1980’s “Desert Island” Binder, Part 12: Sunset Now!

Quick recap of the premise of these posts: Because I’m fleeing to an uncharted desert island to evade the reach of The Powers That Be, all I’m able to bring with me are the bare essentials plus one binder worth of 1980’s baseball cards.

So let’s get back to it, shall we?

I’m no fan of 1989 Fleer, but I really like how Lenny Dykstra’s batting stance kinda matches the angle of the border. Lean into it, Lenny!

When I was a kid, all of the players were larger than life. Even when I briefly met Jim Wynn, “The Toy Cannon”, in person as an 11-year-old, he seemed like a big guy. I wasn’t entirely over this idea when I got this “N.L. West Sluggers” card out of a pack of 1986 Fleer:

“Can former MVP and 10-time All-Star Steve Garvey really be that short?” I thought. And the answer is “Yes… when standing next to Dale Murphy and Dave Parker!” For the record, Garvey is 5′ 10″, Murphy is 6′ 4″ and Parker is 6′ 5″

Now, of course, the Braves, Padres and Reds are all in different divisions. I guess I should be happy that they’re all still in the National League.

As long as I’m featuring combo cards with height differentials, here’s the 1988 Score “Speed And Power” card featuring Eric Davis (6′ 2″) and Tim Raines (5′ 8″).

I really miss posed combo cards.  The best they can do these days is feature two players talking to each other on the field.  I also sometimes think about creating a “Batting cage photos” binder, but given my excess of projects I’m going to leave that for someone else.

…But you know what?  I can easily make a page or two of 1980’s batting cage cards, and I’ve just decided that this will be the theme of my next Desert Island Binder post… So there ya go.  Coming Attractions.

This isn’t a combo card, but it features an Eric Davis cameo.  1986 Topps doesn’t get a lot of love, and it’s not a classic set, but I like it… apparently more than a lot of people do.

According to my database, I’m pretty close to finishing the 1986 set, but before I do anything about that, I need to do a physical inventory to see if reality matches database.

And speaking of cameos, here’s one for all the 1970’s Mets fans out there.  Tim Foli came up with the Mets in 1970 and shortly before the 1972 season he was sent to the Expos (along with Ken Singleton and Mike Jorgensen) in the trade that brought Rusty Staub coming to New York.

The sliding player is the Mets’ Joel Youngblood.  Because his 1977 rookie card shows him with the Reds and because he came to the Mets on June 15,1977, I often confuse him for one of the players who came from Cincinnati in the Tom Seaver trade.  What I need to hammer into my skull is that Youngblood spent the first part of the season with the Cardinals and was obtained from St. Louis for infielder Mike Phillips.

When people think of Don Mattingly baseball cards, they tend to think of his rookie cards, but not me.  I always think of his 1985 Topps card.  To me, this is iconic “Donnie Baseball”, even if he doesn’t have a mustache here.

Just out of curiosity, does anybody else feel that way?

I really liked the “Super Veteran” subset in 1983 Topps, and sometimes I think that Topps should do something like this again.

I tend to worry that it would have too many guys who I’ve seen enough of over the past 10-20 years, like Albert Pujols… but then I think of other guys I like who I would appreciate on a card like this… Curtis Granderson, Nick Markakis, Justin Verlander… or guys who have traveled around a lot and it would be fun to see them from their rookie year – I know Bartolo Colon is all but officially retired, but he’d be the poster child for a subset like this.  People talk about ways to make Topps Archives more fun, this would be an excellent way to do that.


And now it’s time for the quick summary of where the fictional binder stands…  I’m adding seven standard-sized cards, which brings the totals to…
Nine-pocket (standard sized): 9 sheets (77 cards)
Eight-pocket (1950’s sized): 1 sheet (3 cards)
Four-pocket (postcard sized): 1 sheet (2 cards)
Two-pocket (5″ x 7″): 1 sheet (2 cards)


This post’s 1980’s playlist song is “Sunset Now” from Heaven 17’s 1984 album How Men Are… Other than mentioning that the band’s name comes from Anthony Burgess’ novel “A Clockwork Orange”, I don’t have a lot to say about Heaven 17 because I don’t know much about Heaven 17… But I have a somewhat amusing story related to this song, a story which seems ridiculous in these days of Google, SoundHound and Shazam.

So I was a DJ on my college’s radio station, a media powerhouse which had a signal which reached clear across the street. In 1984, “Sunset Now” was in what could be considered “heavy rotation” on the station, and it was a song that I enjoyed playing.

Fast forward past graduation, and something reminded me of the song and I thought “Now that I have disposable income, I want to get the album that song is from”… but I couldn’t remember the band name. I asked my friends, they didn’t know the song. I asked in record stores, they were no help either. I had to go with a plan which is just ludicrous in this day and age: I wrote a letter to Victor, the guy who was the station manager when I was there, and asked him if he could tell me who did the song. He responded, also via snail mail, and I went out and got the album.

Looking back on it now makes me think of a line from Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home… “How Quaint!”

So here’s “Sunset Now”, which reached #24 on the UK singles chart and #39 on the U.S. Dance/Club charts.

6 thoughts on “1980’s “Desert Island” Binder, Part 12: Sunset Now!

  1. I’d forgotten how much I like that 85 Mattingly. What a cool card. I’m a big fan of his ‘84 Donruss too, also sans stache.

    • Nice selections for the binder! That Dykstra card really is cool.

      I’ve got a 1986 Topps post scheduled for October, and that Tony Perez card is included. I also agree that it’s an underrated set (hence the upcoming post).

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