1990 Topps “T.V. All Stars” – Complete Mets Team Set

I recently completed a team set from a nearly-24-year-old Topps product that I’d never heard of until about a year ago.

Back in 1990 Topps sold a limited number of box sets via television ads. There were six different 66-card box sets; Cubs, Red Sox, Cardinals, Yankees, Mets and also a set of All-Stars (which I would guess was tested nationally).

I haven’t been able to find a TV Mets set that fits within my budget, but I did get all four Mets from the All-Star set.

1990 Topps TV Doc Gooden

These cards have a glossy coating on the front and (obviously) a design that was different from the regular Topps set. Here’s the back.

1990 Topps TV Doc Gooden back

These cards are nice, but main appeal of them lies in the fact that they’re something different that eluded my attention for 20+ years.

1990 Topps TV All Stars Darryl Strawberry

Despite the set name, it doesn’t appear that all of the players in the set were on the all-star team… Unless perhaps they were named and then replaced due to injury.

1990 Topps TV All Stars Sid Fernandez

Sid Fernandez wasn’t a National League All-Star in either 1989 or 1990.

I also found out that his first name is actually Charles.  Charles Sidney Fernandez.  How did I not know that?

1990 Topps TV Howard Johnson

Hojo was the starting 3rd baseman on the 1989 All-Star team, and in that same year he won a Silver Slugger and lead the league in Runs…. Just in case you wanted to know.

These cards seem to be relatively rare by 1990 standards… there aren’t hundreds of millions of them floating around, anyway, and there are only a handful of the box sets out on eBay at any given time.

Does anybody have any of these cards?  I only recall seeing one blogger make reference to any of the six sets.

Before I wrap up, I wanted to share something I discovered last night. I was looking at my WordPress stats and in the list of “referrers” to this blog I saw something from mlb.com.

“What the what?” I said to myself. What could be on mlb.com that refers to my li’l old blog? So I clicked on it, and found a blog  post entitled “Did you know these 14 Major Leaguers also starred in other sports?”

In mentioning that Tom Glavine had played hockey, they had an image of this 1992 Pinnacle card:
1992 Pinnacle Tom Glavine_0002

…and it was literally THIS card, or more specifically, this image of my card… It originally came from this 18-month-old post.  The article’s author had borrowed my image and and given credit by providing a link to the original post.

I know this isn’t a particularly unique event in internet history, but there’s a small boy inside me who’s giggling and saying “There’s an image of MY CARD on mlb.com!!!!”

The funny thing is that the mlb.com article is from over a month ago. Guess I should look at my site stats more often.

Box Cards (Collectible Of Sorts)

While poking around COMC on Black Friday weekend, I stumbled across some Mets-related box cards… You know, the cards that Topps, Fleer and Donruss used to put on the bottom and sides of wax boxes.

This Howard Johnson card is, of course, from a 1988 Topps box.
1988 Topps Box Cards Howard Johnson

I probably overpaid to get these, but when shopping on COMC I always try to factor in the convenience… I don’t mind paying a little extra for the fact that the cards are easy to find and easy to obtain once I’ve found them.

I also got this 1986 Dwight Gooden box card…
1986 Topps Box Cards Dwight Gooden
…and later I realized I already had this card, only I have it in panel form. At least this way I’ve got one to put in my mid-1980’s Mets binder as well as keeping the original one in box-bottom form.

1986 Topps box cards E-H

Hmmm… I feel like this post needs something more.  How about a 2002 Upper Deck Minor League card of Jose Reyes which shows him in a Binghamton Mets uniform, features the Binghamton Mets logo at the bottom left, says “Binghamton” in silver foil, lists the minor league level as “AA”, which is the classification of the Binghamton Mets and at the very bottom the card says “St. Lucie Mets”.

2002 UD Minor League Jose Reyes

I’ve got a semi-obscure reference in the subject line, and I’ll wrap it up with another semi-obscure reference:

“He was born in Liverpool, attended school in Liverpool, was even married in Liverpool, and his football team is, of course, Everton.”

MLB 2 WIDE $3.99

That’s the way a 100-card repack shows up on my Target receipt.  For some reason, I keep buying these things, even though I only end up keeping 10-or-so cards out of each one.  What can I say, they can be fun even if the payout’s not there… and I don’t drink, smoke or play the lottery, so in theory I’ve got cash that needs to be blown on some vice, right?

I nearly fell out of my chair because with most repacks I’ll get a stack of junk wax cards which all end up in the recycling because I don’t get any that I need.  This time, I actually NEEDED this 1987 Topps card of Paul Assenmacher.

1987 Topps Paul Assenmacher

It might not be the most exciting card around, but you must look at it.  Look at it!  LOOK AT MY ASSENMACHER! Sieht aus meiner Assenmacher!!!!

Thank you.

1987 Topps:  1 down, 47 to go.

I got this fairly interesting minor league card of recent Oriole Wilson Betemit.

2001 Just Top Prospect Promo Wilson Betemit

He used to be a big prospect, but with the Orioles this year he got DFA’ed before the season even ended.

I was also surprised that I needed this 1990 Doc Gooden:

1990 Topps Doc Gooden

How does a Mets fan go 23 years without a major base card of Dr. K?  Don’t answer that.  1 down, 81 to go for that set.

Here’s a lovely Bobby Bonilla from the 1990 US Playing Cards “Baseball Major League All-Stars” deck.

1990 US Playing Cards Bobby Bonilla

I can’t help but wonder if all of the Jacks in the deck were guys with power… because, you know, they jack the ball out of the park?  Am I reaching?  Probably.

This 2002 Topps Gallery Piazza was on the outside; this card talked me into buying the repack in the first place… Oh, like I needed a whole lot of persuasion.
2002 Topps Gallery Mike Piazza

From The Vault: Complete Drake’s Box Featuring 1987 Super Pitchers Cards

I’ve got a couple of complete Drake’s boxes in the box on the closet shelf officially known as “The Vault”.  When I first unearthed these, my first reaction was something along the lines of “coooooool!” …maybe even “kewl”, but that’s a dated reference, isn’t it?  Forget I said it.

1987 Drake's Ring Dings Gooden Morris

But things have changed a bit now that I’m trying to find a better place to keep all the things I’m finding within “The Vault”.  I’ve pulled stuff out of boxes, I’ve enjoyed looking through it, but what I’m trying not to do at this point is to just throw it all back in the box and stick it back in the closet.

So wrappers and box bottoms and the like are being put into single-pocket pages and put into appropriate binders.  Anything else that can go in a binder is going in a binder.
1987 Drake's Ring Ding Box

But a complete Drake’s box?  What do I do with that?  It’s cool, but not cool enough to put on display… and it’s much too big to go in a binder.

I don’t know… Maybe it will end up back in a box on a closet shelf.

Does anybody have any suggestions?

A Little Bleary… Worse For Wear And Tear…

I spent a large amount of the weekend staring at a laptop, taking advantage of the COMC.com sales and working on my card inventory.  My eyes are still tired from staring at the computer for so long, and of course I have to go to work today and… stare at a laptop all day.  At least it’s a different laptop.

Just a quick aside, today’s images aren’t cards I bought, but are the type of cards I was looking for.

The whole Black Friday on COMC experience is a bit of a blur…  I was shopping on-and-off all day, and aside from trying to get my usual needs, I wanted to take advantage of the searching ability of COMC to find some really offbeat stuff… I worked on player collections, I searched on soccer players I saw play for the Long Island Rough Riders in the 1990’s, I tried to find basketball cards of former Orioles pitcher Mark Hendrickson… the kind of stuff you’re not going to easily find by poking through quarter boxes.

To be honest, I don’t remember a lot of what I bought, I just know there’s a 170-something card shipment heading my way.  I bought a bunch of Hostess cards and 1960’s and 1970’s Mets, I completed one of my semi-vintage Steelers team sets, I came close to completing the first series of 1972 baseball… but that doesn’t account for 170 cards.  I have a feeling that when my package arrives, it’ll be almost a surprise, with a lot of “Oh, yeaaaaahhhhhh, I forgot I bought this one…”  Naturally, I’ll be sharing my swag when it comes.

I’m curious to know if anybody got the reference in the subject line… The phrase popped in my head when I first woke up this morning, and it took me a while to remember that it came from the Rolling Stones’ song “Far Away Eyes”.  I’m not a fan of the Stones, songs like “Satisfaction”, “Let’s Spend The Night Together”, or “It’s Only Rock N’ Roll” leave  me cold, but I like “Far Away Eyes”.  What does that say about me?  I guess it says I’m weird, but you probably figured that out by now.

Here’s the official video for that song; usually it’s just Charlie Watts that amuses me by looking extremely bored, but pretty much everybody but Mick & Ronnie look like they’d rather be elsewhere.  For what it’s worth, this is a different version than is on the “Some Girls” album; looks like they’re actually performing.

…so next week, I got a prayer for the girl – well, you know what kinda eyes she got!

Mets Monday: Trivia Time With Some Oddballs Docs

Yesterday was a long day;  we went to the Orioles/Nationals game, drove for hours, baked in the sun, and now I’m fried… both literally and figuratively.  I would like to proclaim that I guessed right on both the Old Bay Crab Shuffle (I wonder if team employees hear that music in their sleep) and the “Guess The Year” trivia.  Let’s see how you do:

  • Will Smith was “Gettin’ Jiggy With It”
  • Google was founded.
  • Eric Davis had a 30-game hitting string (You’ve gotta have an Oriole fact in there…)

While you’re thinking about that, here’s something else you can help me with… What team did Dwight Gooden pitch for between 1984 and 1994?   I can’t for the life of me remember.  Maybe these cards will help…

Hmmm… blue pinstripes… but which team?

Blue and orange… stripes down the side… Oh, why can’t I remember?

Undiscernable orange splotch on the cap.  Damn, even the licensed collectibles aren’t helping me with this.  Stoopid cards.

Are you ready for the “Guess The Year” answer, or are you still gettin’ jiggy wit’ it?  Na na na na na na na… Na na na na na na… Gettin’ jiggy wit’ it…




Good job, I knew you’d get it!  Here’s your reward.

Why did Big Baseball fail, and would it work today?

If Clay Luraschi had said that last summer’s “game changer” comment was in reference to a horizontal, 1952-56 sized, multi-series set with two photos of each player and cartoons on the back, would you have gotten excited?

If you answered “yes”, would you still be excited if the cards looked like this?

I’ve recently picked up a few 1988 Topps Big cards, and they seem like something which should’ve worked, but didn’t.  I tend to like larger-sized cards (Topps Giants, Super, 5X7, Donruss Action All-Stars), and I love cartoons on the backs of cards, but I never had any interest in these sets when they were out.  The sets were clearly aimed at kids, and apparently kids in the late 1980’s wanted garish designs.  Topps must’ve blamed the lack of success on not being ugly enough, because subsequent sets were each more hideous than their predecessor.  1990 Topps Big makes 1990 Topps look like a tasteful and classic design.

If a set like this were released today and aimed at an all-ages crowd (and actually attractive), do you think it would be successful?  Would it be something you’d buy?

I would post some 1989 and 1990 Big images, but I’m already late for work so it’ll have to wait for another time.

Here’s the back of the Gooden, plus a few other Mets: