Wednesday, August 31, 2011

At a sticking point

Recently, I embarked on an orgy of sticker-sticking within the friendly confines of the only sticker book that matters, the 1982 Topps sticker album.

The book was provided for me by Jake Plumstead from The Pursuit of 80sness/Red Sox, and it immediately unleashed the memories of collecting stickers in '82 on the sly, because, you know, stickers were pretty much for babies.

But I've long since stopped caring about other people's perceptions in a variety of areas, so I immediately started sticking stickers with abandon, even within the sight of other people in the house.

I knew I didn't have enough stickers to fill the thing, but I didn't care. There were enough of them that I knew I'd have stickers stuck with every turn of the page. That was pretty good. It turns out I had enough stickers to fill two of the pages completely.

Three years removed from "We Are Family," every one of the '82 Pirates stickers are stuck. I apologize for the cut-off scan. My scanner is unable to contain the awesomeness of my sticker book.

All the batting leaders are stuck. The A.L. four-player home run sticker is lame, but the 1981 strike was lame, too, so I suppose that's fair.

But those are the only pages fully stuck. Most pages have a majority of stickers, but three or four empty spots. They look like this:

I don't know if that's enough incentive to order up the remaining stickers that I need. I think I require about a 100 or so additional stickers. Cards top stickers any minute of the hour for me, so I don't know if I'll ever get to this.

But I definitely will never fill the entire album if I don't take care of another problem first. The problem involves these two pages:

It's the two pages meant to feature the All-Star stickers. You more observant types will notice that there are no stickers on these pages.

The crazy thing is I have a bunch of the stickers.

There they are. Aren't they glorious? I'm missing only five of them. Schmidt, Concepcion, Carew, Singleton and Gossage.

But I just can't stick them. Part of me won't let me.

I'm stuck.

This dates back to the time when these stickers hit stores. The 1981 and 1982 Topps stickers were my introduction to gold and silver foil. As commonplace as foil is in collecting now, as many people who wish that it would go away, it was almost mind-bendingly unique in the early '80s. The first shiny!

The closest we had to anything mind-altering when it came to cards was maybe the Kellogg's 3-D cards. These foil All-Stars were something to be preserved and treasured as their own distinct entities. I did NOT stick the few foil stickers that I pulled out of those sticker packs in '81 and '82.

So this is where I'm at now. Do I sticker the All-Star stickers because stickers are meant to be stuck? Or do I keep them forever unstuck because my teenage self at the time had not yet discovered alcohol and foil stickers became his means to escape?

I need your help.

While you decide on what I should do, here are some actual cards that Jake P. sent to me:

A diamond parallel of a guy who's suddenly figured out how to hit.

Another diamond parallel that leaves me one diamond card away from finishing the Series 1 Dodger team set. Casey Blake where are you?

A Toppstown card of Cy. It took too long to land this card.

One of those polished metal cards of the Dodgers' all-time home run king.

The Real-Backed Card Your Mom Threw Out Card Of The Interleague Preview Card from last year's Topps. I think I still need the actual, non-CYMTOC of this. It's all very confusing. Because Topps insists on issuing reproductions of cards from a decade ago.

Another card that took awhile to land. Pay no attention to Ryan Braun. Here's your MVP.


Made your decision yet?

Stick or unstick?

I think I'll know what you'll say.

And I'm OK with that if that's what you think.

There's beer in the fridge.


  1. Quite the dilemma...what are the chances of obtaining duplicates so that one group can be stuck and another can be left unstuck for admiration without the album?


    You can buy a case of those things for about Tree-Fiddy online.

  3. Stick 'em! What else are you going to do with them? Keep 'em in top loaders or sheets? Nah...

  4. Yeah, I gotta go with the stick-em bunch. That's what they were designed for. Don't let the investor-mentality change you. If you want to invest in shiny buy gold.

  5. Those stickers look much better in the album. I say stick them in.