Monday, October 29, 2012

An anniversary ... with cards, of course

Twenty-five years ago this very night, I started going out with a college girl. We were in St. Louis, on a four-day college journalism seminar. We traveled halfway across the country to get there with 10 fellow compatriots. Many fun activities were achieved. Needless to say, it was the time of our life.

That college girl would become my wife, and here we are, 25 years later.

All of this is irrelevant for a card blog, but I thought I'd do something to recognize that anniversary in a card sort of way.

Namely ...

A rack pack of 1987 Topps!!!

Yeah, I know. Who cares? 1987 Topps will be available when we're flying around in spaceships like the Jetsons.

But I care.

First, these are the cards that were out when we took that junket to St. Louis. The Twins had just beaten the Cardinals in the World Series (I took a tour of the old Busch Stadium that weekend. It looked even more desolete in the wake of a Series loss).

Second, this is how I bought cards in 1987. I didn't buy many, but when I did, they were rack packs of '87 Topps from a couple of different drug stores near my grandmother's house.

Third, I still actually need cards from the 1987 set. A lot of them. I have no plans to complete this set. It's one of the few from the '80s that doesn't hold my interest from a purely card standpoint. But I think it would be interesting if I could complete the set without actually attempting to complete the set.

That means not intentionally buying '87 Topps or trading for '87 Topps. And outside of the cards I bought in 1987, I have been able to do that for 25 years (by the way, this rack pack came out of that $4.99 box I bought from Five Below. I had no idea an '87 rack pack would be in it).

So, let's see what's in this rack pack and how many cards it produces that I need.

Oh, and here's the back of the rack pack:

Pretty cool, eh? Already we know that I've got a Mike Greenwell, George Brett and Gary Carter glossy.

OK, here we go.

This is for you, dear:

Compartment 1

#9 - Gary Carter, All-Star glossy

Not bad, considering this was a year after the 1986 World Series.

#396 - Tim Lollar, Red Sox

#527 - Jim Wohlford, Expos

#173 - Alex Trevino, Dodgers

#630 - John Candelaria, Angels

#565 - Dusty Baker, A's

#30 - Tim Raines, Expos

#89 - Ozzie Guillen, White Sox

#587 - Eric Plunk, A's
#342 - Bob James, White Sox

#360 - Pedro Guerrero, Dodgers

#308 - Don Slaught, Rangers
#470 - Dave Dravecky, Padres
#237 - Jim Morrison, Pirates

#625 - Mookie Wilson, Mets

#230 - Don Baylor, Red Sox
#189 - Joe Hesketh, Expos
#148 - Dave Collins, Tigers

#400 - George Brett, Royals

Total cards: 19
Cards I needed: 10

Already, this rack pack is kicking butt.

Compartment 2

#259 - Mike Greenwell, Red Sox

#69 - Lonnie Smith, Royals

#174 - Henry Cotto, Yankees
#171 - Chuck Cary, Tigers
#339 - Donnie Hill, A's
#695 - Chico Walker, Cubs
#244 - Dickie Noles, Indians
#421 - Jose DeLeon, White Sox

#593 - Chuck Tanner, Braves

#406 - Yankees Team Leaders
#700 - Dave Bergman, Tigers
#357 - Steve Fireovid, Mariners
#88 - Ed Wojna, Padres
#343 - Hal Lanier, Astros manager

#581 - Cubs Leaders

#299 - Joel Davis, White Sox

#275 - LaMarr Hoyt, Padres

Total cards: 17
Cards needed: 9

Not the most exciting group, but, hey, cards I needed.

Compartment 3

#2 - Jim Deshaies, Astros, Record Breaker

#599 - Tony Gwynn, Padres, All-Star

#499 - Bruce Ruffin, Phillies

#454 - Luis Salazar, White Sox
#752 - Dan Petry, Tigers
#374 - Glenn Hoffman, Red Sox

#615 - Teddy Higuera, Brewers, All-Star

#429 - Tim Pyznarski, Padres

#54 - Bill Dawley, White Sox
#306 - Red Sox Leaders

#184 - Bobby Bonilla, Pirates

#597 - Mike Schmidt, Phillies, All-Star

#648 - Barry Larkin, Reds

#407 - Jim Acker, Braves
#448 - Chris Bosio, Brewers
#561 - Rey Quinones, Mariners

#693 - Terry Puhl, Astros

All right, now that group totally kicked ass. Three All-Star cards, a rookie cup, a Barry Larkin rookie card and an early Bobby Bo.

Is it my imagination or are today's cards less fun to open?

Total cards: 17
Cards needed: 10

Total cards needed out of the rack pack: 29

Now, some of you math majors may have noticed that the package declared that there were "48 Picture Cards Plus One Special" and that it "contains 49 cards," but I ended up with 53 cards.

They're really trying to get rid of '87 Topps aren't they?

At any rate, that was what I was opening 25 years ago when I stumbled across my future wife.

Tonight, the two of us will be wondering when Hurricane Sandy is going to knock the power out. If it hasn't knocked it out already.

Good times. Every 25th Oct. 29th. Like clockwork.


  1. happy anniversary, to you and mrs. night owl.

    hoping sandy turns out not as bad as the hype.

    Blogger Power from all of us to all of you out there !

  2. Can't decide whether to feel old or young. Old that a set made after I was born in 25 years old, or young that you met your wife when I was one.

    Either way, happy anniversary!

  3. Happy Anniversary to you both.

    Keep low and stay inside. This from a guy who lost most of a house to a hurricane born tornado.

    I wish I had known about your '87 Topps needs. A year ago I threw out enough to start a small bonfire.

  4. Man, 87 Topps is great.

    Happy anniversary!

  5. Fun times. Wishing you well as I keep one eye on the news.

  6. @Commishbob,

    Technically, I don't have '87 Topps cards needs. I want to see if I can complete it without anyone sending them to me or intentionally buying cards from the set.

  7. Happy Anniversary to both of you, and hoping you ride out this storm with no damage!

  8. 1987 Topps is often ridiculed due to the overprinting, but I still think it's a nice set.

  9. Congrats on 25 years, I hope that you and Mrs. Owl have many, many more!

  10. Happy Anniversary to you and the mrs.

  11. congrats! I've only known my wife 18 years so you got me neat there.

    Also: I now know what I'm using for packing material in your packages.

  12. Happy Anniversary!

    Let me know if you ever decide to complete this one because I could probably knock out your needs by myself.

  13. Is that a Ron Cey on the Cubs Leaders? DO you not care about Cey outside of Dodgers unis?

  14. I do not care about Cey cards of him in a Cubs uni. I was going to comment about how disgraceful it was that he was forced to wear No. 11 instead of No. 10 with the Cubs, but I didn't want to get the Santo fans fired up.

  15. Happy Anniversary ! A little late.We had power last night but no cable.

  16. I always wanted Tim Pyznarski to become a star since that is one impressive Polish eye chart name.

    Oh, and happy happy, be safe, etc.

  17. Happy 25th and best of luck to you and your wife. May the next 25 years be just as special. (And the best part...on your 50th anniversary there'll still be unopened rack packs of '87 Topps!)