Staying in the 1980s for another post, how much can I recall about my life in 1989?
I've written about a lot of this before, but it's good to have it all in one place.
For me, the biggest deal about 1989 was that it was the first full year of my life out of school. My daughter is currently in this year of her life, and yeah, it's filled with uncertainty but it was a lot of fun, too.
There is this feeling at this time that you have the whole world to yourself. You can do as you wish. I worked two part-time jobs in 1989. I continued my part-time work as a sportswriter for the Niagara Gazette and I picked up another job to make ends meet working as a clerk at CVS.
The CVS job was pretty boring. I'd come in early when the store opened and I can distinctly remember cleaning the windows on the doors that opened into the store thinking, "lordy, I have eight hours to go." I'd often stock shelves and I recall the smell of the tobacco aisle making me a little woozy. That aisle and the lipstick aisle were the most interesting to me, just because I had no idea there were so many different names for lipstick. (I'm telling you, the job was boring). The only thing that made me look forward to working was my blonde co-worker Lynn and finding those Topps box bottoms on the cards we sold in the store.
My other job was much more interesting. In '89, I mostly covered the local high schools and took phone calls in the office. But that fall I'd continue to help out in covering the Bills (I remember games against the Rams and Saints) and I covered a couple of Sabres games, too. That summer, I covered the brand new Niagara Falls Rapids Class A baseball team as the beat writer and ended up in a picture on the team's baseball cards.
1989 was a big baseball card year for me. Not because of Upper Deck or anything but because of Topps. I drove to the Northtown Plaza at least a couple times a week to buy packs at the drug store. I don't remember how many packs I bought each time, but it had to be a bunch because I had so many '89 Topps at the end of the year, and as I've mentioned before, I came up four cards short of a complete set (Claudell Washington, Gary Ward, Mike Scott and Craig Biggio). I also bought a few rack packs of Score that I spotted at a different drug store on the way to my newspaper job.
This was a year of hanging out with my girlfriend. I guess you'd call that "courting" in the old days. We'd go to restaurants every week and a number of movies. The movies I remember seeing in theaters that year:
Look Who's Talking
Dead Poets Society
The Fabulous Baker Boys
I think maybe we went to a lot more movies in 1988. I'm sure there were others. Many of the notable movies released in '89, I'd watch later on TV or through videocassette rental (remember that?)
Here are the TV shows I watched a lot in 1989:
It's Garry Shandling's Show
The Wonder Years
I also watched a lot of music videos in 1989. They were still everywhere.
My favorite pop song of that year was Guns n' Roses' "Patience," but I was still into alternative music at the time, which helped me completely avoid the rise of the New Kids on the Block. Favorite '89 songs came from The Cure, The Cult, Depeche Mode, 10,000 Maniacs, Love and Rockets, and Jesus and Mary Chain.
As for news events, I remember the early part of the year dominated by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. That was followed by the Central Park jogger, the Tiananmen Square protests and, in the fall, the Bay Area earthquake and the fall of the Berlin Wall. I can remember a moment when I was watching TV for the last three events.
As for sports, I remember the Super Bowl well, 49ers vs. Bengals. I watched it with several friends at a party at a friend's house. I also remember Michigan winning the NCAA Tournament that year and, vaguely, the Pistons taking the NBA title. I didn't watch a second of the Stanley Cup.
Until this year, 1989 was the most recent year in which my favorite team, the Dodgers, were the defending World Series champs.
After years of blogging and coming across so many collectors who were kids in the late 1980s, I don't share many of the 1989 memories that others mention and felt a bit out of the loop when I first started. I didn't know what Upper Deck was in '89. I didn't watch "Saved By the Bell". I did have a Game Boy in 1989, I think it was a birthday gift.
Probably most surprisingly, I never opened a pack of Donruss in 1989.
That's why when Gregory of the Nine Pockets blog put forth some anniversary giveaway prizes, I grabbed what no one else would -- two packs of 1989 Donruss.
I still like opening this stuff because I didn't open too much of it then, or any of it. And like I've said many times, no, I'm not collecting it. So don't send me your overflowing backlogs. I just like accumulating it here and there, seeing what I can add casually.
Here is what came out of Pack 1.
That's a pretty good pack. And although the front of the pack advertised 15 cards per pack, I ended up with 16.
This is what I needed from that pack:
There were some upgrades, too.
Here is what came out of Pack 2.
Not nearly as exciting.
Here is what I needed from that pack.
Not a lot.
OK, that was fun. But it's not everything that I've received recently that comes directly from 1989.
Yes! Baseball Talk!
These arrived from Max of the Starting Nine blog. I have paid so little attention to these as a team set that I thought there were like 4 Dodger cards in the entire thing. But the set is huge! Steve Sax is card No. 100! There are 164 cards in this set! Who has time for that amount of talking?!!! I certainly didn't. I had meals to eat at Benningan's!
Two other cards that I needed in formats that I didn't know existed until recently. The replica cards of the legends was a bit of disappointment when I found out. I was hoping for new photographs of legend players.
I also didn't know there were memories of individual World Series.
Thanks to Nick Vossbrink, who jogged my memory that there is a youtube channel where you can listen to all of the Baseball Talk cards (instead of buying one of those players), I'm now aware of what's on each card (and I think it's the first time I've heard John Tudor talk since the late 1980s).
I've gone back and listened to the ones I already own, getting a kick out of one of Tommy Lasorda's old jokes one more time.
I still need two of the Dodger cards in the set -- Don Drysdale and Mike Marshall -- so that want list is long overdue.
Max also sent me a handful of Sabres cards, but since none of them are from 1989, I won't show them here. They'll have to be saved for when I devote a post to 1999 or 2020.
Yeah, no chance of that.