advertisement. Bazooka has it all! I'm going to have to appropriate the clip art of the little kid with a paw full of gum the next time I redesign my blog's logo.
Eddie Murray, Tom Seaver, Terry Kennedy and Ozzie Smith
Willie Hernandez, Steve Sax and Leon Durham
Instructions/Check list card
1 broken stick of 22 year old gum that can probably be used as a fine grit sandpaper
Three Hall of Famers on one sheet. Very nice. Eddie Murray should have two decals, one swinging from the left side and one from the right. Ozzie's got a great pose on this card. That's a pretty strange follow through on a swing, I wonder if the Wizard of Oz is actually demonstrating for the ladies the size of his Magic Wand. The portraits allow Topps to stick more players on a card. If I were to put Tom Terrific on the cover of a notebook, I'd want him to be pitching, not just a lousy head shot. The portraits would be pretty good for making your own '38 Goudey cards though. Just draw a body and rub down their heads on top.
Only three players on the second card, but they are all action shots. Willie somehow won the Cy Young and MVP in 1984. Ok, he had a good year, but jeez. Steve Sax's pose shows him doing what he does best, look clueless in the field. Leon Durham's one of my favorites from the 80s. he was a feared slugger back in the day, but in today's game his production is that of a utility infielder and that makes me sad.
This card is necessary for the structural integrity of the pack as much as anything else. The instructions are fairly important though. I'm sure many rub downs were wasted by forgetting to peel off the backing on the sheet before rubbing. I was a pencil scribbler rather than a coin rubber when I was a kid, although I must admit even my 12 year old self would never have transferred the decal off of a baseball card.
It's kind of fascinating looking at the oh-so easy to read red on greenish yellow checklist for player selection. The A's and Indians get screwed with only 2 decals apiece. Some of the player selection is bizarre. George Wright? Bruce Benedict? Alan Wiggins? I'll never know how Topps deemed these guys indispensable over a Roger Clemens rookie decal.