Saturday, November 17, 2007

1990 Topps Baseball

This set holds special significance to me. First of all, it was the first set I ever completed by hand. It was also the first wax box of cards I ever bought (or could afford, at the cost of $18.00). But here's why it's really special: In the summer of 1990 my family made the first of two Catholic mission trips to the impoverished island nation of St. Lucia, where we set up a vacation Bible school. By no means was this a vacation. We slept with a group of like 12 volunteers in a parish rectory meant for five people at most, and we often relied on the kindness of the local residents for our meals.

While I did bring library books and a cassette Walkman, there was one standout item that allowed me to take a little piece of home with me: My box of 1990 Topps. Or, more accurately, half a box of 1990 Topps. That's right, I allowed myself to bring 18 packs with me to the Caribbean. I forced myself to show restraint and exercise rationing on this trip, which was made especially difficult since it was the first box I ever bought.

The stroy ends well, as I was able to fill in all of the holes in my set before the year was out. Still, opening this pack takes me back to the land of the twin pitons.

Let's tear in, mon.

Top to Bottom:
438 Greg Myers
153 Randy Milligan

488 Ken Oberkfell
706 Geno Petralli
696 B.J. Surhoff

770 Cory Snyder (Unheralded; actually lived up to his 1987 Topps gold rookie cup.)
211 John Cerutti
226 Mickey Hatcher
580 Joe Carter
307 Bip Roberts
241 Mike Krukow
141 John Hart, Mgr.
50 Glenn Davis (With awesome star numbering?!)
1 Nolan Ryan (Excellent.)
89 Clint Zavaras

676 Randy Kutcher

Grade: B
Nolan Ryan is a great #1 card in Topps' first departure from the Record Breaker in several years. The Surhoff is all sorts of outstanding. B.J. is actually the only baseball player to be depicted in my high school yearbook. He appears below on a collage page of the 1997 edition of the King's Crown, alongside pink-hued biology teacher D. Glasenapp. Sure, it was as a visitor in an Orioles uniform, but still sweet enpough to make the cut.

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