After I got back into the Hobby, I started buying some wax boxes from my childhood. My local card shop has a great selection of baseball, football and hockey wax boxes from the late 80s and early 90s. These are great for collectors since they are inexpensive and very abundant. I started out with a couple of boxes of 1988 and 1989 Topps baseball. Opening the wax packs, the intoxicating smell of cardboard and gum brought all of memories from childhood back to me. From here, it made sense to build these sets.
1989 Topps Baseball
This set is very important to me. These cards were from the first set that I collected as a little boy. My mom was the one who introduced me to baseball cards with a few packs in the summer of 1989. Between the colorful pictures and the gum in each pack, I was hooked from the start. It made sense that this would be the 1st set that I would build as an adult. Years earlier, I built a few sets from current releases and stored them in cardboard boxes. However, for this set, I wanted to look at the cards. So I picked up an album and a box of pages. Collecting this set was fairly easy. I believe I ended up buying 2 boxes of cello packs and 2 wax boxes. Since the cards were so abundant, I made sure each card was mint and free of wax and/or gum stains. I love the iconic card design of 89 Topps, with the team name written in LA Dodger type script. This set is loaded with stars from the 80s; Gwynn, Sandberg, Ripken etc. Also, this set is loaded with rookies, including some HOFers. These include John Smoltz, Randy Johnson, Craig Biggio, along with Robin Ventura and Gary Sheffield.
Cards Needed: Set Complete
1980 Topps Baseball
The next set that I wanted to build was 1980 Topps baseball. This set is important to me since its my birth year. Going in, I knew that this would be a long-term project. This would be much tougher, since I couldn’t simply buy wax boxes and packs. I wanted each card to be at least in excellent condition and have decent eye appeal. The big card in this set is the rookie card of HOFer, Rickey Henderson. I purchased this one already graded in a PSA 7. The next two highest value cards are also in PSA holders; Nolan Ryan PSA 8 and Ozzie Smith (2nd yr) in PSA 8. I bought a large vendor box from my LCS that helped with the start of the set. Then it was small lots found on ebay, a random cello pack and single card purchases from card shows.
Cards needed: Set Complete
1988 Topps Baseball
This was another set from my early collecting years. I had a bunch of cards from 1988 Topps. A lot of people do not like this set; saying its boring. However, it’s full of nostalgia for me. Isn’t it funny how certain card images stick with you all of these years later? For me, its Jimmy Key hanging out in the dugout. This was a fairly easy set to complete. In total, I purchased 1 rack pack box, cello box and a wax box. Since there were a lot of cards out there, I made sure each card was mint and clear of stains.
Cards Needed: Set Complete