Sunday, November 20, 2011

1985 Topps Phillies

1985 Topps #500, #454, #265 and #611
Name just about any Topps Phillies card from the 1980's and I can close my eyes and picture it in my head.  I wonder if the same could be said about kids and baseball cards today?  I sincerely hope there's some young collector out there who will one day have the same nostalgic memories about the Topps sets from the 2010s as I do about any Topps set from the 1980s.  

Go ahead and queue up "We Are the World," as we're about to look back to 1985.

1985 Topps #265 (Back)
The Set
Number of cards in the set:  Once again, it's a 792-card set with a 132-card traded set added at the end of the year.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but I loved this set.  Team logos on the fronts of cards always make me happy and this set had a bunch of really cool subsets.  Had I not gone with the 1979 Topps design for the 2012 Chachi set (for sentimental reasons), the 1985 Topps design probably would have been chosen.
Notable competition:  1985 was the first year that I remember packs of Topps, Fleer and Donruss being readily available at our Wawa.  My Dad would bring home a pack or two or three upon each and every of his Wawa visits, and I was able to put together two complete Topps sets.  I collected the entire Fleer set as well, and I'm somewhat close to a second Fleer set.  (I believe Santa brought me the 1985 Donruss set.)  As kids, we loved the black borders on the Donruss cards and the gray borders on the Fleer cards.  Topps must have had a focus group of kids in place somewhere, as they decided to go with a partial black border with its 1986 issue.

1985 Phillies
Record and finish:  New manager John Felske led the Phils to a 75-87 record - the team's worst record since 1973.  They finished in fifth place, 26 games behind the Cardinals.
Key players:  By his own high standards, Mike Schmidt had an off year, hitting .277 with 33 home runs and 93 RBIs.  His ill-fated switch over to first base to make room for up-and-comer Rick Schu may have had something to do with his slight offensive drop.  Glenn Wilson led the team with 102 RBIs as his "Glennbo" commercials hit the airwaves.  Ozzie Virgil and Juan Samuel each had 19 home runs.  Steve Carlton was at the beginning of the end, as he went 1-8 with a 3.33 ERA in just 16 starts.  Kevin Gross led the pitching staff with 15 wins, followed by Shane Rawley's 13.  Kent Tekulve, acquired in a late April trade from the Pirates for Al Holland, led the team with 14 saves.
Key events:  One of the sole highlights of the season was the team's demolishing of the Mets on June 11th by a score of 26-7.  I highlighted the game in a previous Scrapbook Sunday post.  In what seemed like an earth-shaking trade at the time, the Phillies traded catcher Bo Diaz to the Reds in August for Tom Foley, Alan Knicely and Fred Toliver.

1985 Topps Traded #62T, #104T, 1985 Topps #476 and #68
1985 Phillies in 1985 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 32 Phillies cards in the regular set and another 7 in the traded set, for a total of 39 1985 Topps Phillies cards.  That's a seven-card drop from 1984.
Who’s in:
  • Cards of the eight starting position players - 8 cards
#611 Ozzie Virgil (c), #500 Mike Schmidt (1b), #265 Juan Samuel (2b), #62T Steve Jeltz (ss), #104T Rick Schu (3b), #476 Jeff Stone (lf), #68 Von Hayes (cf), #454 Glenn Wilson (rf)
  • Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 5 cards
#325 John Denny, #584 Kevin Gross, #636 Shane Rawley, #379 Charles Hudson, #15 Jerry Koosman

1985 Topps #325, #584, #636 and #379
  • Base cards of other players who played with the Phillies in 1985 - 14 cards
#39 John Wockenfuss, #117 Greg Gross, #185 Al Holland, #235 Garry Maddox, #302 Tim Corcoran, #360 Steve Carlton, #428 Larry Andersen, #663 Luis Aguayo, #737 Bo Diaz, #763 Kiko Garcia, #16T Don Carman, #98T Dave Rucker, #117T Kent Tekulve, #121T Derrel Thomas
  • Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 1985 - 7 cards (with new teams listed)
#130 Al Oliver (Dodgers), #157 Tug McGraw (Retired), #209 Bill Campbell (Cardinals), #531 Joe Lefebvre (Injured), #556 Sixto Lezcano (Pirates), #688 Len Matuszek (Blue Jays), #791 Ivan DeJesus (Cardinals)
  • Phillies appearing on Record Breaker cards - 1 card, #8 Juan Samuel
  • Phillies appearing on Father-Son cards - 1 card, #143 Ozzie Virgil
  • Phillies appearing on National League All Star cards - 1 card, #714 Mike Schmidt
  • Manager cards - 2 cards, #92 Paul Owens and #33T John Felske

1985 Topps #235, #302, #360 and 1985 Topps Traded #16T
Who’s out:  Phillies farm hands John Russell and Darren Daulton were again excluded from the Topps set, despite playing in 81 and 36 games respectively.  Reliever Dave Shipanoff appeared in 26 games with the club, but he didn't merit a card in the traded series either.  (Daulton made his debut in the 1985 Fleer Update set.)
Phillies on other teams:  There are three players who eventually made it as Phillies in the traded set - #125 Kent Tekulve (Pirates), #421 Dave Rucker (Cardinals) and #448 Derrel Thomas (Expos).  And three players who didn't make it - #57 Pat Zachry (Dodgers), #107 Tom Foley (Reds) and #723 Dave Stewart (Rangers)
What’s he doing here:  I don't have any qualms with the player selection.  McGraw receives a well-deserved final tribute card, as the lefty reliever had announced his retirement over the winter.  I guess Lezcano could have been replaced with another Phillie - he had become a free agent way back in November 1984.
Cards that never were candidates:  I've already shown off the ten cards that never were, but the four truly deserving players are Russell, Daulton, Shipanoff and Foley, who didn't join the club until August.
Favorite Phillies card:  Teke's first Topps Phillies card with The Vet in the background is very cool, but Wilson was a fan favorite in '85 and I have to go with his card.  Samuel's card receives an honorable mention.

Other Stuff
Recycled:  I'm sure I'm missing something here, but I can't find any instances where Topps has re-used this design for a Phillies card.  I tweaked the design with the team's modern colors for a Chachi Prototype card a few years ago.
Blogs/Websites:  Watch this space.  Night Owl has recently announced the creation of a 1985 Topps blog, set to debut in January 2012.  Totally awesome.
Did You Know?:  The big collecting hub-bub in the summer of '85 were the Team USA cards included as a subset within the 1985 Topps set.  No one in my young collecting circle was chasing the Mark McGwire card yet.  We were more interested in the cards of Oddibe McDowell, Cory Snyder and local product John Marzano.  Not one of the 15 players featured in the subset ever played for the Phillies, although Marzano played a year in the Phillies minor league system before becoming a very popular local sports personality.  Sadly, Marzano passed away in 2008 at the way too young age of 45.
Did You Know? Bonus:  I only just noticed this while placing cards from the base set next to cards from the traded series.  Topps tilted the Phillies logo a little to the right for the traded set.  I find that very strange and fascinating.

1985 Topps #8, #714, #92 and 1985 Topps Traded #33T


Anonymous said...

Topps reused the design for their 2007 eTopps set. Bourn, Utley and Howard were the Phillies representatives that year. Here's a link to the Bourn card:

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add that McGraw's card was reprinted in the 2001 Topps Archive set and was also used as the basis for an autograph issue in the Team Topps series, which was issued across multiple brands during 2001-2002. Finally, Topps repurchased 46 of Oliver's cards for autograph purposes in the 2004 Topps Originals Autographs series.

I have a gut feeling that the design may have been used in one other instance, but I may very well be wrong about that.

John Bateman said...

Great Stuff - unbelievable catch on the logo tilt - I just loved when someone catches something like that.

night owl said...

I particularly like the Phillies cards in the '85 set. Something about the design and the colors really go well with the uniforms.

I just started the beginnings of forming the '85 blog yesterday. Have to say, getting a little excited about starting it!

Jim from Downingtown said...

Moving Mike Schmidt for the likes of a Rick Schu. What was Bill Giles thinking?

Jim said...

14k - Your knowledge continues to impress! I think you sent me that McGraw card - I knew Topps had re-used the design somewhere along the way.

John - Why would Topps do that? I guess that means they re-created the entire Phillies template for their traded series? Crazy stuff.

Night Owl - I can't wait for the new blog(s)! At the time, I remember wishing Topps had traded out the gray on the '85 Phillies cards with baby blue, but the gray has grown on me.

Jim - No telling. He was probably too busy wishing Hayes/Stone/Samuel would steal more bases!