Saturday, December 6, 2008
1977 Topps Rookie Cards
I think almost everyone as a kid had a friend who was what parents would call "a bad influence." I had one. He served as the devil on my shoulder, telling me I should do things that I kind of thought weren't right, but went ahead and did anyway.
Now, I was in sixth grade at the time, so we weren't breaking the law or anything. All we did was collect baseball cards, 1977 Topps baseball cards to be exact. And my "bad influence" thought it would be a great idea to collect all of the four-picture rookie cards that Topps issued back in the mid-to-late '70s and cut the cards up, so that we had four little mini-cards. What could be better? You take one card and end up with four cards! That's quadrupling your output!
I was hesitant at first, but after I saw the results, I thought they looked cool. And I couldn't wait to collect the rest of the rookie cards in the set and cut them to bits, too.
After the carnage was over, I had a tidy little stack of 64 super-mini cards, no more than a couple inches wide. I tied them together with a rubber band and took them everywhere I went.
I mean it, we cut up every single card. Dale Murphy rookie card? Cut up. Andre Dawson rookie card? Cut up. Jack Clark rookie card? Cut up. Tony Armas? Lee Mazzilli? Steve Kemp? Len Barker? Cut. Cut. Cut. Cut.
Through the magic that is the computer and simple cropping, you can see what these hand-crafted mini-cards looked like.
I kind of like the black line separating the photo from the type. A nice touch, don't you think?
Of course, I don't really mean that. For years, I couldn't believe that I could be that dumb, and I blamed my friend for leading me to the dark side once again.
I recovered only a few of those 1977 cards intact. I do have the Dawson rookie card again, although it's fairly beat up. I have the Dale Murphy card and the Scott McGregor rookie card. And if anyone cares, I also have the Len Barker-Randy Lerch-Greg Minton rookie card.
But there are so many of the cards that are gone for good, because I tossed out those mini-cards the year after making them, basically because I didn't care about them anymore.
One day I will try collecting the 1977 Topps set, and when I get, say, to card No. 490, which features Bill Almon and Mickey Klutts, it will be the first time I will have looked at that card in my hands since my fingers were wrapped around a pair of scissors, and I was cutting that cardboard to bits.