1980’s “Desert Island Binder, Part 6: Computer Für Das Eigene Heim

Don’t worry about the German in the title, that’s just referencing the “Shlabotnik’s 1980’s Playlist” part that comes at the end.  If I have the phrasing (and translation) correct, it means “Computer for your own home”, which gets a Whatevs in 2019, but was pretty forward-thinking in 1981 (hint, hint)

Speaking of 1981… Sometimes I look at 1981 Donruss cards like this Dick Tidrow…

…and I start to think like Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas: “I never thought it was such a bad little set. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love”.

…And you know, people, sometimes I start to think that I’d completed the two other 1981 sets 38 years ago, and I’ve got a little over half of the 1981 Donruss set… Maybe, just maybe I should work to complete it!

At times like that, when my thoughts get a little ahead of myself, I need cards like this one to remind me why completing 1981 Donruss shouldn’t be a priority:

Yeah, maybe having two complete flagship sets from the same year should be enough for me…


Back in 1988, if someone had pointed out to me that Topps “Big” Baseball had cards like this, I would’ve been a lot more receptive to the idea.

As it was, I largely ignored the cards until years later.  These sets are still nowhere near a priority, but I like to add to my team and player collections.


I normally like my card designs to be colorful and fun, but I have to admit, I think that 1986 Topps works best for the Yankees, partially because Topps used only black and white for that team…

…But when you combine that with the Yankees’ home pinstripes, it really just works for me.  It’s not that I don’t like the rest of 1986 – I do like it, and I suspect I like it more than many – but it’s unusual for a particular color combination within a set to make me nod appreciatively and say “Yeah… yeah, that’s it…”


I don’t know that I can have a post which doesn’t include a 1980’s Fleer card which doesn’t have a fun/goofy photo.  This 1983 Duane Kuiper fits the bill for this post.


I came across this card while going through my various 1980’s binders, and I thought it interesting that it was the rookie card for two future managers.

Terry Francona, of course, is the current manager of the Cleveland Indians, and has mananged the Phillies and Red Sox.  Brad Mills managed the Astros from 2010 to 2012.  Bryn Smith never managed, but he was a minor league pitching coach, played in 13 seasons in the Majors and was the first Colorado Rockies pitcher to ever get a win… funnily enough, against the Expos with whom he had pitched the majority of his career.


Frank Robinson had an oversized card in the 1984 Donruss Champions set, and even if he never played in the 1980’s I feel the need to include this card in the Desert Island Binder. Of course, the artwork is by Dick Perez.


This post seems a little light, and I don’t have time to write a whole lot, so I’ll include this 1983 Topps Chris Speier simply for the action shot.  That’s the Dodgers’ Derrel Thomas trying to elude the tag.

I’ve been totalling up how much is the binder after each post. We’re adding 6 standard-sized cards to bring the total up to 37… so that’s five 9-pocket pages (one of which has only 1 card in it) plus three oversized cards which are, of course, three different sizes so they go in three different sheets.


For this week’s 1980’s track I’m going to go full-on Techno-nerd. In High School I started to seek out my own music; It’s a bit of a long story, but one of the bands I got into was Kraftwerk, and I got so much into them that by the time their new album “Computer World” came out in 1981, I wasn’t satisfied with the domestic version… No, I had to get the imported German version – “Computerwelt”. I prefer German version as the mix is different and the lyrics to certain songs are more meaningful and quite a bit darker… plus it just sounds cooler in German.

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