January 17, 2010
50 Single Stickers Can't Be Wrong
I'm a fan of Elvis Presley. It's the fact that he was a bit of an ass, that he was a drug addict at the end, that he had three TV's, that he had a Jungle Room at Graceland, that he laughed and talked during live recordings, that he was fond of ridiculous jumpsuits and that his album cover art was so darn cool. I'm not talking about the original "Elvis Presley" self-titled album with the rock-a-billy photo and the green and pink text overlay that The Clash ripped off and seems an odd-yet-completely-legitimate choice of inspiration for the design of the 1984 Topps set. That album cover deserves its own, separate dissertation.
I'm talking about the gold lamé army of Elvii raining down on the cover of "50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong." I'm not sure that's even the name of the album, come to think of it. Doesn't matter. The point I'm trying to make is that if you squint real hard at the American League All-Star stickers that I'm finding at an alarmingly common rate, all decked out in their gold foil, if you try real hard, you can almost see Elvis smiling back.
Key word there is "almost." I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl after opening 10 packs of stickers and not finding a single double. Let that sink in. Ten packs of five stickers each and no doubles. I completed nearly 20% of the set in one fell swoop. Unheard of. Unbelievable. Especially in this box, this treacherous box of Dusty Bakers and Hosken Powells, Al Olivers and Chet Lemons.
Here they are, in all their glory.
Pack 27: Greg Luzinski, John Castino, Terry Puhl, Bob Knepper, Dwight Evans
Pack 28: Doug Flynn, Leon Durham, George Brett, Milt May, AL All-Star Dave Winfield
Pack 29: Mike Flanagan, Matt Keough, Pedro Guerrero, AL All-Star Jerry Remy, Dwayne Murphy
Pack 30: Damaso Garcia, Jorge Orta, Floyd Bannister, Mike Norris, Reggie Jackson
Pack 31: Gary Carter, Ken Reitz, Tom Paciorek, Ted Simmons, Ron Cey
Pack 32: George Hendrick, NL All-Star George Foster, John Mayberry, Pete Rose Highlight, Bob Forsch
Pack 33: Alan Trammell, Kirk Gibson, Julio Cruz, Mickey Hatcher, Pete Rose
Pack 34: AL All-Star George Brett, Steve Henderson, Warren Cromartie, Steve Rogers, Gary Gray
Pack 35: Len Barker Highlight, Jerry Mumphrey, Don Baylor, Bump Wills, Billy Almon
Pack 36: Steve McCatty, Fred Lynn, AL All-Star Rick Burleson, Danny Darwin, Cecil Cooper
Some notes. I have a gut feeling that it's going to be much harder now to get all new stickers in a pack . . . Interesting to note that Topps used the same Highlights subjects as in the 1982 baseball card set . . . On the Baltimore Orioles page, there are eight players, three of them are pitchers, and none of them are the shortstop . . . It's Billy Almon on the sticker back, but Bill Almon in the album . . . I still have no Leaders, no Pirates, no Padres, and no World Series stickers . . . I almost have completed the Angels, the Twins, and the Astros pages.