Sunday, February 19, 2012

1987 Minis...The Real Deal

In 1987 I was a losing interest in collecting baseball cards. Life had taken over. I had been married for four years and had a two-year-old with another due late in the year. My card collecting consisted of the Topps factory set, which I usually got as a Christmas present. I figured some day that those complete sets would be my kids' college fund. I kinda blew it there...the 1987 Topps set can be bought today for less than what you paid in 1987; my 12 month average is $10.12.

When the 1987 styled mini insert set came out with the 2012 set, there was a lot of excitement among many collectors. I didn't understand the buzz because I must confess that I didn't know that there was a mini set in 1987. I didn't buy a pack of card in 1987; in fact I don't even think I looked for a pack. So I completely missed the 1987 mini sets, sold in seven-card packs.

The cards are fairly easy to pick up today. I got my new card at Sportlots for 18¢. You can get a complete set for $5.00.

The 76-card set was similar in design to the 1987 base cards. But they were a bit smaller, and had a glossy finish, though printed on flimsier stock. The players were those who finished in the top five in a variety of categories in 1986. Since the 1986 Cubs weren't very good, only one player made it into the set.



Lee Smith finished fourth in saves in 1986 with 31, and he got card #3 in the set.



Here are the two minis side by side. Its interesting that Topps didn't use the original design of the '87 minis; choosing to go with the base '87 design instead. That seems inconsistent to me. If your commemorating the 1987 minis. why not use the original design? But Topps isn't known for its consistency, so I shouldn't be surprised.


7 comments:

  1. I don't think Topps is commemorating the 1987 minis so much as saving themselves design work on one of the eleventy bajillion insert sets that they'll make this year.

    I kind of like them anyway, but not enough to pursue the set. (Ryan Howard's card could have been awesome - Topps used a photo of him in a throwback uniform, but they spoiled it by using the current Phillies logo instead of the retro one.)

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    1. Paul, about a week ago, I edited the Howard card over on my site (14kphillies.wordpress.com) and posted the result there. I'm rather pleased with the result.

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    2. Much nicer with the retro logo.

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  2. Just relaying what I was told:

    The box bottom cards in 1987 were minis and also mini versions of the regular-sized set. So Topps can say these minis are tributes to that "set."

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    1. I'm not doubting you since I never owned any 1987 box bottom cards. However, I can tell you that the 1986 and 1988 ones were full size cards, so it would have been odd if they had opted for minis in 1987.

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    2. Yeah, I know. I have box bottom cards for '86, '88 and '89 (none for '87) and they're all regular size. But the guy who told me is a fellow blogger with a large knowledge of cards.

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  3. The 87 Topps box bottom cards were actually on the rear panel of the wax boxes. There were only two cards per panel, rather than four, so they were mini sized instead of full size cards.

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