Sunday, March 6, 2011

From out of left field

I'm watching the Dodgers play the Cubs this afternoon. The most excited I got was when I spotted Tony Gwynn Jr. in left field.

He's wearing No. 10! Just as I speculated.

I like it. A nice tribute to his uncle and Tony Gwynn's brother.

But anyway, I've been thinking about what I am going to do when my other blog, 1975 Topps (it's far out, man), comes to an end. Will there be a "next" after the '75 blog?

The thought of focusing on solely one blog is tempting, so maybe there isn't a "next."

But the thought of chronicling another set is just as tempting and there are several directions in which I can go.

I could dedicate a blog to the 1971 Topps set. That would be cool for about a 100 kabillion reasons, most of which revolve around the way I could design the blog. But also it would mean I would have accumulated all the cards in the set, which is really one of the primary goals in my life.

Or I could dedicate a blog to another set that I have already completed. The 1983 Topps set is a possibility, just because everyone loves it so much, including myself. I could start a blog on 1989 Topps, but even though it has sentimental meaning for me, I think everyone would fall asleep -- including myself -- by around card No. 142.

But there is one set possibility that intrigues me more than any other (except 1971).

It's the 1985 Topps set.

Shocked? That's really from out of left field, eh?

The '85 set has been overlooked by everyone, including myself.

Just about the only time anyone mentions the '85 set is when they're talking about the Mark McGwire card or the Puckett rookie, or the other rookies/semi-rookies like Hershiser, Gooden and Eric Davis. The set has been marginalized, like so many sets from that era, and reduced to "what hot rookies are in that set?"

A set is worth so much more than the handful of rookies that reside in it.

So, part of me wants to dedicate a blog to the set so we can see exactly who is in there besides mojo rookies.

But also, it would help me learn about a set that I know little about, even though I own the whole thing. I purchased the '85 set all at once at the start of the baseball season in '85. I was in college at the time, at the very end of my first collecting period, and didn't want to spend every week buying cards, so I bought the whole set, and barely looked at it.

Blogging about every card would bring each of those cards to life, like the sets from earlier in my collecting life. I'd get to discuss the Gary Pettis card, that shows a picture of Pettis' younger brother. But I'd also get to discuss nobodies like Mark Huismann and John Butcher and Tom Nieto.

Also, there's another reason I'd like to focus on the '85 set. I met my wife in 1985. It happens to be her birthday today.

I guess I'm sounding like I'm going to set up a blog about 1985 Topps. But, really, I haven't decided a thing.

Once the '75 Topps set has ended, anything could happen. I might be a one-blog guy, I might be a four-blog guy. Who knows?

But if anyone has any ideas, I'll consider them.


  1. I just bought 140 cards from this set at the flea market yesterday - down to about 40 needs left for that set. The thing that struck me the most was that there were a lot of really interesting back blurbs on the cards. I'm actually going to be highlighting a bunch of them on my blog over the next week or so. I would definitely check in to a 1985 Topps blog each day.

  2. 1985 Topps is my all-time favorite set! that would be a cool blog to follow if you choose to make it.

    The Gooden Rookie is hands down my favorite card of all time, and always will be. i was 13 when the set was released and as im going to turn 40 this year, i can STILL remember ripping those '85 packs in the school yard before homeroom back in the 7th grade.

  3. I'm very intrigued by the '71 set, as it's mostly a mystery to me and the cards I've seen from it are pretty cool.

    I love the '83 set, as it was my 2nd 1st set of cards. I plan on trying to blog if/when I ever get through my '82 set (which I'm currently taking a short 2 month break from 'cause I have to catch up on a ton of other stuff).

    Now the '85 set was the last complete set I collected, so that would be totally awesome if you blogged that one. Plus, like you say... people overlook it. Maybe you'll be able to revive interest in it.

  4. Either 85 or 71 sound good. I'm sure each of them has their own cool nobodies to write about.

    And speaking of Mark Huismann:

  5. I'm down with 71 or 85, too. But is there room in the blogosphere for a 91 or 93 blog? I've always liked the photography in those two sets. Don't look at me... I can barely come up with post ideas for one blog, let alone two.

  6. 1985 would be interesting because it has a bunch of interesting subsets.

    I'd prefer 1971 because it would be more entertaining because of the black borders, '70's fashion, horrendous airbrushing and initial use of action shots.

  7. I like 1985. You have the Olympic cards (as well as the guys who missed that subset, Will Clark and Barry Larkin the most notable names there), the Father/Son subset, some nifty All-Stars. You could also highlight the guys who were named to the Topps All-Star Rookie team, even though there were no trophies on the cards in '85.

    I just got Eric Davis' Topps rookie autographed a few months ago. It was his most popular card in Cincinnati for years.

    My vote (and I expect a poll any day now) is for 1985.

  8. I'll vote for 1971. I'd still read a blog on 1985, though. I didn't collect in 1985 so it would be educational. (1971 was a little too early for me at age 5, but I finally completed the set last year. Baylor/Baker rookie was the final hold out.)

  9. I would definitely read the '85 blog. The '71 is one of those that I would probably check out, but I don't remember the players as they were before my time. I have thought about doing a tribute blog to my favorite set 1986 Topps, because it is often forgotten between the rookie heavy 85 and 87 sets.

    And don't sleep on the 1989 set, the great retired blog about 88 Topps was one of my favorite reads a while back.

  10. Hell, do 'em all.

    The guy writing FOUR regular blogs.

    Seriously, 1985 was a great set, I've always thought so. I was 12 when the '85 set was released and ripped open an awful lot of wax that year. Even today, when I think of an ideal "modern" card set, I think of 1985 Topps. It was the first time in my own lifetime Topps included a logo on the card, there were blurbs on the back that told more than just a few highlights from the season before, and I came within about 6 cards of completing it by ripping wax and trading with friends.

  11. Happy B/D to Mrs. Owl. I think you SHOULD do one, which one, I can't say. The '71s and '85s both deserve a blog and either way, we'll all learn more than we thought possible about those sets.

  12. If you write it, I'll read it.

  13. I thought I recalled that your wife and cookie rojas shared a bday when I was putting my post together. That should skew your choice to the 71 set. Still, 85 would be interesting too. I remember being perplexed when looking at a checklist in one of the first packs I opened and seeing card 400 was some guy named oddibe mcdowell.

  14. I'd vote 1971.
    I'd follow any.

  15. The 1985 set is one of my favorites of all time. I would love to see that blog.