Saturday, May 2, 2020

Great link: How old is Don Mattingly, anyway?

The 1987 Topps baseball cards had a fantastic design1, with their wood grain frame around the photograph on the front. And they were issued during the peak of my card collecting, when I was 16. I had disposable income, a deep interest in following baseball and friends who were also collectors.

I had a few of the coveted 1987 Topps Don Mattingly cards. So I really dug the recent Sam Miller article on about a mystery on the back of the 1987 Mattingly card. It's a great read, and I won't spoil any of it for you. Check it out if you need a break from reading about COVID-19, Kim Jong-un and murder hornets.

(You clicked on the murder hornets, didn't you? Sigh.)

1. The three best Topps designs from 1970 to 1990 were, in my view: 1981, 1987 and 1971. I want to like 1972 and 1975 more, but the colors should have been better coordinated to match the teams. The 1978 and 1980 Topps cards are memorable because I grew up with so many of them in my shoebox, but they're nothing to write home about, design-wise. The 1983 and 1984 cards perhaps deserve more credit for having both an action shot and a head shot, but I can't get too excited about them. The years 1985 through 1990 were just godawful ugly with one exception, which is why it's such a miracle that 1987 turned out so brilliantly.

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