Oddball Du Jour: 1981 Topps 5×7 Cincinnati Reds

As yet another desperate play for time, I’m featuring an entire 12-card set from the Topps “Hometown” 5×7 Cincinnati Reds set.

These cards were issued in packs like these, one card per pack…
1981 Topps 5x7 Mets-Yankees Wrapper Front
They were issued in a number of markets, but not every team got their own set.

As the cards are 5×7, they are four times the size of a standard sized card. The images below each feature two 5×7 cards side-by-side.

OK, if I say much more, I won’t be buying myself any time.

Dave Concepcion, Ron Oester (or as I used to call him, “Oester Boaster Toaster”)
1981 Topps Reds 5x7 Concepcion Oester

Dan Driessen, Dave Collins
1981 Topps Reds 5x7 Driessen Collins

George Foster, Mario Soto
1981 Topps Reds 5x7 Foster Soto

Tom Hume, Ken Griffey, Sr. (Although he was, of course, just “Ken Griffey” then)
1981 Topps Reds 5x7 Hume Griffey

Ray Knight, Joe Nolan
1981 Topps Reds 5x7 Knight Nolan

Tom Seaver, Johnny Bench
1981 Topps Reds 5x7 Seaver Bench

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10 thoughts on “Oddball Du Jour: 1981 Topps 5×7 Cincinnati Reds

  1. Man, do those bring back memories. Not the Reds particularly but that giant photo set. Back in those days I was single, making good money and had little else to spend it on besides hobby stuff. Card shows nearly every weekend and there were about four good card shops within 15 minutes of driving time.

    • More so than the “I’m single and have money” I really long for the days of “Which show should I go to this weekend?” Now it’s more like “There’s a show this summer that’s within driving distance; I have to make sure I don’t make any conflicting plans”.

  2. I love these kinds of oddballs. Had some packs of these that featured both Angels and Dodgers in the same pack and opened them all. Collation was pretty bad if I remember… and I ended up with lots of doubles and triples… w/o completing the set.

    • It seems like that’s always the way when you’ve got a very small set. I’m not sure where I got this set, but I got it as a set, I didn’t build it from packs. I did collect the New York set from packs, but once I learned how to read the player’s name through the wrapper, I made fairly quick work of it. I do still have one unopened pack (and that’s what you see in my post).,

  3. I love these too. I think there is also an all star sort of set with like fifty or sixty players in the set. And some type of “gray back” or “white back”.

    For the Reds set, these photos do not duplicate any of the photos from the standard 1981 Topps or Coke sets. The majority of those sets were made up of action photos taken at Shea Stadium in what appears to be the same game. However for the 1981 Scratch-offs Topps used alternate poses from the same photo shoot as used in the 5×7 set. I haven’t checked if any of these were recycled in the 1981 or 1982 sticker set, 1982 main set or food sets like the 1982 Squirt set (Foster, Seaver). I always like to look for these things. Topps was good at this in the 1970’s. Look at some of the Topps regular issues and the compare them to what Hostess put out. Or reusing pics on the leader cards. If you want a laugh Google Ron LeFlore Topps 1981. His base card is with the Expos, his Coke card is an airbrush job of the same picture as a White Sox and his sticker is an alternate shot as a White Sox. Same for Mike Marshall in the early 70’s. Topps reused the exact same picture on base, leader and traded cards.

    • The 5×7 Lee Mazzilli from… 1980, I think… used the same photo as the 1979 Topps base set… That’s the only re-use I know of. Thanks for all the other duplication information, good stuff to know!

      • After looking, I realized my memory is not what I think it should be, lol. His 1981 base card is an alternate shot with the Expos. But his 81 Sticker is a shot as an Expo in the dugout, the Coke Set is an airbrush of the same photo and the 1982 Squirt pic is the same airbrushed pic as the 81 Coke card. Low budget stuff there folks.

      • Yeah Topps was pretty good at recycling pictures. I think Hank Aaron’s 1968 and 1969 are the same photo. One is just cropped closer. And If you google “Rick Reichart topps” there are about four or five cards that use pics from the same photo shoot. His 1967-1969 and 1971 base cards and 1969 Super are pose variations. Same for Jim Maloney. His cards between 1966 and 1969 were all taken at the same time at Shea Stadium.

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