Wednesday, October 9, 2013

1988 Topps #399 All-Star

Card Review: 9.9 This card immediately became one of my favorite Wallach cards the second I pulled one from a pack for the first time.  I even remember the exact spot on the floor in the house in Phoenix where it happened.  My father's childhood friend Ross had flown in from Rome, NY to visit.  Ross came armed with a box of 1988 Topps, and cello pack box of '88 Topps for my brother and I to split.  My brother and I spread out on the floor to tear in and stuff our faces with gum.  

Ross owned a tobacco/candy distribution warehouse in Rome, and subsequently had cards much sooner then the general public.  So this was our first look at the set, and also made us the first kids in the neighborhood to have them by a couple of weeks.  Ross was always my brother and I's favorite visitor. This Wallach couldn't have been more impressive to me if it was glowing inside the pack.  I'm sure I took pause, slurring though a mouthful of gum, to show off this master piece to everyone else.

Ross was also the guy who started giving me a box of cards every year when I was born, well before I was old enough to do anything but drool and chew on them.  The '83 Topps box he gave me was the box I pulled my first Wallach from, and he inadvertently is to blame for starting this collection.

Wallach was a National League All-Star five times (and deserved to be at least another four times).  As a kid it used to irritate me to no end when he would make the All-Star team and not be included in the Topps All-Star subset.  I've learned since then, that I had a fundamental misunderstanding of how Topps did their "All-Stars."  They only took one player from each position, not all the All-Stars, making the actual All-Star team wasn't even required.  So the fact that Topps did two All-Star cards of Wallach wasn't a slight, especially considering he was never named a starter on the All-Star team (though he should have been at least two or three times).

In any event, this card was, and remains one of my All-Time favorite Wallach cards.  As an eight year old I actually had my mother (who was an art teacher, and remains a fantastic artist) draw a giant poster of this with crayons, which I proudly hung on the door of my room for a couple of years until there was nothing left scotch tape could do for it.  I'm sure she wished she hadn't because she ended up doing similar ones of other players for all the kids on the street.  By the end I think she was mailing it in, because there were some funky looking Don Mattingly and Kirby Puckett's coming out of her "studio."

Number of this card in my collection: 164
2013 update: 337
2014 update: 384
2015 update: 524 
2016 update: 579
2017 update: 607
2018 update: 705
2019 update: 763
2020 update: 823
2021 update: 826
2022 update: 931
2023 update: 953


  1. Historic post. I'm almost as sad as I was when I finished reading "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke. I'm glad the blog is here to stay, though!

  2. The 1988 Topps All Star subset is my favorite of all their in-set All Star subsets. I heartily approve this post.

    As for the "seven" - please post them ASAP. I am always on the look out for other bloggers wantlists, especially the esoteric or unusual.

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  4. I have that card if anyone is interested.