We’ve taken a look at a sample of the Donruss, Fleer, and Score Ozzie Smith cards that I have in my collection. Today we’ll take a look at the Topps and Upper Deck selections. Unsurprisingly, Topps has the most (given their status as the king of the industry) so let’s go ahead and start with them.
It’s kinda cool that Topps made a record breaker card out of something like the most assists by a shortstop. Obviously Ozzie’s defensive capabilities were on view early on, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect such a card to be made today. I don’t know that I ever got the 1982 Traded card that showed him in the Cardinal uniform, but that’s a pretty nice looking Padres version as well.
The ’84 outing is really sharp. Too many cards, in this era, used pictures of the Wizard wearing the baby blues or maybe even the grays. But to put the home whites with a white card and a red Cardinals down the side, that’s just excellent. As for the ’86, I really kinda liked that blocky style of the team name on the black border, something we got to see a lot in the book The Wax Pack.
As I said in the last post, ’87 was the year I started collecting but even if it wasn’t, there’s a good chance that Topps set would have a special place in my collection. It has that wood grain that’s somewhat like the 1962 set we talked about earlier in the quarantine. It’s sharp, it stands out, and it’s just a real nice set. I remember my brother having that Ozzie All-Star card before I had any, then he dropped it outside and it got ruined by the rain. Of course, it wasn’t too long before we both had plenty of the regular one and the All-Star. Man, I can still smell those cards, can’t you? Soon after that year I ran across one of those team sets matted that you can find in craft stores and the like of the 1987 Cardinals. I had it put away for a number of years, but when we moved, it went right over my monitor in our new front room/office.
Anyway, big fan of the 1987 Topps, even if the whole set is probably worth $10.65.
I think the ’88 All-Star card was the first Ozzie I got that year, because it really stands out to me as one of my favorites even though it’s a fairly boring card overall. I enjoyed the ’90 Topps look with the name bending in the swoop at the bottom and the white border as well.
The last of the major companies is Upper Deck. Upper Deck really started the end of the boom, because $1 a pack was pretty pricey then. Not that the cards weren’t worth it, but then all the other companies wanted to get in on that action and suddenly there were a ton of specialty packs and you couldn’t get anything for change anymore. Still, though, they were really cool.
I’m a sucker for those artistic drawings like on the 1989 checklist above. I know I had some other ones like that as well–I distinctly remember some caricatures done for one of the companies, though I didn’t have that one in this stash I found. And how can you not like that full laughing face picture from 1991?
Next time, we’ll look at some random cards from random manufacturers and sets!