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.

Repacks, Small Boys In Target, Weird Airbrushing And Other Things

Back in January I was in Target to get a couple of things, and while I was there I grabbed the last Fairfield 100 card repack they had… I put it in my basket and then started looking at the other stuff there.

Also in the card aisle was a boy, I’m guessing about 8 years old (although I’m terrible at guessing ages), and he looked at me and asked “What did you get?”

I showed him the repack and said “Oh, I’m just getting this… I’ve had pretty good luck with them”.  I saw a couple of packs of Topps football cards in his hand, so I said “I like the Football cards this year”.  He went on to tell me that he liked the Redskins and RG3, I said I didn’t care one way or the other about the Redskins but I liked RG3.  I made a comment about baseball cards coming in another week or two, and then said something along the lines of “see you later” and left.

Afterwards it occurred to me that I couldn’t remember the last time I had a verbal hobby conversation with someone who wasn’t trying to sell me cards. Now I kind of wish I’d spoken to the boy longer.

At any rate, it was nice to meet a boy who was interested in cards, and it was very nice see a kid in the card aisle instead of some guy camped out on the floor feeling up packs.

Before we got to talking, this card on the back of my repack caught my attention:
1984 Milton Bradley Ted Simmons
When I saw the card, a voice inside my head – very much like Mel Brooks doing an old man – said “What the hell is this?”  The airbrush artist wasn’t satisfied with removing the Brewers logo, he decided he’d go all-out and add red to the collar and red side panels on Simmons cap. It’s odd, but sort of appealing. The end result is a sort of combination of the Brewers and Expos… Ladies and gentlemen, your Montwaukee Brewxpos!

Here are the other highlights of the the repack…

This Oriole came from the 1990 Donruss “Best Of The American League” box set. I wonder if the “regular” 1990 Donruss set would’ve been met with such universal disdain if they’d used this blue instead of traffic cone orange.
1990 Donruss Best Jeff Ballard

I also got the usual assortment of Topps Stickers, including this one which features two Shlabotnik favorites:  Steve Jeltz and a very young B.J. Surhoff.
1990 Topps Stickers Samuel Surhoff

On the back of some other stickers, I got a Sid Fernandez to add to my Mets collection…
1990 Topps Stickers Sid Fernandez

Finally, I got another addition to my 1980’s/1990’s Topps Glossy insert collection:
1991 Topps Glossy Rookies Scott Ruskin

I have to admit, I was fairly well disappointed by this repack.  It was largely devoid of  “fun junk”… I know that’s very subjective, but there were no obscure regional 1980’s box set cards, no Studio cards, no Topps Total or UD 40 Man, no cards older than 1982, just the one Topps glossy insert, and only a couple of what used to be “high end” cards (i.e. Stadium Club, Leaf).  Part of the disappointment might be because a couple of cards which could’ve been fun were done in by having Sammy Sosa on them.

Mets Monday: 19?? Wiz Postcards

Most Mets fans are familiar with the 1991 “Wiz” set which was a season-long giveaway of posters that were perforated to make little cards with black & white photos of every Met in the team’s history to that point.

1991 Wiz Mets Frank ViolaThere was another Mets-related set sponsored by The Wiz, this one a 6-postcard set of Mets pitchers.  Each postcard is 5″ x 7″ and features either Dwight Gooden, Frank Viola, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez, David Cone or Bobby Ojeda.

I’ve seen these referred to 1991 issue and a 1989 issue… but since Frankie V. was acquired at the trade deadline in 1989, I kinda doubt that was the year.  I’ve got mine stored in a binder with my 1991 cards, so I’m going to stick with that in the absence of evidence to the contrary. Feel free to correct me and/or call me a dumbass.

1991 Wiz Mets Sid FernandezThese postcards are nice, and probably work out well for autographs. Unfortunately the way they were printed was very dark and some of the cards are overwhelmed by shadow. One of the reasons I’m featuring El Sid and Frankie V in this post is because they’re two of the lighter postcards. On Doc’s card, you can barely see his face.

For those who don’t know, “Nobody Beats The Wiz” was a regional electronics chain in the northeast, mainly the New York metro area. Back at their peak, they put a fair amount of money into sponsoring New York sports. You can see part of their ad on the Yankee Stadium outfield wall if you go and look at pictures of the infamous moment in the 1996 ALCS where a 12-year-old fan (I won’t mention his name) reached out over the Orioles’ Tony Tarasco to pull in a fly ball, giving a home run to an undeserving Yankee shortstop (I won’t mention his name either).

1991 Wiz Mets Gooden Back