Sunday, January 20, 2019

Some Old School Set Building Fun

My wife it getting on me for the stacks of boxes of cards in the basement.  She spends very little time in the basement but when she comes down it frustrates her clutter-less sensibilities.  Over the last few weeks I have been reengaged with the large collection I bought over a year ago trying to figure out what I have, what I want to keep and how to move the stuff I don't want.

In the last couple weeks, I gave away a couple of "junk wax" sets as part of a contest then I posted a lot of 85 sets for sale on a couple local Facebook pages.  Within a couple hours I had a guy who was interested in all of them, and while I didn't get the per set asking price, the allure of only having to meet one person and of not being left with double digit sets of 1991 Donruss or 1990 Fleer made me decide to negotiate and make the deal.  Last weekend I met with the guy in the freezing weather and offloaded all 85 sets for about 25% of the price I paid for the entire collection.  That coupled with selling 4 football sets to another guy (2 from the collection, 2 I had prior) made it a nice week to clear some space and get some cash in my pocket.

Last night, the family went to bed early after a marathon viewing of 4 Young Sheldon episodes (it is hard to find a TV show that entertains 2 adults, a 14 year-old boy, an 11 year-old boy and a 6 year-old girl).  I decided to dive into the collection and watch some hoops.

I was going through a 5000 count box I hadn't yet looked at and found about half a row of 1988 Topps Baseball Stickers.  I had previously run across an original box from Topps of the same set that had a bunch of opened sticker packs in it.  I decided to spend my evening seeing how close I could get to a complete set.

It wasn't the easiest organization project as most of the "cards" have 2 stickers on them and they are not consecutively numbered.  My tired eyes struggled a bit to read some of the numbers and there are no names on the stickers.  I decided to copy a checklist from and start crossing off those I found.  It took a while but I was able to put together a complete set and had tons of fun doing it.

Here is a picture of the set in a stack with one of the foil All-Star cards on top:

These stickers also have players on the back, there are 67 different players featured on the backs.  I couldn't find a rhyme or reason that matched up a particular sticker with a back so I just put together a completely separate set of backs.

I think I am going to keep the sticker box and perhaps have it house my completed set, it is in pretty good shape and is still solid have 30+ years.

However that box now holds all of my extras, need to figure out what to do with all of them.

I had a blast spending some time last night in front of the TV recognizing old faces and building a set.  The only thing that may have been more fun would have been being able to rip all the packs myself.  However I was left with no trash and I am very happy to have the entire set.


  1. You know, I opened a bunch of these back in the day and don't think there is any rhyme or reason to what "player card" was on one side and what sticker(s) was/were on the other side. I have a few of the Sandberg "cards" and the stickers on the reverse side were different on all of them.
    Pretty cool set building project for one night. And congrats on clearing out all the old sets!

  2. Yeah, I consider each sticker with Larkin on one side and other players on the reverse to be different cards. I have no idea how many "combinations" exist.

  3. I remember seeing a lot of these at candy stores, along with Topps Coins, stand-ups, and the like. Didn't buy more than a couple packs but they always seemed to be circulating within my/my friends' collections.

  4. Sounds like some awesome fun!! I never dabbled in these.

  5. Lots of variations on them there stickers. That or you could just stick em on stuff. LOL.

  6. Congratulations on dumping those 85 sets. Would have loved to see which sets were part of that lot. As for the Topps Yearbook Stickers... they're awesome! I started building them back in 1981 (maybe 1982). Never finished, but it was fun. The 1988 set is pretty insane. Putting together a master set of these would be quite the challenge. Gwynn alone has at least 10 different backs.