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Fun Cards: 1986 Topps Bob Gibson (Gold Glove edition)

Gibson Gold Glove

I created a handful of “fun cards” for Bob Gibson a couple of days ago, and thought I would share them with you over the next few days. This one features Gibby receiving one of his nine Gold Glove Awards.

Goodbye, Bob Gibson

(November 9, 1935 – October 2, 2020)

Bob Gibson was one of the most intimidating pitchers to ever take the mound in Major League Baseball. His 1968 season stands as one of the greatest of all time, with 268 strikeouts and a minuscule 1.77 ERA earning him both Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player honors. After his Hall of Fame playing career, “Hoot” served as the pitching coach for the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves under manager Joe Torre.

Goodbye, Lou Brock

Brock 1986 Topps Cardinals

Speedy Hall of Famer Lou Brock, the holder of the all-time stolen base record until Rickey Henderson came on the scene, passed away today. He was 81 years old. The six-time All-Star was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985 on the strength of his prowess on the basepaths and more than 3,000 hits.

Fun Cards: 1986 Topps, 1993 Donruss, 1996 Topps Poison

Bret Michaels Poison 1986 Topps

Poison has been one of my favorite bands for a long time. Although I’ve been disappointed that they seem to only be interested in doing “greatest hits” tours for the past 20 years, they are still fun to see in concert. Bret Michaels is supposed to be playing a solo show in my hometown at the end of next month, if it doesn’t get Covid-canceled.

CC DeVille Poison 1986 Topps

But my favorite part of the music is the guitar. C.C. DeVille is, in my opinion, a vastly underrated guitarist. I love his riffs.

Rikki Rockett Poison 1986 Topps

Bobby Dall Poison 1986 Topps

The rhythm section is solid but a bit underwhelming. Rikki Rockett and Bobby Dall are consistent, but Bret and C.C. are where the show is really at.

After three studio albums and a live record, C.C. DeVille was ousted from the band and replaced by Richie Kotzen. He was an excellent guitarist, not as flashy but more technically competent than DeVille.

Richie Kotzen Poison 1993 Donruss

The 1993 Native Tongue release was the only album Kotzen appeared on, and he was fired near the end of the year, replaced by another young solo guitar whiz, Blues Saraceno.

Blues Saraceno Poison 1996 Topps

Saraceno worked on an album called Crack A Smile. It was originally scheduled for a 1994 release, but was delayed due to an injury Michaels sustained. In 1996, Capitol Records decided to release Greatest Hits 1986-1996 rather than Crack A Smile. It was finally released in 2000, but since two of the tracks appeared on the 1996 compilation, Saraceno gets the 1996 virtual cardboard treatment.

I really love the band’s remake of “Cover of the Rolling Stone.” Check it out below…

Fun Cards: 1977, 1983, 1986, and 1988 Topps Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali passed away on Thursday last week after battling pancreatic cancer. Banali joined the group in 1982 and made his recording debut with DuBrow and the boys on 1983’s Metal Health. I love making “fun cards” of musicians using classic baseball card designs, and his passing reminded me that I had not created cards for Quiet Riot yet. So, without further ado, the classic 1983 Metal Health lineup of Quiet Riot: Kevin DuBrow, Frankie Banali, Carlos Cavazo, and Rudy Sarzo

Kevin DuBrow Quiet Riot singer 1983 Topps

Frankie Banali Quiet Riot drummer 1983 Topps

Carlos Cavazo Quiet Riot guitarist 1983 Topps

Rudy Sarzo Quiet Riot bass guitar 1983 Topps

Metal Health was the first heavy metal album to reach #1 on the Billboard charts on the strength of their cover of the Slade song, “Cum On Feel the Noize.”

Unfortunately, the follow-up Critical Condition did not fare as well, and subsequent releases failed to recapture that spark from 1983. On 1986’s QR III, bassist Sarzo was replaced with Chuck Wright.

Chuck Wright Quiet Riot bass guitar 1986 Topps

By 1988 DuBrow was out of the band in favor of Rough Cutt vocalist Paul Shortino (as was Wright, replaced by Sean McNabb). Shortino only appeared on one album and the group disbanded in 1989 (only to be resurrected a couple of years later by DuBrow and Cavazo, with Kenny Hillery on bass and Pat Ashby on drums).

Paul Shortino Quiet Riot vocalist 1988 Topps

Sean McNabb Quiet Riot bass guitar 1988 Topps

Membership in the band was a revolving door, regardless of your role in the band. Eight singers, seven guitarists, eight bass players, and four drummers spent time with the group. Banali was the most consistent, appearing on every studio recording except for the first two (which were released in Japan only) and the underrated 1993 compilation that featured some of the best of those records and outtakes.

Speaking of the first two records…it was 1978’s Quiet Riot II that featured the first Quiet Riot “fun cards” on the back cover, styled after 1978 Topps football cards…

Quiet Riot II 1978 Topps Randy Rhoads Kevin DuBrow Rudy Sarzo, Drew Forsyth

Goodbye, Marie Fredriksson

(May 30, 1958 – December 9, 2019)

Marie Fredriksson Roxette

Singer and songwriter Marie Fredriksson, best known for her work with the 1980s pop duo Roxette, died yesterday in Sweden from complications from a brain tumor. She was 61 years old.

Marie Fredriksson Roxette

Roxette’s debut album, Pearls of Passion, was released in 1986, but it was 1988’s Look Sharp! that put the group in the spotlight, selling 9 million copies across the globe. The follow-up, Joyride, was released in 1991 and sold 11 million worldwide. They scored four #1 hits in the US: “The Look,” “Listen To Your Heart,” “It Must Have Been Love,” and “Joyride.” One of my personal favorites, however, failed to reach the top spot…

Per Gessle Roxette

Per Gessle Roxette

Fun Cards Submission: 1986 Topps Ken Griffey, Jr. by Lanny Ribes!

Lanny Ribes (@DOCBZ17 on Twitter) stepped up to the challenge and started sending custom Ken Griffey Jr. cards last night. The first was 1986 Topps featuring Junior with the White Sox.

Griffey 1986 Topps

Lanny posts a bunch of customs on his Twitter feed featuring his son and always does a spectacular job. Thank you for sharing a few Griffeys with me and allowing me to post them here!

I’ll post another Lanny custom tomorrow. If anyone else wants to get in the game, send files or links to my e-mail or on Twitter! (P.S. — It’s not really a game and there are no prizes.)

1986 Topps oddballs

When I dove into collecting baseball cards at about ten years old, I collected everything I could get my hands on. There were nearly as many oddball sets as there are parallel sets today, and I grabbed as much as I could. Here are a few of the offerings that bore the Topps name.

Glossy Send-Ins

Cobra 1986 Topps glossy

These cards did not come in packs. You had to collect a certain number of “offer cards” from regular packs, then send them in along with postage to receive them. I never did order them directly from Topps but picked up a few in trades.

Mini League Leaders

1986 Topps Mini League Leaders

Before baseball-reference.com, we relied on baseball cards stats to know who the best players were. In 1986, Topps issued a set of mini “League Leaders.” The back of this card reveals that Mario Soto finished the 1985 season second in the National League with 214 strikeouts, tied for 6th in games started, tied for 6th in complete games, and 7th in innings pitched.

Quaker Chewy Granola Bars

1986 Topps Quaker Chewy Granola Parker

Baseball card companies partnered with food products often in the olden days. Post Cereal, Kellogg’s, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese were just a handful of the food products that featured cards in products. Quaker Chewy Granola bars was another, and Dave Parker was one of the more common Reds players to show up in these sets from 1985-1988. These cards are usually found in very good condition, so I assume they were available through mail-order rather than included in the box itself.

Topps Tattoos

1986 Topps Tattoos

Topps Tattoos were sold in packs, but I don’t recall ever seeing them in stores. I picked up a few featuring Reds players through trades. The full sheets featured several players; this particular sheet included not only Tony Perez, but fellow Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith and a player with one of the greatest nicknames in the history of baseball: Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd. Right next to Perez is the late Donnie Moore, who tragically took his own life in 1989.

Let’s flip the image to see what it would look like if you applied it to your skin:

1986 Topps Tattoos

I’m so used to seeing them reversed, flipping it just looks weird.

O-Pee-Chee

O-Pee-Chee

Are O-Pee-Chee cards oddballs? Sold in packs in Canada, but singles always traveled south and into the hands of American kids. I loved cards like this Bill Gullickson, showing the original Topps photo but new team designation.

My first complete set

I started acquiring baseball cards in 1985.

I started collecting baseball cards in 1986. The first packs I remember opening were 1986 Topps. I received some cards here and there in 1985 but didn’t really know what I was doing at all. In 1986, though, that all changed. Not only did I open packs, but I also traded with friends. I read box scores. I researched card prices in Beckett. I became a fanatic. Finding Reds cards of Eric Davis, Tony Perez, Mario Soto, Dave Parker, and Buddy Bell became an obsession.

Bell 1986 Topps

My parents gave me the complete factory set of 1986 Topps ordered from the JC Penney at Christmas, and I was over the moon. Seven hundred ninety-two pristine, gem mint baseball cards. This was before the era of graded cards, and I knew little about printing defects or off-centering. All I knew was that I had the complete factory set in the yellow box.

Rose special

Pete Rose was likely a big reason for my initial interest in baseball. In 1985 he was chasing Ty Cobb‘s all-time hits record and every Cincinnati news outlet covered the milestone. He was a Cincinnati kid, he epitomized the value of hustle and hard work. Topps honored Rose with a special subset in the 1986 base set. The legend was featured on card #1, while cards #2-7 showed all of Pete’s base cards through the years. Topps also featured him as a manager on a separate card (#741), featuring a checklist of all the 1986 Topps Reds cards on the back. And then there was the Record Breaker” (#206).

That’s nine different cards of one player. Complete insanity at the time. Also completely worth it to honor such a legend. Bear in mind this was a couple of years before the whispers of gambling and betting on baseball. To Reds fans, Pete Rose could do no wrong.

There is one other card Topps produced for Rose in conjunction with their standard set, but it was not a part of the complete factory set. Rather, you had to be one of the last kids buying a pack at the convenience store to get this card.

1986 Topps Pete  Rose box bottom

The box bottom cards were not easy to come by. Most stores, after selling all the packs, would pitch the box in the trash. If you knew about the special cards you could cut out then you could ask for the box but if it wasn’t close to empty, most store clerks would deny your request. It was difficult to cut the cards out properly because of the thickness of the box and the fear of getting caught with Mom’s good scissors.

There may not have been a lot of great rookie cards in the 1986 Topps set, but it will always hold a special place in my collection and in my heart.

Horror Fun Cards: 1986 Topps Ray Cameron

1986 Topps Night Of The Creeps Ray Cameron

Purchase Night of the Creeps!

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