Over the weekend I was picking up some of the clutter in Shlabotnik World Headquarters when I ran across a bunch of 1980 Topps 5×7 cards I had in a stack. That was all the inspiration I need to do a post on some of these cards (and procrastinate more on several posts which require research).
For those who aren’t familiar with these cards, this was an oversized 60-card set that was the first in a series of 5″x7″ sets put out by Topps in the 1980’s. Many of the later sets were oversized “parallels” of regular Topps cards, but the first two years the cards were original cards meant to look like autographed photos.
Here’s an example featuring the Mets’ Craig Swan.
For those of you who are not familiar with Craig Swan, he was a very good pitcher on some very bad Mets teams. In 1978 he lead the N.L. with a 2.43 ERA, and in 1979 he went 14-13 for a Mets team that lost 99 games. No other Mets pitcher had more than 6 wins that year.
Here’s the back… It’s clearly not about the backs.
I’ve read that these came on white cardboard stock as well, but I’ve never seen anything but “gray backs”. My 8-year-old copy of the SCD Standard Catalog says that the white backs were issued first and the grey backs came later.
The rest of the cards I’m showing today are better-known players that I expect don’t need mini-biographies.
These might not be the most exciting sets when shown on a screen at a reduced size, but they’re pretty nice in their four-times-larger-than-standard size. I bought a number of these in stores back in the early 1980’s, and at the time (just like now) I sometimes felt like the only one who had any interest.
…But I like them just fine. Get me a pile of 2-pocket sheets and I’m good to go.
This last scan is something I found while I was organizing… This is a header card from a rack pack of these photos, but I believe these were from a later repackaging of the cards. As you might guess from the upside-down text at the top of the scan, this was originally folded over and stapled to a cello pack of these cards.
Two reasons why I believe this to be a later repack: 1) There’s a 1981 copyright and 2) there are 5 cards but I believe the original packs were 3 cards.
You’ll notice that the header doesn’t say anything about “Super” or “5×7”. All of the packaging I’ve seen for the cards says either “Superstar Photo Cards” or “Superstars Photo Cards”… but nobody calls them that.
One last thing for eagle-eyed readers… The price tag is for a discount store called Woolco, which was a subsidiary of Woolworth’s and went out of business in the early 1980’s.