With the imminent completion of my most ambitious set build, 1980 Topps baseball, I needed to choose which set that I would try to put together next. I wanted to pick a set that had great design, an abundance of stars and a nice rookie crop. With that being said, I decided to go after the 1984 Topps baseball set.
This is a great looking set that has a unique design and a couple of memorable rookie cards of stars from the Big Apple. It’s also loaded with HOF stars that are either late in their career (Reggie Jackson and Rod Carew) or just starting out (Ripken, Gwynn, Sandberg & Boggs). In my opinion, this particular set design is one of the better overall concepts (front and back) produced by Topps. The front of the cards are sharp. They have two shots of the player, with an action or posed photo as the main picture and a smaller head shot in the bottom left corner. Topps did not add team logos to the front of the cards this year. Instead, the team name is printed in vertical font on the left side of the card. However, it’s the back of the card that really increases the overall grade for this set. The coloring of the card back features a great royal blue with a deep orange-red accent. Most of the stats are printed in blue font inside a light red shaded text box. This is one of the better color combinations that Topps has used for its yearly release. Topps also placed the team logo in the top right corner on each card. The card back design is visually sharp and easy to read.
When I build sets, I prefer to do so through packs as much as possible. There’s something about ripping wax packs, breathing in the aroma of cardboard and gum and being the 1st person to thumb through the cards. It would be easy to buy singles of this set and complete it quickly. However, that wouldn’t be as exciting. This is why I am 25 cards short of completing my 1987 Topps set build. Although packs of 1984 Topps are harder to find then 1987 Topps, it’s a lot more doable then my previous 1980 Topps set build. There is a decent selection of wax, cello and rack packs to choose from on eBay. You can pick up wax packs for $2-3 each and rack packs for around $5-6 on eBay. Recently, I picked up a couple of lots of these unopened rack packs to get me started with this build. Also, I ripped a bunch of wax and cello packs of 84 Topps in recent years. I’ve kept these cards un-sorted in 100 count snap cases. Two weeks ago I officially started this set build with a little Cardboard Therapy session on a Saturday morning. I sorted the cards that I previously ripped and also the ones from the rack packs that I just acquired. I picked up a new binder and a box of pages and I was on my way. This past week I made my initial tally to see where I am at. Counting only cards that I personally opened from packs, I currently have 456 of the 792 cards in the set. I have a few of the glossy All Star cards from the rack packs and plan to add them to the binder. However, I do not plan to actively collect these for my set.
I purchased a few more rack packs and should get them in the next couple of weeks. After I open them, it should put me closer to the 600 card mark. Also, I plan to buy PSA graded cards for the two key rookies in this set; Don Mattingly and Darryl Strawberry. Once I get down to the final 150-200 cards, I will look to complete the set through lots and singles. Also, I have a large stack of cards that I’ve received from @LumberjackCards to go through. I’m very grateful for them and I’m sure they will put a large dent into my need list. This is a fun set and I’m looking forward to the journey that it will take me on. As an added bonus, these cards look great signed and I can use my dupes for TTM writing.