Tuesday, October 26, 2010

1990 Topps TV Cubs

I was able to knock another set off of my wish list. This time it was the Topps TV set from 1990. I must confess that until last November I had never heard of the set. But a comment from a reader tipped me off and it took almost eleven months for me to track one down at a reasonable price.

The sets would pop up on ebay every so often, but usually they went for $60 - $100. That was too rich for my blood. A couple weeks ago, a set was listed with a starting price of $20 and the set still had it's factory seal intact.But it was also not listed correctly, and the Topps TV name was not anywhere in the listing. The seller also only had a feedback rating of 1. Either I was going to get ripped off by a scam seller or I was going to get a great deal.

There were no bids on the set throughout the listing. In fact, the seller had several of the other team's TV sets, and they too had no bids. As it turned out, I was the only bidder and got the set for $20. None of the other sets got a single bid. The seller sent the cards out fairly quickly, and now I've got them!

The Topps TV sets were 66 card team sets issued in 1990. They were not sold in any store; they were just available on TV, hence the name. The actual name of the set is Topps Premier Collectors Edition. But I've only seen them referred to as the Topps TV set.

They featured one of Topps first ventures into glossy cards. Remember that this was just one year after Upper Deck's first blockbuster set. I'm sure that Topps was looking to respond and matching Upper Deck's glossy cards was one way.

Topps only released sets for five teams: the Cubs, Cardinals, Mets, Yankees, and Red Sox. There was also a 66 card All Star set.

The design of the cards was totally different from the base set. That was a refreshing change for Topps. They also arranged the 66 cards in a unique way. The first six cards were of the manager, Don ZImmer, and then the coaching staff listed alphabetically. Next came the pitchers, again in alphabetical order. The three catchers followed the pitchers. Up next were the infielders, and then the outfielders, again alphabetically. That took up 35 cards.

The final 31 cards were of the teams prospects. I would say that about half of the prospects made it to the majors. There are several players in there that I never heard of.

I'll be featuring the cards over the next several days. Today I'll show the coaches. Tomorrow it will be the pitchers and catchers and on Thursday it will be the position players. I'll split the prospects up between Friday and Saturday, showing those who made the majors one day and the rest the final day.

Don Zimmer was the skipper in 1990. This was the year after the Cubs came out of nowhere to win the NL East. Zim was a pretty popular guy in Chicago in 1990

The coaching staff features one of the ugliest cards ever, and one of the best baseball names of all time.

Here is a top contender for all time ugly card. Wow....what was Chuck on, and why couldn't Topps find another picture to use?

The Cubs pitching coach has a great pornstar name.


  1. Geez, for $20? Who was the seller?

  2. Great find! New to me. I kind of like the design, very bold. Chuck Cottier look like he could use some Metamucil but Zim looks great. And how do parents with the last name Pole name their kid Richard?? Look forward to seeing the rest.

  3. I was so relieved that you listed the other teams in the set and the Dodgers weren't there.

  4. Well, I found the seller, and considering how his prices all seem to start at an insane $30 for almost ALL of his auctions (whether it be a box of Troll doll cards or Barb Wire The Movie cards), it's hilarious that he started the Topps TV sets at $20. The Yankees set, which went for $25, is easily the hardest to find and would have sold in a heartbeat for $30. Mr. TeamSets4U probably snapped up the rest to turn around and list them for $50-100 each.

  5. Yes, it looks like he really doesn't know what he's got. You can get a great deal like I did, or really overpay. And Teamsets4U just re-listed (for the umpteenth time) their Cubs TV set for $120....which is why I was thrilled with my purchase. I wonder if he sells any at that price?

  6. Nice find. I'm still in need of the Sandberg and will not pay the $120 teamsets4u is wanting.