Thursday, June 13, 2013

1985 Circle K Home Run Kings

As far as I can tell, this 1985 set was the first boxed set that Topps made for a retailer.  Circle K is a chain that I'm not familiar with at all.  They are in the Chicago area now, but not in 1985.  I never saw this set.

Titled All Time Home Run Kings, the set has cards for the top 34 home run hitters as of 1984, almost.  It's a 33 card set like all the others because there is no card for #31 on the list.  The holdout--Mr. Coffee himself, Joe DiMaggio.  My guess--he wanted too much money to be in the set or else he wanted nothing to do with it.


One thing that really strikes me about these is that they are glossy cards on white stock.  I didn't realize that Topps did cards like this back in '85.  It would have been nice if they did the flagship set the same way.  I bet it would have been something that could have really set them apart from Donruss and Fleer.

Two Cubs are on the list...

Ernie Banks at #10...

....and Billy Williams at #18.

Fast forward 28 years and an era of "enhanced" players, and the list is dramatically different.  Mr. Cub is now 21st and Billy Williams has fallen all the way down to #46.

In fact, of the 34 players on the Circle K checklist, only 17 are still among the top 34.  That's pretty wild that half the list has turned over in 28 years.


  1. Topps put out the 1982 boxed Kmart set that you featured a few days ago.

    The Circle K glossies are a continuation of the glossy sets of all-stars that you could order through the mail (by sending in game cards that were in wax packs) beginning in 1983. They have the same look (except the border color is different).

  2. Circle K is a convenient store chain in the upper south/mid-west usually tied in with Marathon or Citgo pumps. We have several in southern Indiana. Nice to see homerun-o-matic Ralph Kiner still in the top 30.

  3. These cards do look nice, I've made a mental note to keep an eye out for this set.

    I hadn't been in a Circle K until the past year or two... Before that, my only exposure was from the movie Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure:

    "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K".

  4. Circle K stores have also been in Arizona for several decades. I remember buying a lot of cards from the Circle K near my house in the 70s and 80s.

    I've never seen this set -- it looks nice.

  5. I have some of the All-Star Glossy cards (not to be confused with the All-Star insert cards that had large borders) that Night Owl mentions and they are very nice.

  6. One of my all time favorite boxed sets.

  7. I found a box of these at home, 22 closed packs of 33 cards...anyone know any selling options?