Monday, September 17, 2007

1987 Topps Rack Pack

So, I have to believe that Chapel Hill, NC may be the largest American town lacking a card shop. For weeks, I’ve been trying to find a local shop to begin pack blogging, and have had a hell of a time doing so. Lucky for me, there was a card show in Raleigh this weekend; however, an argument with my girlfriend, an extended brunch and getting lost while looking for the State Fairgrounds, left me combing the dredges of the more than half empty room of picked-over tables. Refusing to leave empty handed, I found a couple older rack packs before everything was packed away.

I'll start with the quintessential '87 Topps rack pack: To kick things off, I got a Cal Ripken All-Star in the first of the 3 sections. With the exception of Tony Gwynn, the first third of the pack was pretty boring: The Ripken, Danny Gladden, Mike Boddicker, Mike Easler, Mitch Webster, Bob Walk, Mickey Hatcher, Keith Hernandez, Jeffrey Leonard, Jeff Reardon, Pat Sheridan, Gwynn, Steve Crawford, Vince Coleman, Damaso Garcia, Kal Daniels, Carmelo Martinez, Terry Forster. I never was a huge Gwynn or Ripken fan, so please excuse my lack of enthusiasm.

Did any of you guys know that Harold Reynolds led the Mariners in stolen bases for the 1986 season? I didn’t either until I pulled the Mariners Leaders card from the top of the 2nd segment of the rack pack. I really feel a meeting on the mound is a poor photo choice for a team leader card—couldn’t they have used a photo from one of Danny Tartabull’s team-leading six triples!? Another pretty boring section here: Benny Distefano, Jeff Hearron, Kevin Romine, Moose Haas, Jamie Quirk, Gene Walter, Argenis Salazar, Bruce Bochy, Bob "Troy" McClure, Doug Drabek, Ken Griffey, Doug Sisk, Randy O’Neal, Bruce Sutter, Bob Shirley, Ron Hassey.

Shit gets kinda hyphy in the third section (thank God): Big Bad Rudy Law, Dennis Lamp, Kent Tekulve, Bud Black, Mickey Brantley, Jose Guzman, Harold Baines, Shane Rawley, Jamie Moyer and Ed Olwine are just filler between Ryne Sandberg , Dave Winfield, Cory Snyder – All-Star Rookie!, Roberto Clemente: Turn Back the Clock, Royals & Pirates Leaders.

A couple things come to mind here: why did Topps change it’s Rookie logo? Especially on the 2007 cards where they’re trying to recreate a retro feel? Did they really have to go two-tone gold? I’ll take a weird yellow trophy of a bowl any day; ain’t that right, Cory Snyder? The Turn Back the Clock card is pretty cool, but it pretty much just makes me wish I was opening a pack of ’72 Topps instead of this budget ’87 set. Oh well.


Chris Harris said...

No, the largest town in America without a cardshop would be Fayetteville, NC.

Your best bet in the Triangle is Turn Two Collectibles on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh (just off the Beltline).

If you're willing to drive a little, there's the Circle J on 258 in Kinston and J&J's on 301 in Wilson.

I highly recommend the Circle J, if only for the atmosphere. It's a gas station/convenience store that happens to have a pretty decent card shop. Where else can fill up your tank, buy a six-pack of Natty Light, and fill out your '87 Topps wantlist, all under the same roof?

Russ said...

The rookie logo changed because MLB and MLBPA created a mandate for it to in 2006. From the press release:

" In addition, MLBP and the MLBPA have introduced a new industry-wide standard for the designation of "rookie cards" in the baseball card category. The centerpiece of these guidelines is a new "Rookie Card" logo which incorporates the MLB silhouetted batter logo. Under these new guidelines, licensees Topps and Upper Deck are allowed to produce Rookie Cards only after a player has been officially placed on a Club's active 25-man roster. These new rules are designed to remove any uncertainty as to what constitutes a player's Rookie Card, while the new distinctive logo will help fans and collectors easily identify an official "Rookie Card""

Thus, you can find cards of players that are not on the 25 man roster at some point with "future star" or "prospect" cards, but without the rookie logo. And the Topps bowl wasn't for rookie cards anyway. The players got the bowl the year after they were a rookie if they qualified as a "Rookie All-Star" as listed on the bowl. Whether you had to make the acutal MLB All-Star team to get this designation or if Topps just looked at some stats and said "his season was better than 70% of the other rookies last year....give him a golden bowl!", I'm not exactly sure.