Nostalgic Wax: 1981, The High Point

When Fleer and Donruss returned to the baseball card scene in 1981, I was annoyed. They were cheap imitators - never mind that I never actually bought a pack of either.

At 12, I wasn't quite paying attention. I had pre-pubescent things on my mind by this time. Don't ask. I knew nothing of card company court cases and monopolies. I think I mostly feared that Topps would go away and, to me, Topps was (ahem) tops.

I cherished my 1981 Topps. They were, well, groovy.
I loved the hat with the team name, position and team colors within it. I thought the photography was an improvement, certainly from the year prior.
I still love 1981 Topps. Even the still shots - and there are plenty.
In 1981, I was at the zenith of my childhood obsession with baseball cards. I collected for two more years but my interest was likely never higher than in 1981. I turned 13 that summer. Girls had hit my radar. By 1984, I was out of the hobby - returning only briefly with random pack purchases in 1988, 1989 and 1994 before coming back full steam last year.

In 1981, I spent countless hours toting around baseball cards, studying them. I was still concocting elaborate games - sort of my own private Strat-o-matic - using my cards. I'm certain that my 1981s spent more time in my hands than any other set. I know this because while 99.9% of the cards I collected as a youngster are in the best possible condition one could expect, several of my '81s show much wear and tear.

Clearly the cards directly above were among my most loved/most frequently used in my various games. No, I wouldn't mind crisp, clean versions of those cards - although I'll of course always hold these exact cards dear to me.

Stay tuned, in the next day or so I'll highlight a recent trade involving a fine shipment to help my growing '81 set collection. I'm still dozens and dozens and dozens away but considerable progress was made this week and I'm grateful for that.

1981 is currently my number three priority set to chase and once I find the final dozen 1976 cards I need, '81 will move to number three. At that point, 1978 will move into the top spot.

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Search Me *shrugs*