Skip to main content

1989

 
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:

Batman
Look Who's Talking
Roadhouse
Rain Man
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:
 
Moonlighting
It's Garry Shandling's Show
Murphy Brown
The Wonder Years
Cheers
 
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.

Comments

well if you ever, lol Just kidding.
Unknown said…
The Cult is awesome. "Fire Woman"
Brett Alan said…
1989 was my first full year out of college, too. I got a job at a radio station in dinky Claremont New Hampshire playing oldies. (I did once do color commentary on a girls high school basketball game, so there was a little sports reporting.) I had stopped buying baseball cards, though. Was more interested in buying records.

My very quirky top ten songs of 1989:

Somewhere Near Japan -- Beach Boys
Veronica -- Elvis Costello
When The Radio Is On -- Paul Shaffer
Birdhouse In Your Soul -- They Might Be Giants
My Brave Face -- Paul McCartney
No Myth -- Michael Penn
Me, Myself & I -- De La Soul
Slaughtered, Gutted, And Heartbroken -- Squeeze
Mayor Of Simpleton -- XTC
The Arms Of Orion -- Prince & Sheena Easton
John Bateman said…
1989 for me was Batman/Rain man. I watched Cheer and Wonder years and Patience was a great video (though I was a little late on Guns and Roses).

1989 Donruss gave Birth to 1990 Topps. (1990 Donruss would give birth to 1991 Fleer only a different color)
John Sharp said…
September 22, 1989, my last day in the US Navy. Had so much fun with a couple friends collecting cards, looking for Alan Trammell and Jack Morris cards.

I was 29 at the time...oh, that's sooooo long ago.


Good Job. 👍
Please, feel free to stay in the '80s all you want. It's my favorite decade for music (by far) and baseball (just beating out the ‘70s).

1989 was a huge year for me personally too. I started dating the woman who is now my wife of 28 years.

That fall I began my last year of college and my second-from-the-last semester as a DJ for my college radio station. Some of the songs I remember playing on my ratio show back then:

Repetition -- Information Society
Open Letter (To a Landlord) -- Living Colour
The Promise -- When in Rome
Keeping the Dream Alive -- Freiheit (known as Münchener Freiheit in their native Germany)
Roam -- B52’s
Cry -- Waterfront (not the one by Godley & Creme -- this is a completely different song)
So Alive -- Love and Rockets
Closer I Am to Fine -- Indigo Girls
Dear God -- Midge Ure
Angel Eyes -- Jeff Healey Band
If We Never Meet Again -- Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers

There are many others, but these are lesser-known songs which still are worth a listen.




Nick Vossbrink said…
1989. I was too young to be into pop music. We didn't watch TV at home. It was a great movie year though. Major League, Look Who's Talking, Field of Dreams, Back to the Future 2, Last Crusade, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Honey I Shrunk the Kids were all big for me.

Also a great baseball year in the Bay Area in general and for me specifically. We took a trip to Philadelphia and stayed in the GIants' hotel. I got to go to the World Series (and experience an earthquake). And I ripped a lot of packs of cards.

1989 Donruss has probably the largest variance in terms of print quality of literally any set I've encountered. Ink density is all over the map and it's kind of amazing to rip a box and get a handful of duplicates none of which look alike.
Brett Alan said…
@Mike the History Teacher...haven't thought about that Freiheit song in a while! Great record, sounds very McCartney-ish. "If We Never Meet Again" is great, too--if you haven't heard the original by Reckless Sleepers, check it out.
gcrl said…
looks like we had similar musical tastes in 1989. i finally saw the cult live about 20 years later, and was supposed to see the jesus & mary chain (with iggy pop) in '89, but the show was canceled day of. my primary musical memory from that year, however, was seeing the replacements live for the first time on their "don't tell a soul" tour. awesome awesome show and band.
Fuji said…
1989 - I was a junior the first half of the year... and a senior the second half. The highlights were working at Thrifty's scooping ice cream, the World Series and the earthquake, Batman, and starting my senior year of high school in the fall.
Bo said…
Great snapshot of the year in your life and the world. I was in 6th grade/7th grade so a lot of this I was not aware of, but some I certainly was. Baseball cards and Batman were big. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles too.
mr haverkamp said…
Roadhouse! The best 'bad' movie ever! Highlight of '89 was selling our WS game 3 tickets (it paid for our 30 game plan at the 'Stick in 1990), but we kept game 4 and attended it a week and a half later. So much emotion during that time, people still being dug out from under a collapsed freeway but MLB insisted that the series continue.
gregory said…
That second pack was a bit of a stinker, but I'm glad you found a few cards you needed -- and at least there was a Dodger in each pack!

Thanks for sharing those memories from 1989. Must have been so exciting to get that first assignment with the Class-A team.
bryan was here said…
1989. The year I graduated high school. I had a good job at the grocery store and they had shippers full of '89 Donruss. In fact , I almost completed that set just from buying the cello packs. Their Ken Griffey Jr rookie was my favourite out of all the ones released that year, with the Upper Deck a close second.

That summer my friends and I would pile into my '83 Olds 98 Regency and jam out to Neneh Cherry's "Buffalo Stance", Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step", Def Leppard's "Rocket", and the new classic rock station in town playing Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and even the odd Zappa track. Those were always good times.
BP said…
1989 was a memorable year. Great music and movies. The Earthquake. Tiananmen Square. Baseball cards were really starting to catch fire with Upper Deck hitting the market. Went to the National in Chicago that summer - my first one. It was my first full year of marriage. My dad passed away after spending a couple weeks in a coma. I remember thinking, that at least he got to see his beloved Dodgers win the last World Series he got to watch.

Popular posts from this blog

That was easy

   My approach on 2021 Topps, after seeing the cards, empty shelves and the tales of inflated prices, was that I could last the entire year without buying any.   The effort wasn't worth it. I'll just take my Dodgers and go home.   I went to Target once after the release date a couple weeks ago, I don't really remember what day I went, and saw empty shelves and shrugged.   So, move forward two weeks and it's birthday season. Those who have read this blog for awhile know I have a lot of birthdays in my family in March and it's the primary shopping time of the year, besides Christmas. I went to Target yesterday for a few items and I made sure to check the card aisle, just in case. I didn't expect to find anything, but I think you know me by now, I have to buy my first packs of the season if I have the opportunity. It's worth a look. The shelves seemed fairly empty as I approached. But they weren't. When I got there, I saw maybe six or seven 2021 Topps baseb

Reliving my childhood isn't easy

  My favorite part of collecting cards doesn't have to do with collecting current players, rookie cards or prospecting.   Although I pay attention to and buy modern cards and also seek out cards from before I was collecting or even before I was born, none of those cards are why I'm doing this.   The best part of collecting for me -- where the warm fuzzies reside, what I'd save for myself after chucking the rest of my collection -- is any card that was released when I was a child or young teen. I don't think I'm special in that way. A lot of collectors probably feel that way. But, unlike, say, the adult who grew up during the junk wax era, who can open pack after pack of 1990 Donruss and get that nostalgic rush without fear of packs ever disappearing, it's a little more difficult for me. I can go to a discount store a couple of miles away in town and grab some 1988 Donruss packs (I think I can still do that, who knows with the hobby weirdness lately). But there&#

G.O.A.T, the '80s: 20-11

  Big news at the night owl nest today. I subscribed to MLB.TV. Finally, I can watch any game I want this season. I no longer have to suffer with seeing the Mets play the Marlins for the 197th time or grit my teeth through Michael Kay because there's no baseball to watch anywhere else. I can ignore the Yankees for 162 games if I want! And that's what I plan to do. The Phillies-Orioles spring training game is on right now and then I'll search out something even more obscure later. I know, I know, I'm late to the party. That's the way it's been when it comes to entertainment viewing for most of my life. Taking years to land an MLB subscription was more of a cash-flow issue, but when I was younger, I'd miss out on the popular movies all the time because of a relatively sheltered existence. While high school classmates were quoting lines from Caddyshack and Stripes in the lunch room and on the school bus, I knew mostly Star Wars movies and E.T. HBO was the big t