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Sunday, February 5, 2012

1987 Topps Traded: CMC Finds

I picked my my first 2012 Topps packs recently, like many others have. The newer stuff, though, doesn't have much that relates to this blog. But I did get a 1987 Topps mini out of the bunch, Derek Jeter.

Getting that reminded me of the first set I ever collected as a youth, 1987 Topps. I remember it was all that I collected that year. I didn't get any Fleer or Donruss. For some reason, I was focused on Topps.

So I'm familiar with a lot of the cards, remembering the photos and the teams vividly. What I never got when I was a kid was the traded set. I go the Andre Dawson Cubs card, but that was it.

In December, when I was going through my local card shop for stuff my wife could get me, I spotted the 1987 Topps Traded set and thought that might be a cool set to thumb through. It also might have some CMC set members, three years before the CMC set came out.

Like the 2012 Topps minis, it's interesting to see new versions of these classic cards. I find them classic, at least.

Brian Fisher was in the regular Topps set, but with the Yankees. He was traded there the previous November. It's actually with the Pirates that his December 2011 feature begins. The Pirates converted him from reliever to starter. Fisher went 11-9 that year. He went on to have a spot in the CMC set with AAA Tucson.

Fisher's card back includes an "On this Date" fact, with Aug. 10, 1963. On that date, Boog Powell hit three-consecutive home runs in one game, Topps writes.

Ed Vande Berg was with the Dodgers on his regular Topps card. He signed with the Indians as a free agent in January 1987. In the CMC set, he was with the Mariners' AAA club in Calgary.

On his traded card back, Topps notes that Vande Berg graduated from Redlands High in California. He was also married, with two children. His feature here came in April 2011.

A teammate with Vande Berg on that 1990 Calgary team was Pat Pacillo. Pacillo's 1987 Topps Traded card was his first Topps card, after his 1985 Team USA card. Pacillo made the majors in May 1987, having been called up from AAA Nashville.

Topps notes the pitcher Pacillo played third base in the 1981 Babe Ruth World Series. He also played on Team USA in the 1984 Olympics, marked by his 1985 Topps card. Pacillo's feature here came in December 2010.

Here's John Mitchell's card, him with the Mets. It's his first Topps card. He didn't have a card in the base set. Mitchell appeared in the CMC set as a member of the Rochester Red Wings. His feature came here in May 2011, one of the more memorable features, at least for me.

The CMC connections on Mitchell's card also don't stop with him. On the back, Topps notes that his brother Charles Mitchell, played 12 games with the Red Sox in 1984 and 1985. Charles Mitchell, or Charlie Mitchell, was also in the CMC set, as a member of the Nashville Sounds. Charlie's feature came in May 2010.

Finally, for now, here's Wally Ritchie's traded card. Ritchie also did not have a Topps card before this, called up for the first time in May 1987. Ritchie was featured here in December 2011.

On the card back, Topps notes Ritchie's achievements in school. At Hoover High in Glendale, Cal., Ritchie was a two-year All-League and All-Area player. He was also voted All-American at Glendale Junior College. Ritchie is now back at college, named BYU pitching coach for 2012.

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