Saturday, January 12, 2019

My Favorite Mail-In Cards Part 1

Another update for my on-going project with the 1980s Topps Glossy Mail sets.  I have set a goal of completing this project at some point during February, so still another month and a half left to track down a few more cards.  I explained the project and gave the original quantities needed for each set here, the update on the 1983 set is posted here, and the 1989 set is here

Today, I am going to post the 1986 set, which I finished off over the holidays.  I was out of town and had my mail held.  Had a blast opening up a few different packages from different collectors who helped me put together the final 18 cards that I needed for this set.  You are appreciated.  

There are 60 cards in this set, this is the first third. Have not quite decided if I am going to put the other two-thirds into a post, or do thirds straight across the board.  All of the cards in this set will be up at some point.   This was the first year that Topps used a larger checklist, so some of these cards are prospects from that year.  Let's get into the set, I will explain why I love these cards more than the other glossy mail-in sets.  

Scans are groups of three and remarkably straight.  

Not sure what happened to the Fernando end of the scan.  Did I open the scanner too soon?  It's possible.  There is little difference design wise between this set and the previous sets, or the ones that followed.  First, I love the photography with these cards.  So many little things in here.  Fernando doing that thing he did with his eyes before he threw the ball.  

This was not quite the end of Reggie's career, but this felt like a good possible farewell card, until Topps also put him in the 1987 Glossy Mail-In set.  It's the 1986 Jeter hat tip gif....

but about 25 years earlier. Reggie was around for a few years when I first started collecting, but I am not sure I gave him much thought.  Just an old guy on the Angels.  

Oddibe McDowell was a prospect in this set.  His 1985 Topps Olympic Team card is the first thing that comes to mind when I see him, but this is a nice card too.  Never panned out into anything spectacular, but he played in the Majors for seven years.  That's something.  

Balboni.  Meh.  

Rickey Henderson on the Yankees.  Meh.  Don't get me wrong, I really like Rickey Henderson, just never really got into his Yankees years.   

Jack Clark is something, especially to the 1986 version of me.  I started collecting cards in 1983 and my favorite team was the Cardinals, not the best year for the Cardinals.  Things weren't much better in 1984, but the 1985 Cardinals were the first time that I got to collect current Cardinals players who were on a good team.  

In the end, the first base umpire came up a little short, but still a great season for the Cardinals.  So many great memories of the different players.    

Jack Clark was a favorite and this was the best Jack Clark card in my collection at the time.  He was not a Cardinal for long, but this was one of the best home runs in the history of the team.  

Two minute video, but a minute and half of it is Jack Clark running around the bases really really slowly.  

McGee was another favorite Cardinals player.  Not sure McGee really had a specific great moment in 1985, but he won the National League batting title and won the N.L. MVP.  Solid outfielder for a long time.  

Parrish was a nice player, but I did not really get to see him much until later in his career.  He had that cool catcher's mitt with the orange padding.  

Hernandez was not well liked in St. Louis at this point.  Things have kind of cooled off in recent years with Hernandez becoming eligible of the Cardinals Hall of Fame, and he speaks nicely about the team and his time there.  

Probably not enough time, or space to rehash the reasons the Cardinals dumped him, but you can go look up the Pittsburgh Drug Trials.  You get the idea.  

Nice group of cards here with two Hall of Famers and Dave Parker.  Miss those Expos cards.  Ripken is Ripken, nice player, but I really do not have an opinion on him one way or another. 

I really like the Parker card.  Wrigley Field always makes a nice background, feel like I type that once a month, but this is also how I best remember Parker, with the Reds.  He's not a Hall of Famer, but he's close.  I was pretty young during his Pirate years, still had some great seasons in Cincinnati.  

Three Hall of Famers in this group.  Last year for Carew, not quite the end for Schmidt, but still one of his last few years.  Brett was in his prime at this point.  

Last group of cards, which includes my favorite card in the set.  

First off, Pasqua was a pretty promising prospect for the Yankees.  He played 60 games in 1985 and hit 9 home runs, also a local player from New Jersey. 

Hesketh was probably more than a prospect in this set.  He pitched most of 1985 in Montreal ending the year with a 10-5 record, 2.49 ERA, and a 3.3 WAR.  His season, and in many ways career ended when he was involved in a collision at home plate against the Dodgers.  

From the August 24th, 1985 Washington Post:  

In the second inning with Montreal leading, 1-0, U.L. Washington singled and Hesketh walked. Tim Raines hit a double to shallow center off the glove of Candy Maldonado. Washington scored and Hesketh tried to score all the way from first. But catcher Mike Scioscia blocked the plate and Hesketh tripped over Scioscia's foot, landing hard on his left leg. He was carried off the field on a stretcher and taken to a hospital where it was determined that he fractured his left shin bone. Hesketh, a rookie left-hander, is 10-5.

Hesketh ended up playing almost a decade in the Majors with the Expos, Braves, and Red Sox, but never came close to repeating the success he had in 1985.  All of which brings me to the last card for this post, which belongs to Vince Coleman.  

I have written several different times in my blog space about my 9 year old self loving the 1986 Vince Coleman cards.  His 1986 Topps cards is my all-time personal favorite Vince Coleman card.  A major highlight of my collecting during the 1980s.  

The 1986 Topps Glossy Send-In cards represented my second best Vince Coleman card.  At least according to the nine year old version of me.  The Glossy Coleman card was part of the 42 cards that I started out with when I starting working on this project, but after looking over my copy of the card, I decided that it had received a little too much love.  So, I actually found 19 cards to close out this portion of my project with an upgraded Coleman card without rounded corners and finger prints on the glossy finish.  

In case you thought Vince Coleman was just some failed Mets free agent....

he was a pretty spectacular weapon for the Whitey Herzog era Cardinals who did a lot of running.  He put a lot of pressure on defenses.  If you have five minutes and enjoy great base running, there is a video of him creating his own run with nobody else on the National League putting the ball into play during the 1988 All-Star game.  


  1. Vince Coleman is one of my all-time favorite Cardinals. I was all about the speed in the 80's... which is why I love Rickey too. Well... like you... I can do without the years of seeing him in pinstripes.

    1. I know a lot of people who collect Henderson cards, never met one who does much of anything with his Yankees cards. I know a lot of Yankees collectors who do not touch him either. Not sure what the deal is....