The last time I updated this series, we were in 1982. In Action cards. Hockey sticks. A World Series bathed in baby blue unis.
And if you've been following this series since the beginning, you know that I am traveling back in time as the sets get progressively older.
So why am I at 1987 if the last set I reviewed was 1982?
Good question. Since the last time this feature appeared -- just over a year ago -- I have completed the 1987 Topps set. And since I am reviewing the best card for each team for every set I have completed, I feel it is my duty to back track and take care of 1987 first before we go any deeper into history.
Besides, it's the 30th anniversary of 1987 Topps -- Topps is requiring me to do this (not really) -- and I know that absolutely none of you are sick of 1987 Topps yet (again, not really).
Before we get to it, I want to say that while going through these cards, the number of cards featuring players with chest protectors leapt out at me. Forget your future stars and wood borders. This should be the Chest Protector set.
OK, here we go. The best card for each team, separated by the leagues that were in 1987:
American League East
Orioles: Eddie Murray; Red Sox: Marty Barrett; Indians: Julio Franco; Tigers: Kirk Gibson; Brewers: Ben Oglivie; Blue Jays: Jesse Barfield
Team with the best cards: Red Sox. Most of the teams in this group featured solid cards, although I swear every damn Yankee card is the same.
Team with the worst cards: Blue Jays. This seems to be a theme in the '80s. Border crossing issues?
Team I should go back and review: Orioles. Eddie Murray in glasses may amuse me a little too much.
American League West
Angels: Ruppert Jones; White Sox: Ozzie Guillen; Royals: Dan Quisenberry; Twins: Kent Hrbek; A's: Alfredo Griffin; Mariners: Jim Beattie; Rangers: Ruben Sierra, record breaker
Team with the best cards: A's. I love the A's cards in this set so much.
Team with the worst cards: Royals. Quisenberry saved K.C. from a very bland action shot showing up here, or Bo Jackson. Future Star, or not, it's pretty standard.
Team I should go back and review: Angels. Some pretty good Angels cards, but this particular photo angle of a player at the plate doesn't appear a whole lot.
National League East
Cubs: Shawon Dunston; Expos: Mike Fitzgerald; Mets: Kevin Mitchell; Phillies: John Russell; Pirates: Tony Pena; Cardinals: Jack Clark
Team with the best cards: Pirates edge out Mets ever so slightly.
Team with the worst cards: Cubs. I can make a case for Dunston, but really something better should be appearing here.
Team I should go back and review: Expos. I just wanted to make sure Mike Fitzgerald showed up on two "best" cards.
National League West
Team with the best cards: Reds, by far. There were so many that got left out and so many better than anything else in the NL West.
Team with the worst cards: Giants. I swear they let the intern take all the S.F. pix.
Team I should go back and review: Padres. Again, the Garvey shot amuses me maybe a little too much.
So, there you are. That's my contribution to the 30th anniversary blowout for 1987 Topps.
We're going back to going back in time next time. 1981 Topps, you're on the clock.