Saturday, January 09, 2010

1993 Topps Archives Basketball

A couple of months ago I came up with an idea for a basketball retro set. Take current players and put them on classic Topps cards like the 1987 wood border set. Well, I guess Topps had the same idea. Sixteen years ago. They called it Topps Archives. I still call it my idea.

The premise is simple. Take the most well known rookies in the NBA from 1981 to 1991 and put them on Topps baseball card designs from the same years. INSANITY! Here are some highlights from the box that I opened.

The first eleven cards feature the #1 draft picks from 1981-1991. They don't match the rest of the set and I don't understand why they just didn't mark the base cards as #1 draft picks. If Olajuwon was picked before Jordan in the draft that year, why does Portland take all the heat for taking Sam Bowie. Oh yeah, maybe it's because we took Sam Bowie.

Ah, 1981. I was one year old then if anyone cares. The original card design had a little baseball cap with the team name on the bottom left hand corner. It's been replaced by an NBA team logo. This is the only year in the set that they made a change like that. The only problem I have is that they changed the backs of the cards. I've spent a lot of time as a kid looking at the backs of cards and it would have been a nice touch to keep them. This card of Rambis is probably on of my favorites ever. He's got it all. Porn stash, nerd glasses, and shorts that are so short you can almost see his Magic Johnson.  I wish my delete key worked and I didn't just put that comment out into the world.

1982 and 1983. The '82 design is one of Topps' best ever. Sleepy Floyd is listed as 6'3" on the back, but look at the picture. Spencer Haywood must be at least 8'11"! Of course I'm going to show the Glide card. They named a street here in Portland after him, you know.


1984 and 1985. The Jordan card. I'm guessing that this was the hardest card to pull in the set, because it's the card I have one of. I've seen this card on ebay listed as an actual rookie card. If someone wants to pay me rookie card prices for this, I'll gladly take your money. Detlpfth Shri58chpf looks so young in this card. He never did find a grown up haircut.


1986 and 1987. It's sad that John Salley ruined his legacy by being on that horrible show Tom Arnold. No, not Rosanne, the other show Tom Arnold is on. 1987 is my favorite card design ever. I am crying into my beer as I write this reminiscing of a young T.J. sorting stacks of these cards into a Converse box. Roger Clemens, Will Clark, Bobby Bonilla! Those were the days. Why did I have so many Dave Righetti's?

1988 and 1989. Great shot of Micheal Williams. Apparantly the opposition is quadruple teaming Isiah. Way to get open, Mike. I remember opening this set on my birthday in '89, right before going to see Indian Jones and the Last Crusade. I was nine at the time if you're counting. Did you know Pearl Jam was called Mookie Blaylock before the were Pearl Jam? I have a friend who says he was supposed to see them here in Portland, but he left the show before they came on. Yeah right. My dad has a similar story about Woodstock.

1990 and 1991. These are not good years for Topps. 1990 is too busy and '91 is too plain. Shawn Kemp is too easy a target, so I'll just say that it's amazing that the Sonics had both him and the Glove as rookies that year. Good for you Seattle. I mean Charlotte. Speaking of Charlotte, here's a card of Larry Johnson. Just taking a break. They could have used a shot of him posterizing someone, but they didn't. They went with Grammama takin' five. I miss 90's basketball.

Retro sets are so common nowadays, but I imagine it was a pretty crazy idea way back in 1993. I still say I thought of it first. From the look of the last couple of cards it seems that Topps was running out of ideas. They should come to me. Just last week I was saying that card companies should start stuffing pieces of game used of jerseys into cards. I'm a visionary.


kevincrumbs said...

I loved this set back in the day and still think that it looks great.

Jason Presley said...

I liked this set when I initially bought the box when it came out, but these days, it just seems to be a sign of Topps being lazy. They released baseball, football and hockey sets through those years and never once repeated a design. So why does this retro set just lazily rehash baseball designs for basketball cards? This would have been great as something like the Donruss What If sets.

Peterson said...

This stuff is so bad ass. the on-card autos from this set are the only basketball cards I have posted. I love the vertical-centric photos on those Topps designs.