Spine Cards - The 1980's
Last week I posted a run down of the cards I keep in my 1970's binders. Much like majority of the sets from that decade, choosing the cards is a work in progress. I'm four cards short of completing the run of sets from 1980-89, missing only three commons (9, 248, 495) and the Nolan Ryan from the 1980 set. I'm also much more committed to my choice of spine cards, though they are far from set in stone. Here's a run down of the current "spine card" selections:
1980 Lou Whitaker
Chance of staying: 35%
Lou's chances have more to do with my desire to swap out the '83 Reggie than anything to do with this card. I've always been a big Lou Whitaker fan, and this has always been a card that I really liked. However, Reggie is a guy that demands to be in a spine, and I'd like him to be in a Yankee uniform. 1980 or 1977 are the two most likely landing spots for him.
1981 Eddie Murray
Chance of Staying: 95%
This was a set I never thought I cared for. Until I actually made the effort to put what I had (about 50% of it) into 9-page sleeves and a binder and get down to finding the rest. In completing this set I picked up a new found appreciation for it. There are a ton of great looking cards. It's also a very affordable set to complete. The Padres have particularly nice looking cards with the brown uniforms and red borders, which made Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield tempting choices. But the Winfield isn't the best picture and Ozzie belongs as a Cardinal. Eddie Murray is 3000/500 guy and one of the more under-appreciated All-Time greats. I love this dug out shot with the water cooler and sideburns. It's staying.
1982 Rickey Henderson
Chance of Staying: 100%
There's no debate here. This is on my short list of All-Time greatest baseball cards. A guy that goes on my Mt. Rushmore of ball players doing what he does best. Sure there are later cards of Rickey showing slides and dirt flying, but if you think about it, that wasn't where the excitement was. The excitement of Rickey was in the suspense (or lack of) when he got on base. Everybody in the Stadium knew he was going to go. You can practically feel the nerves of all the unseen players radiating out of this card.
1983 Reggie Jackson
Chance of Staying: 1%
I love Reggie Jackson, and I love this card. The sunglasses are perfect. On top of that, it was the card used on the display box. However, Reggie wasn't really an Angel, and the 80's aren't the decade he belongs in. So he's moving. Carlton Fisk is the clubhouse leader for this spot (yes, I think of him as a White Sox), and Fernando Valenzuela is another strong canidate. Regggie will likely end up in the 1980 spot (I know it's the wrong decade, but it's a great looking card) or the 1977 spot. But he won't be here.
1984 Tony Gwynn
Chance of Staying: 85%
I've really struggled with this card and set. Gwynn, oddly, really does not have a wealth of great looking Topps base cards to choose from. This is probably my favorite, but it's really early in his career. That said, I think this card stays here for the forseeable future.
1985 Ryne Sandberg
Chance of Staying: 90%
I always thought 1985 Topps was one of my favorite sets, until I got around to completing it. It's far from terrible, it just isn't as great as I thought it was in my head. Too many posed torso/head shots of guys with grass or sky backgrounds. This Sandberg stands out to me, and I'm satisfied with it being here.
1986 George Brett
Chance of Staying: 90%
This George Brett near the halfway point of his career and coming off his first World Series win. There were actually a decent number of cards to choose from for '86, but this one works for me and why make thing more difficult than they need to be.
1987 Darryl Strawberry
Chance of Staying: 92%
Straw is going to have home in a spine, and there are no shortage of great looking Strawberry cards to choose from. 1987 Topps, depending on my mood, is my favorite Topps set. So if I waiver on this card, it's due more of a feeling that the set deserves something epic. Still, this card represents it well, the Mets were defending Champions and Strawberry was still at the top of his game. Also the Mets logo and uniforms look great in the sun with the wood border.
1988 Tim Raines
Chance of Staying: 65%
There are probably 20 cards from this set that I would feel good about using. For now it's Tim Raines in Shea. Raines will always have a home in a spine, even if some shuffling has to occur, which it will, as my 1995-99 set building efforts linger between 50% to 0% complete (I literally have no Topps from '98 or '99)
1989 Don Mattingly
Chance of Staying: 47%
Mattingly is probably getting moved, it's just a question of where he goes, what card replaces this one, and when. The player selection for this set is going to be heavily influenced by who ends up in the 90's spines, but given that I haven't even have binders for the second half of that decade, it could be awhile.