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Not every collector appreciates baseball card time warps, like finding today’s stars on a “1971 Topps” card, courtesy of Heritage or Archives.

But, while Topps’ rich cardboard heritage (small “h”) has led to a long and dizzying line of combinations that can be overwhelming, you have to admit that it has also produced some pretty nifty combinations.

For instance, in 2018, Topps rolled out this little number …

Find Justin Verlander cards on eBay (affiliate link)

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That’s a Justin Verlander card (duh) done up in the classic 1983 Topps design, but with a foil stamp thingy commemorating the 35th anniversary of the picture-in-picture masterpiece.

This Verlander piece was part of a 99-card run that belonged to neither the Heritage nor Archives line but was instead inserted in Series One packs of the 2018 base product.

In addition to Verlander, one of the greatest pitchers of the last 20 years and almost certainly headed for Cooperstown, the 1983 reboots includes a mix of the old and the new.

Among the former are Hall of Famer and Verlander’s fellow Astros legend, Nolan Ryan, along with Don Matingly, Sandy Koufax, Darryl Strawberry, Hank Aaron, and other stars of eras gone by.

Among the latter are Aaron Judge, Clayton Kershaw, Nelson Cruz, and a bevy of other modern standouts.

But the real standout, if you’re a historical-significance sort of fan, is Verlander himself.

Because, if you flip that card over, you’ll be wowed by his stats — that’s a given.

But you just also might want to have a look up there in the biographical area …

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That’s where you’ll find JV’s birthday — February 20, 1983.

Now, if you were a collector back in those days, right before the 1980s hobby boom, you know that the middle of February was just about the time we could count on getting our first look at the season’s new baseball cards.

So, just about the same time one of the best sets of our lifetimes was “born,” so, too, was one of the game’s great hurlers.

And then, just 35 short years later, Topps graced us with the birthday card we never knew we needed — but that we had to have.

Hobby Wow!

Want a *really* choice hunk of Verlander memorabilia? Try this lot on eBay:

That’s a home plate from his no-hitter in 2011.

Check out the full listing on eBay (affiliate link).