A (Shoebox) Legendary PWE Puts Me Close To A Complete 1980 Set

After a prior post about how I’d obtained a Rickey Henderson rookie and was going to try to finish off the 1980 Topps set, the illustrious Shane from Shoebox Legends suggested I send him a list of cards I needed, just in case he could help me reach my goals.

…And boy, did he, because after receiving a PWE from him shortly afterwards, I was only 5 cards away from a complete set (and as I write this I’m ThisClose to finishing it, but more on that in a bit).

I’m not going to feature all 12 cards he sent, I’m going to save the 5 “Rookie Stars” cards for a return of my “Are We Not Stars?” series… but that still leaves 7 cards full of 1980 goodness.

J.R. Richard was the first of 6 major leaguers to go by “J.R.”… He was followed by Phillips, House, Towles, Murphy and Graham (although John Ryan Murphy apparently never wanted to be called J.R.)
1980 Topps JR Richard
Richard was a dominant pitcher of the late 1970’s who’s career was cut short by a stroke during the 1980 season. Before that he’d had two seasons with over 300 strikeouts, and a 20-win season followed by three straight 18-win seasons.

I think you know the Philadelphia Phillies. Phillies, readers. Readers, Phillies.
1980 Topps Philadelphia Phillies
Dallas Green managed the Mets in the mid-1990’s, and to this day he’s the Mets manager I regard with the greatest of disdain. I’m not going to get into why, but I’ll just say I didn’t agree with the way he handled certain young players.

During the 1970’s, there were three players to lead the NL in stolen bases more than once… Lou Brock, Davey Lopes and Omar Moreno.
1980 Topps SB Leaders
Moreno would set a career high of 96 stolen bases in 1980, but the league leaders that year were Rickey Henderson (100 SB’s) and Montreal’s Ron LeFlore (97). Omar tied the Pirates season record in 1978, broke it in 1979 and broke it again in 1980… a record he still holds.

No shortage of Astros’ “Tequila Sunrise” uniforms in this PWE!
1980 Topps Terry Puhl
I feel safe in saying that Terry Puhl is the greatest baseball player to come out of Saskatchewan… Although 1970’s pitcher Reggie Cleveland probably gives him a run for his money.

This is a lovely bit of airbrushing which eluded me for 35 years…
1980 Topps Bill Madlock
Even though Madlock had been traded from the Giants to the Bucs halfway through the 1979 season, and put in 85 games (plus 10 postseason games) with the “We Are Family” Pirates, they still had to photoshop him into a pillbox hat… and they didn’t even give him a “Stargell Star”!

Del Unser is the son of Al Unser… but not THAT Al Unser, not the four-time Indy 500 winner, but Al Unser the former Tiger & Red.
1980 Topps Del Unser Highlights

Kong and Stormin’ Gorman.
1980 Topps HR Leaders
Dave Kingman lead the league in homers two times, 1979 and 1982.

Gorman Thomas lead the league in homers two times, 1979 and 1982.  Holy coincidence, Batman!

And that wraps up the PWE, at least for now. Thanks, Shane!

Oh, I was going to fill you in on the complete set thing, wasn’t I? This past weekend I decided that as long as the five remaining commons were reasonably priced on COMC, I was going to finish off the set during the Black Friday promotion… but wouldn’t you know it, one of the cards was only available as a graded card.  Freakin’ figures. Fortunately I have a Plan B and a Plan C, so shame on me if I don’t complete this set by the end of the year.

9 thoughts on “A (Shoebox) Legendary PWE Puts Me Close To A Complete 1980 Set

  1. I had to do a double take the first time I read up about Del Unser; I was very disappointed to find out that his dad wasn’t the same Al. Funny coincidence though.

      • No problem! Do you a master set builder or just the original Topps releases? Are you including the Burger King Sets?

      • I’m generally not a master set guy, but I did do one for 1974 just because the set means so much to me (it was my first).

        As for the 1980 Burger King, I’ve got a loose goal of picking up all of the cards which have a different photo (i.e. Joe Morgan with the Astros instead of the Reds, Jim Palmer looking left instead of right, etc.)

  2. IIRC the laziest thing Topps did with that set is feaure Dock Ellis with the New York Mets even though Ellis had finished the 1979 season with the Pirates. Granted he had been purchased by the Pirates on September 21 so it was late in the season but still. Of course, when you’re publishing the 1980 cards Thanksgiving weekend or 1979, you don’t give yourself much of an opportunity to correct anything…

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