Saturday, September 12, 2020

Joy of a Completed Set: 1979 Topps

My last post excitedly shared the news that we just bought our first house. But in the ensuing few days, we've been nervously just hoping both our new and current homes stay standing. Much of Oregon is on fire. It's fucking bad. The fires haven't crept into Portland yet, but we're keeping an eye out for possible evacuation notice and anxiously waiting for some rain to help the situation. The air quality here is just about as bad as it can be from all the smoke.

So terrible all you can do is nervously laugh (and stay inside with the doors and windows closed). Just when I thought 2020 couldn't get any worse!

But hey, one good thing to happen to me this year is I just completed another vintage Topps set. That's something.

Yep, 1979 Topps is in the books! Let's give 'er a quick rundown. The big card in the set is the Ozzie Smith rookie. As a Padres fan, it's nice that we've got that going for us.

Only one true error/variation in the set, so I went ahead and snagged both Bumps. (I suppose you could also include Burger King cards if you wanted to go nuts with '79 Topps-- they put out team sets for Phillies and Yankees using the same design-- but I don't think I'll go after those. Maybe someday. I suppose I'd at least like to get the few BK cards that feature a different photo than the flagship counterpart. Is there a blogpost or something out there with a list?)

I'm considering my set complete now, though there are still 57 cards that I've got marked as "upgrade would be nice" and one that I've raised the severity level to "upgrade needed" and that's this A's team card that looks like it was a wad at one point. If you've got some sharp 79s available, feel free to take a look at my 1979 Topps spreadsheet and help me upgrade my set. There are also 11 cards currently marked as "dupe wanted for PC".

And here's a card that I'd like to upgrade (thanks to some rough corners), and if/when I get a better copy, this one will hop over to the Nolan Ryan PC. I collected like 98% of the set through trades, but got impatient and turned to Sportlots for the last few commons, and to eBay for the Bump Wills error and then this, what I thought was the final card I needed. But before the Ryan Express even pulled into the station, I did a final sort and couldn't find #469 anywhere despite being marked off on my spreadsheet.

But I mentioned it in a previous post, and reader Brett Alan stepped up with Lance Parrish here to officially finish my set.

I'm slowly working on a run of the 70s Topps sets, with '73 (completed in 2015), '71 (completed in 2017), and now '79 done.

Brett kindly included a few surprises along for the ride, such as these '77s.

And my fledgeling 1976 Topps set now has an Eckersley rookie in it! The '78 Zimmer is a "dupe wanted for PC" acquisition.

Thanks a lot, Brett! You've helped breathe some joy into an otherwise very stressful time.


  1. Congrats on the set, and stay safe out there, buddy!

  2. Stay safe man, and congrats on the finishing the set. 1979 is one of my all time favorites.

  3. Hope all turns out well for you. Congrats on finishing the 1979 set!

  4. Big congrats on completing the set! I am sitting at 79.3% on the 79 set myself.

    Good luck with the fires and stay safe!

  5. Very glad the cards got to you so quickly, especially at a time like this.

    I do know what it's like to have such hazardous air--we've gotten that in Singapore a few times do to fires in Indonesia. But at least we didn't have to worry that the fires would reach us! Hoping things get better for you soon. Fingers crossed!

  6. Congrats on finishing. As I wind up my 1978 build I'm looking at 1976 or 1979 as possible next sets. 1979 is a sleeper of a set with some great photos.

  7. Another one bites the dust! Congratulations on the completion.

  8. nicely done! This year has been hell. You are literally living in the flames. I'm learning never to ask "what's next". Keep us posted if your situation changes. Please stay safe!

  9. Hazardous? That's crazy. Hope it rains soon up there. It'll help with the fires... but also clean the air. Congratulations on completing your set. That A's team card is fantastic!

  10. Nice work completing the '79 set! Trading cards can really be something positive to focus on during stressful times. Please be careful up there, and let's hope for a lot of rain.

  11. Wow, rough times. Hope you, your family and all of your real estate are OK. I've got about 2/3 of the 79 BK Yankee set for trade if you want them.

  12. Congrats on the completed set! I hope you stay safe and the fire/air quality improve soon!