Right off the bat I can tell this is going to be a lot of fun. I put the complete 1994 Topps set into a brand new binder with 100+ nine-pocket pages and it looks fantastic. What was I thinking storing them in boxes? I started with 1994 simply because it is the only set that was still in its own box and not mixed in with 20 other years of cards. So the easy part is done, but now I can at least look at something I completed even if I get bogged down in the 80's somewhere. And look at card #180 - George Brett's final Topps issue. Shot from behind, his famous #5 plainly visible as is his characteristic swing. Brett himself takes up only a small portion of the photo. The Kaufman Stadium scoreboard and fountains are visible and the whole photo gives an impression of fading away which is quite appropriate since it was Brett's final campaign. This is probably my favorite card out of the set and my favorite George Brett card overall.
On deck is the 1988 Topps set. Not my personal favorite, but since the engrossing 88 Topps Blog inspired this project, I thought I would tackle it next. Maybe I'll change my mind about the set after studying it up close.
Which brings me to another point I wanted to make. I've read and heard so many disparaging words about baseball cards from the 80's and 90's. I've seen complete sets go for as little as $10 on eBay. That depresses a lot of people, but not me. I want to enjoy these cards, not monitor them like a stock portfolio. After storing all my cards for 20 years in boxes meant to protect them I think all I managed to accomplish was to get them ignored and unappreciated. After looking at some of them I came to realize something. These are real, honest baseball cards doing exactly what they are supposed to do, which is to artfully provide information about the players that season. It is also like looking at an old family picture album. With each team you get the well-known veterans that have provided the backbone of the success of the team for 10,15, even 20 years. You also get a glimmer of what is to come when you see the fresh faces of Kenny Lofton, Charlie Nagy, and Manny Ramirez in their Indian's uniforms two years before they propelled the lackluster Indians of 1975-1993 to the World Series. This is the kind of appreciation you can't get except by going back and looking at teams 10-20 years old. So far this project has been a smashing success as far as I am concerned.