Has it really been since September since my last edition of Four Topps? Say it aint' so!
Well, without any excuses, let's climb aboard the express and get this train moving forward once again. If you're new to the feature, Four Topps examines a particular card number across four Topps flagship sets. And those sets would be the foundation of my childhood collecting days: 1987, '88, '89 and '90. We'll hem and haw and finally pick a winner from the lot.
Easy, cheap and fun. Let's go!
Oh, in case the lead-off image wasn't clear, today's card number is 465...
We start off with a bang: a Rookie Cup card! Last seen in 1978, the Cup made it's triumphant return in the iconic '87 set. Why exactly did Topps ditch the cup for nearly a decade? Puzzling, really. No matter the reason, it sure looks good on the wood grain beauties in this set. Hey, Stat Man: Worrell led the league with 36 saves in 1986.
You know a card ending with a '0' or a '5' in a Topps set (at least back then) means you're gonna get an All-Star or fan favorite of some variety. Well, '88 Topps delivered the goods in a big way with the great Paul Molitor gracing card No. 465. Hey, Stat Man: Molitor paced the loop with 41 doubles and 114 runs in 1987.
Well, well, well. Yet another Rookie Cupper, and one of my absolute favorite cards from the '89 set. This isn't Grace's true rookie--that came in the '88 Traded set--but it's every bit as good. From the jersey number (53?!) to the fact that Gracie is hanging around the cage, there's lots to love here. Hey, Stat Man: Batted .296 in 143 games as a rookie for the '88 Cubs.
A long-time Phillie, Gross is probably the least distinguished of this quartet. It's not a terrible card, as the wild borders of '90 Topps looked A-OK for Expos cards. And Gross is fashioning those powder-blue unis we all love so much. In the end, though, nothing exciting here. Hey, Stat Man: Gross made is lone All-Star squad in 1988 as a member of the Phils.
And the Winner Is: For me it's a landslide in favor of the '89 Grace. It was one of my favorites as a nine-year-old kid and it's still a fave of mine. The Molitor gets the runner-up spot.