1980, Here I Come! Right Back Where I Started From…

Something which has been a mild source of embarrassment for many years is the incomplete state of my 1979 and 1980 sets.

To explain why it’s a mild source of embarrassment, I have to give you a little personal history.

I started collecting in 1974 and eventually completed a master set from that year, including the Traded set, “Washington Nat’l Lea.” cards and all of the other variations.
1974 Topps Luke Walker

1975 was the year I fell hard for collecting, completing the baseball set…
1975 Topps John Hiller
…And getting about 75% of the Football set (which I finally completed a couple of years ago).
1975 Topps Football Ken Houston

Back in the day, I also completed the ’76, ’77 and ’78 sets in relatively short order.

1979 was a different story.
1979 Topps Denny Martinez
I didn’t like 1979 Topps as well as as I had liked the prior sets, plus I was a teenager and my friends had moved on to other things. 1979 was the first year I actively collected cards yet didn’t complete the set.

1980 Topps was a similar story…
1980 Topps Dave Parker
At the time, I’d dismissed the set as a warmed-over 1974 design, and while I bought a bunch, I didn’t get close to completing the set.

The introduction of competition in 1981 rekindled my interest and I completed both the Topps and Fleer sets. I lapsed again in 1982 and didn’t complete another Topps set until 1988, but I’m not as concerned about those sets.

For years I’d been saying “If I stop screwing around and complete those two sets, I’d have a run of complete Topps sets for my first eight years of collecting”, but it wasn’t until a year or two ago I decided that my mild embarrassment needed to be counteracted with a similarly mild push to complete both of these sets, with greater focus on 1980 because it’s grown on me over the years.

The biggest obstacle I faced for the 1980 set was the Rickey Henderson rookie.

Last year I bought a box that contained someone’s childhood collection of late 1970’s and early 1980’s cards. I filled a number of 1979 and 1980 wants with some musty, fairly-well-loved cards… But naturally, there was no Rickey.

At a show this past spring I picked up a couple of stars (like the Dave Parker featured above) and even found a 1980 wrapper for $2.
1980 Topps baseball wrapper
But, again… No Rickey.

Finally, a couple of months ago, I found what I was looking for on COMC… A G/VG Rickey for under $10. Condition’s never been of primary importance for me, so I pounced.
1980 Topps Rickey Henderson
It’s got a big ol’ crease in the upper left, but the crease doesn’t touch Rickey himself;  otherwise the card’s seen a fair amount of action but is in decent enough shape.

…And now I’m out of excuses.  Guess I should move my 1980 Topps effort a notch or two up from “mild”, huh?

5 thoughts on “1980, Here I Come! Right Back Where I Started From…

    • Absolutely. Someone cared enough about the card to give it a lot of handling.

      The other thing I forgot to mention is that I don’t upgrade the cards from my childhood unless they’re in really rough shape… There’s no point in adding an EX/MT card to a VG set.

  1. I was never a big set builder.I’m still not ,today.I’m usually just happy with the more important cards from the set.I like boxed sets ,though.Wierd,huh?

  2. Pingback: A (Shoebox) Legendary PWE Puts Me Close To A Complete 1980 Set | The Shlabotnik Report

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