Friday, August 29, 2008

1988 Topps American Baseball

Long ago in 1987 there was an attempt (albeit a very short one) to introduce the world of card collecting to the English masses. In 1987 and 1988 Topps Ireland produced two sets of American Sports Picture cards. In 1987 it was American Football and in 1988 it was American Baseball.

There was 88 cards to collect in the whole set. Cards came 5 per pack and enclosed in a sealed see through cellophane plastic wrapper.
There is a seller on eBay UK selling an empty display box of these for £4.99.(not inc postage/packaging) It clearly says on the front that the packs cost 15p each in 1988, however you can also see a 'special price' sticker where they were trying to offload them for a princely 3p each.
I think I know why they weren't popular!
Look at this bubble gum.
That is not the pink, lovely looking, flavoursome, delicious gum they serve in the US of A. No! This is a greyish, beige looking stuff you might mistake for another card.
We want the American Gum! Just like in the War.

The cards are small too. Here is the comparison with the Topps US edition in 1988.
The one on the left is obviously the more inferior UK card. About the same size as the album stickers being produced at the same time.

The cards in the pack were:

16 Vince Coleman Cardinals
70 Larry Sheets Orioles
79 Alan Trammell Tigers
88 Checklist
51 Lloyd Moseby Blue JaysI think the most enjoyable part of these cards is the back and the section called 'TALKIN' BASEBALL. A short definition, a dummies guide to baseball for those unknowing Brits.

On the back of Vince it's Stolen Base,
Alan is Dead Ball,
Larry is a Save -

"In order to earn SAVE, a pitcher must finish game won by team, not earn Win and (optional) enter game leading by 3 or less runs and pitch one inning. (See#69and #71 for other save conditions)"

I need to see those other cards!

But my favourite is on the back of the Lloyd Moseby card - Throw.

"A Throw is the act of propelling the ball with hand and arm to a given objective. A throw is to be distinguished from and not to be confused with a pitch.(See #52 for PITCH definition)"

Hope you enjoyed.


Offy said...

I remember buy this in factory set form at KB Toys when I was a kid. I'm pretty sure that I've still got most of the cards around in my collection somewhere.

capewood said...

These cards have been showing up in Fairfield repacks for many months. I've almost got the entire set that way. I'd not seen an actual pack of them.

The definition of throw is just about my favorite. The definitions are all very stilted, like they were written by a lawyer (or maybe a barrister) for a legal brief.

madding said...

I was a fan of this set (there was actually an '89 baseball set, too). I thought they looked a lot nicer than the US Topps mini "league leaders" sets that they put out.

dayf said...

I remember buying a few of these back at the hobby shop when I was a kid. I haven't seen a pack of this stuff since then I don't think. I wanted to go to London after that so I could buy some real English baseball cards and a bag of Jelly Babies. I watched a lot of Dr. Who back then.

jackplumstead said...

A 1989 set too. The 1988 were like Hens Teeth here. Was it the same size as the '88 ? cards and set size?