Wow! Wax of the Day — July 2018

Below are the Wow! Wax listings from July 2018. Check out the current Wow! here.

(Check out our previous Wow! Wax listings here.)

(Note that these listings contain affiliate links, which means if you click over to eBay or Amazon and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.)

1985 Topps 3-D Baseball Stars Unopened Packs (24)

1985 Topps 3-D Baseball Stars Unopened Packs

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You have to hand it to Topps … when the competition ramped up in the 1980s, The Real One kept testing and innovating.

Sometimes that meant experimenting with their packs (1983 “Michigan wax”), and sometimes it meant tinkering with their card quality (Tiffany sets).

In 1985, though, Topps got way out with an issue psychedelic enough to have been right at home in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Indeed, the Topps 3-D Baseball Stars would hurt your head if you looked at them too long, but they were also spectacular. Oversized and made of plastic, the 3-Ds featured full-color photos of the stars in question, actually puffed out roughly along the lines of the players’ features.

And let me tell you … you haven’t lived until Don Mattingly jumps right off his baseball card at you.

This eBay lot gives you 24 chances to live thusly, offering up two dozen gorgeous unopened packs of these monsters/exquisite creatures, each containing one card.

If you buy them and open them, though, better wear some eye protection.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1979 Topps Burger King New York Yankees Unopened Pack w/Graig Nettles on Front

1979 Topps Burger King New York Yankees Unopened Pack Graig Nettles

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It’s an endless source of hobby confusion …

I have a rare 1980 Topps Dallas Green, card number 1, that is not listed in any of the price guides. How much is this valuable error/proof/test card worth?

Uh … like maybe a couple of packets of Burger King ketchup? Maybe.

The Burger King cards issued in the late 1970s and 1980 aren’t, by and large, extremely valuable, but they’re pretty darn cool, nonetheless.

I mean, at a time when Topps was the only game in town, it was really neat to find any variety, even if that meant a new photo here or there, or just “misnumbered” versions of the same Topps design.

That’s what BK gave you, with an occasional hamburger logo thrown in.

That’s what this eBay lot gives you, too, in the form of an unopened pack of 1979 Topps Burger King New York Yankees cards.

The pack itself is a little beat-up, like it’s been stuck to the bottom of a cafeteria tray for the last 40 years, but the Graig Nettles card on top (bottom?) looks fine.

And you just know that bad boy has #15 on back, instead of his base-Topps #460.

Your friends will be amazed.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1991 Topps Archives 1953 Reprint Unopened Box

1991 Topps Archives 1953 Reprints Unopened Box

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In 1983, Topps issued their first full-on reprint set after several years of snapshotting several of their classic cards for inclusion in new issues in miniature form — think the 1974 Topps Hank Aaron retrospective, the 1975 Topps MVP cards, and the 1982 KMart boxed set.

That 1983 effort, though, featured all but five reprint cards from the landmark 1952 Topps set — Billy Loes (card #20), Dom DiMaggio (#22), Saul Rogovin (#159), Solly Hemus (#196), and Tommy Holmes (#289) declined to sign their contracts for the 1983 go-round.

Those reprints caused a stir in the hobby, with some collectors hating them and some loving them. There was enough interest, though, that prices soon outstripped the ability of most to afford them. With only an estimated 10,000 sets produced, demand drove the issue to three figures and beyond pretty quickly.

Through the rest of the 1980s, that 1952 reprint issue just sort of sat there, with the occasional rumbling from collectors, either bemoaning the existence of the repros or pining for more reprints.

Then, in 1991, Topps picked up the baton again and issued their first Archives set … a reprint of their gorgeous 1953 baseball issue. Only this time, the cards were available in their own packs rather than just in full-set form.

And that’s where this eBay lot comes in — a full unopened box of 1991 Topps Archives 1953 Reprints.

Embrace to beauty!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1976 Topps Baseball Unopened Cello Pack

1976 Topps Baseball Unopend Cello Pack

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For the first 10 years or so of their existence, 1976 Topps baseball cards were pretty boring.

Oh, collectors tried to convince ourselves there was no post-1975 letdown by clutching onto rookie cards of Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Chet Lemon, and a few others.

But deep in our cardboard hearts, we knew there was nothing there.

Then … the Oakland A’s made Dennis Eckersley a closer and, as he exploded toward the Hall of Fame, his glare shone on his 1976 Topps rookie card.

And we started to notice how there other great cards here, like Johnny Bench … and Thurman Munson … and Pete Rose … and Dave Parker … and Al Oliver … and dozens more.

Turns out, this thing is pretty special, after all.

And this eBay lot brings that all to bear within the confines of a single unopened cello pack with Smiling Roy Smalley on front and AL Pitching Leaders (Jim Palmer, Catfish Hunter, and … yep … Eckersley ) on back.

Is another Eck lurking in between?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1990 Leaf Series 1 & 2 Unopened Boxes

1990 Leaf Series 1 & 2 Unopened Boxes

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Have you ever seen a baseball card set that lived the life of a rock star?

You have if you went to any card shows at all during the summer of 1990.

That year, Donruss revived the old Leaf brand, positioning it as a premium brand and pitting it directly against Upper Deck.

Collectors were wowed by the clean design, and the cards seemed fairly scarce — there certainly weren’t enough to go around at the shows I attended.

And, the fewer Leaf card we could find, the more of them we wanted … and the fewer we could find. It was an amazing cycle that led to gasps when a dealer would plop down a box of Leaf Series 1 on their counter.

Prices spiraled upward and, by the time Series 2 came along, packs were already selling well above retail levels.

The presence of the Frank Thomas (and Sammy Sosa, David Justice, Larry Walker, and others) did little to douse the flames.

Three decades later, the frenzied edge is mostly gone from 1990 Leaf, but it still sends a jolt of adrenaline through old collector’s hearts when we catch a glimpse.

Like in this eBay lot of one unopened box of each Series 1 and Series 2.

It’s a veritable chest-clutching time machine!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1986 Donruss Rack Pack with Vince Coleman on Front

1986 Donruss Rack Pack Vince Coleman

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I don’t have much to say about this 1986 Donruss wax pack other than, if you don’t get a burst of adrenaline just looking at it, you don’t really understand what it was like to be a collector in the 1980s.

Not only do you know — KNOW — that you’re getting a Vince Coleman rookie card, you also get the near-ultimate 1980s chase … will you find a Jose Canseco Rated Rookie?

Only the hunt for a 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly was more exhilarating.

And, lest you scoff at that Coleman, just remember that he was the reigning NL Rookie of the Year and exciting as all get out. All in all, this is an electrifying pack from a loaded set.

Totally.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Topps Nestle Dream Team Unopened Packs (10)

1984-Topps-Nestle-Dream-Team-Unopened-Baseball-Trading-Card-Packs.jpg

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If you were a kid in 1984, or if you were a baseball card collector in 1984, then you probably ate your fair share of Nestle candy bars that summer.

That season, Nestle teamed up with Topps to produce a set of 22 baseball cards — the Dream Team, they called it.

And really, how could any team with Al Holland not be called the Dream Team?

Anyway, Nestle packed three cards and a checklist header in little cellophane wrappers and slipped one in specially marked packages of their candy bars.

Now, these weren’t the 792-card Nestle parallels that confuse every collector at least once in their lifetime, but they’re still pretty cool.

And you can relive the thrill of hounding your parents to buy even more junk food in the name of your hobby with this eBay lot — ten packs of these purple-backed beauties.

You’ll have to get your own chocolate, though, because the Nestles are long gone.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1977 Topps Cloth Stickers Unopened Wax Pack (PSA 9)

1977 Topps Cloth Stickers Unopened Wax Pack

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If you’ve never had a hankering to wear Mark Fidrych on the back of your jacket or John Montefusco on the sleeve of your T-shirt … well, then you’re not the person I always thought you were.

But for the rest of us, the reasonable folks with big dreams, you can’t go wrong — at all — with the 1977 Topps Cloth Stickers set.

I mean, here you have …

Baseball cards …

That are baseball-card size …

And are also stickers …

And are also also made of cloth.

AND … some of the photos are different than the base Topps set.

Like Tony Perez.

And if you buy an unopened pack of the legendary test issue, like the one in this eBay lot, your cards come wrapped in wax featuring a cartoon of Cincinnati Reds great, the immortal Balko Tuzmon.

Yeah, I know!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1988 Topps UK Minis Unopened Packs (48)

1988 Topps UK Minis Unopened Packs

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By 1988, the baseball card market was awash in cash and, even more importantly, big dreams.

We all thought our cards would go up in value year after year after year, and that meant great things for the future.

Like more cards.

And expanded markets.

Topps sought to capitalize on all this, and the popularity of their 1975 Topps mini cards by releasing a set of 1988 Minis … but only in the United Kingdom.

In all, there were 88 in the set of new-design cards, each measuring 2 1/8″ X 3″.

You couldn’t get them here in the Stats … but you can now.

All you have to do is buy a lot like this one — 48 packs of five cards each (plus gum) for … um … 12 pence.

You also get the box.

Bloody sweet!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1980 Topps Baseball Grocery Pack

1980 Topps Baseball Grocery Pack

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George Foster was never a trade deadline acquisition, exactly, but there is no denying the Cincinnati Reds struck gold when they acquired him from the San Francisco Giants on May 29, 1971.

Now, it took him a while to develop into all he could be, but by 1977 Foster was arguably the top slugger in the game. His 52 home runs were a better elixir than any bat the Reds could have added at the deadline that summer.

And, wouldn’t you know it? There is Mr. Foster front and center on this 1980 Topps grocery pack that also showcases Gene Tenace and Rick Langford on the pack back.

This is a timely offering — coming as it does during this year’s deadline frenzy — from a seller that’s offering up several lots of great unopened material from the same period (check those others out here).

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1983 Fleer Baseball Cello Pack with Wade Boggs on Front

1983 Fleer Cello Pack Wade Boggs

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The Wade Boggs rookie card was not the centerpiece of the 1983 Fleer set that long-ago summer.

It was close, sure, what with Boggs coming out of nowhere to lead the baseball world with a .361 average.

But the Chicken Man had two things working against him when it came to cardboard glory — he wasn’t a rookie and he had basically no power.

Ron Kittle, on the other hand, checked both those boxes, and the fact that his Chicago White Sox were winning helped a lot, too.

We couldn’t get enough of his 1983 Fleer issue, his only rookie card of the year.

Of course, time and regression helped us realize that Kittle probably peaked that year. And that Boggs was truly great, as were Tony Gwynn and Ryne Sandberg, who also had RCs in 1983 Fleer.

All of which is to say that, if you were going to plop down hard-earned money for a 1983 Fleer cello pack with a particular card on top today, Kittle probably wouldn’t be your first choice.

For most collectors, that would be Ryne. Or Tony. Or Wade.

And that’s what this eBay lot gives you — a 1983 Fleer cello pack with the Wade Boggs rookie card on front.

Just for good measure, you get the inimitable Gary Ward on back, too!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1988 Donruss Baseball Counter Display (216 Wax Packs)

1988 Donruss Counter Display (216 Wax Packs)

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Look … 1988 Donruss baseball cards are about as common as kitten popsicles in a husky’s dreams.

We all know that.

And it’s partly because of “innovations” like this massive counter display that offers up 216 wax packs all in one sitting.

The design kinda blows, too.

But … the set does have some things to offer, like Mark Grace and Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux rookie cards.

And a 10-year-old Terry McGriff in his dad’s batting helmet (look it up!)

And … God help me … this fabulous counter display.

Yes, that one. Yes, the one with Dale Murphy on it.

It’s … oh my … spectacular.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Donruss Baseball Champions: Yesterday & Today Unopened Packs (12)

Baseball Champions- Yesterday & Today

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After a couple years to find their footing in the hobby Donruss went big in 1983 — super big!

Their Action All-Stars were huge and fun and, at least among my collecting buddies at the time, pretty popular.

Donruss must have liked the early returns because Action All-stars were back in 1984, and they were joined by another BIG set — Baseball Champions: Yesterday & Today.

The concept of this set was pretty cool: take an all-time leader in a category — Hank Aaron and all his home runs, for example —  give him a Perez-Steele painting, then show a bunch of active players on their own cards, with a tiny inset of the all-timer on the back.

The execution was pretty darn good, too, and these cards were just fun as all get-out to collect.

This eBay lot brings it all back with 12 unopened cello packs of five cards each.

Think of it as Baseball Champions: Yesterday & a Few Weeks Back.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1981 Topps Coca-Cola Boston Red Sox Unopened Cello Packs (12)

1981 Topps Coca-Cola Boston Red Sox Unopened Cello

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The 1980s were just jam-packed with lots of little oddball baseball card sets packed into everything from macaroni and cheese to hardware stores to cereal boxes.

But there is just something about the 1981 Coca-Cola set that really gets the old collecting juices flowing — heck, maybe it’s residue from the Coke products themselves!

Whatever the case, it’s almost magical to find those little cellophane packages that contain four 37-year old cards (three players plus a team header card).

This particular eBay lot offers up 12 packs from the Boston Red Sox set, which means you get plenty of shots at the following players:

1 Tom Burgmeier

2 Dennis Eckersley

3 Dwight Evans

4 Bob Stanley

5 Glenn Hoffman

6 Carney Lansford

7 Frank Tanana

8 Tony Perez

9 Jim Rice

10 Dave Stapleton

11 Carl Yastrzemski

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

 

1984 Topps Baseball Unopened Rack Pack Box

1984 Topps Baseball Unopened Rack Pack Box

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In many ways, you could say that Don Mattingly is more responsible for the state of the modern hobby than any other player.

With apologies to Ryne Sandberg, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, and Alvin Davis, no one was hotter during the summer of 1984 than Mattingly and Dwight Gooden.

But where Donnie Baseball outshone even Dr. K was in the cardboard — for the first time during the early hobby boom, we had a player exploding before us while his rookie cards were available in current retail products.

And, while the 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly rookie card became the centerpiece for many collections, his 1984 Topps rookie spurred many hobby chases, too.

You can relive the thrill of a Mattingly hunt through this eBay lot, which offers up an unopened rack box of 1984 Topps baseball.

Can’t you just imagine rummaging through these babies at your local drugstore to see if a Matting RC winks up at you?

(Note that the listing title says “box” but the description says “case,” and the photo shows a case. It’s unclear if you’d be bidding on all six boxes or just one, so best to ask the seller first.)

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1985 Topps Rack Pack with Roger Clemens Rookie Card on Back

1985 Topps Rack Pack Roger Clemens Back

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Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Roger Clemens turned in one of the most amazing pitching careers in Major League Baseball history.

And, from the time he exploded on the scene with a 24-4 record and his first Cy Young Award during the Boston Red Sox’s 1986 run to the World Series, Clemens cards have been some of the most sought-after in the hobby.

This eBay lot featuring a 1985 Topps rack pack rewinds the clock to the year before The Rocket took off. If you had stumbled across this hunk of cellophane and cardboard when it was issued, you might have been more interested in the Julio Franco and Tony Gwynn cards on the front of the pack.

But it’s the Clemens rookie on the top panel in the back that makes for special viewing and a few chills nearly 35 years later.

Bits of tangible hobby history tend to have that effect on folks.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1985 Donruss Baseball Rack Packs (2)

1985 Donruss Rack Packs

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The 1985 Donruss set came along at just the right time to cause a hobby stir.

Not only had we all become fully involved in rookie card mania, but Donruss themselves had spurred on the frenzy by producing fewer cards in 1984 and including what would become the iconic Don Mattingly rookie among their ranks.

On the heels of that effort, the new 1985s included capitalized on a rookie card class that included Dwight Gooden, Alvin Davis, Eric Davis, Roger Clemens, Kirby Puckett, and many others.

Add in a black-bordered design that at once intrigued and frustrated (chips and dings and darkness, oh my!) collectors, and you had a worthy of the chase.

While 1985 Donruss has ebbed and flowed with the rest of the mid-1980s sets over the years, it’s still a great looking issue with plenty of big cards worth pursuing.

This eBay lot gives you 90 chances to chase — 45 in each pack — plus a few sure things in Ozzie Smith and the ever-popular Moose Haas and Houston Jimenez.

And this is Donruss, so unlike with Topps, you don’t have to make that pesky “chew or no chew” decision — no gum!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Topps Baseball Rack Pack with Darryl Strawberry

1984 Topps Rack Pack Johnny Bench Dave Kingman Darryl Strawberry Rookie

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If this 1984 Topps Rack Pack doesn’t get your old-school collector blood fired up like the baseball hot stove in December … well, good sir or madam, your entire cardboard credibility is suspect.

I mean, here you have the last Johnny Bench card available in Topps packs, the Cincinnati Reds great having retired at the end of 1983.

And, of course, you have the Darryl Strawberry rookie card that may have been the most anticipated base card ever or certainly until that point in hobby history.

But the centerpiece for any self-respecting, homer-loving, whiff-embracing, baseball card fanatic is, of course, the Dave Kingman beauty nestled between those other two gents.

Kong was like Frank Howard, Rob Deer, and Christian Bale-Batman all rolled up into one long, tall, power-packed windmill of a dude.

And all three of them are right there on permanent display … at least until the urge to crack becomes to much to bear!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1984 Topps Baseball Phot0 Rub-Downs Unopened Wax Box

1984 Topps Baseball Photo Rub-Downs

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As hard as it may be to believe, school will start up again across most of the United States within the next month.

Boo!

But with a new school year comes new opportunities to decorate folders, lockers, (*ahem*) textbooks … your buddy’s forehead when he falls asleep in Algebra class.

You remember all that, right? Good times!

And, for a baseball fan, there is no better adornment for your favorite Trapper Keeper than tiny images of Major League players. Especially if those images are 34 years old.

That’s where this eBay lot comes in … an unopened wax box of 1984 Topps Baseball Photo Rub-Downs — with bubble gum!

This box offers up 36 packs, each with two sheets of three players (and, yes, a stick of petrified Topps gum). Considering that there are 32 sheets in the set, the 72 sheets here would seem to give you a good shot at completing at least one set.

And  even if it doesn’t, how often do you get the chance to 1) choke on archaeological chicle and 2) rub down three-decade old baseball cards with a coin with the unconditional consent of the card-maker?

Almost makes school sound like fun, doesn’t it?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1973 Topps Baseball Series 1 Unopened Wax Pack

1973 Topps Wax Pack

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If you’ve been around the hobby for any length of time, you know that the 1973 Topps baseball card set marked the end of an era.

That spring, just as Ron Blomberg was preparing to become the first-ever designated hitter in Major League Baseball history, Topps was pushing out their last first series of baseball cards.

The next year, they pushed out the whole 660-card shebang at one time, for the first time.

But early in the 1973 season, collectors could go to the corner store, plop down their dime, and know for sure they were getting 10 hunks of Series I cardboard, covering cards #1-132.

And that’s what this eBay lot offers you — 10 chances to pull Roberto Clemente or the Babe Ruth/Willie Mays/Hank Aaron combo card or Pete Rose or the Buddy Bell rookie card or, for goodness sake, even the Steve Blass just-before-he-lost-his way card.

And the wrapper alone may be the price of admission.

Beware, though, because cartoon Steve Carlton looks like he might have you in his sights.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

Empty 1982 Fleer Wax Box with 36 Empty Wrappers

1982 Fleer Wax Box with 36 Wrappers

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So, you know how sometimes you can just look at something and see the hand of a particular person at work?

You know …

That care package that arrived at your dorm during finals week had “Mom” written all over it.

And you could almost smell your dad’s aftershave on those blocky notes that Santa left for you on Christmas morning.

This eBay listing is like that.

An empty 1982 Fleer wax box with Fernando Valenzuela on top makes a great display piece.

Tuck all 36 empty wrappers inside and you know this is no mere eye candy — it’s something only a collector would do.

It’s something I did when I was a boy

You probably did similar stuff. Maybe you still do.

Yep, this one is “collector” through and through.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1976 Topps Baseball Cello Pack (PSA 7) Ted Williams on Front

1976 Topps Baseball Cello Ted Williams

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When I was about 12, I bought a shoebox full of “old” cards from my favorite flea market dealer, Beulah.

The majority of the cards were from the 1979 Topps set, with a few 1976s sprinkled in. These were by far the most “vintage” cards I owned other than a 1974 Topps Pete Rose and a 1971 Topps Boots Day that I bought because it was freaking old and … well … his name was “Boots Day”!

But while I loved everything in that little white box, cards from two subsets really stood out:

  • 1979 Topps All-Time Record Holders
  • 1976 Topps Sporting News All-Time All-Stars

As you might have guessed from that “All-Time” bit, both of these subsets featured some long-ago dudes among their ranks. It was jolting but cool.

I mean, you’re shuffling along with Chet Lemon, Ron LeFlore, and Mike Ivie when — BOOM! — Ty Cobb slides across your cardboard.

Or Big Jack Chesbro wins 41 games while Cy Young looks on next to him.

Or … Ted Williams smiles at you from his All-Time All-Star card, bat resting on his shoulder.

It was surreal.

And this eBay lot gives you a shot of that same surreality in the form of a PSA 7 unopened 1976 Topps cello pack with that self-same Williams All-star card on front.

It’s a beauty, and that Jim Wynn on the backside is no chopped bubble gum, either.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1980 Topps Baseball Rack Pack … with Ross Grimsley on Back!

1980 Topps Baseball Rack Pack

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There have been several inflection points in the history of this hobby that were marked by huge “No Turning Back” airbrushed signs …

Topps’ purchase of Bowman in 1956.

Upper Deck’s choice of the Ken Griffey, Jr., rookie card as card #1 in set #1.

Buddy Biancalana‘s cardboard emergence in 1985.

But if you ask 100 collectors what the biggest development in hobby history was, I’ll bet at least one or two would say Jose Canseco‘s biceps on his 1994 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice card.

Many of the rest would say it was the monopoly-busting Fleer and Donruss sets of 1981.

And it’s hard to argue that point … grabbing hold of a stack of 1980 Topps cards always feels like stepping through the portal to another era.

The set is pretty nice, too, with a solid design and bright photography in most cases. The presence of the Rickey Henderson rookie card doesn’t hurt, either!

This eBay lot brings a little slice of history to the net in the form of a 1980 Topps rack pack, giving you 36 chances to find rookies or stars other than Rickey (the pack has 42 cards, but you can see six of them already).

The only beef I have with this listing is that the seller says no stars are visible on the front or back.

Ross Grimsley and I beg to differ!!

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1992 Bowman Jumbo Pack (PSA 9) with Mike Piazza on Back

1992 Bowman Baseball Unopened Jumbo Pack Mike Piazza

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There was a lot of excitement in the hobby when Topps first brought back the Bowman line in 1989.

Would this be the set that saved us from the bells and whistles of modern issues and return collecting to its roots?

As it turned out … not so much.

The oversized 1989 cards were a turd and, though the 1990s were more standard, there wasn’t anything really special about them, either.

Many collectors just wanted the new Bowmans to go away.

They didn’t, of course, and the 1991 Bowman set offered a bit of hope, considering how it dripped with rookies. Problem was, store shelves across America also dripped with Bowman — it was everywhere.

But Topps tried something different with Bowman in 1992. A few somethings different, in fact:

  • Premium white cardstock
  • Tightened production run
  • A focus on rookies and pre-rookies

All of this led to an immediate spike in collector interest and gave us the first cards of future superstars like Mike Piazza, Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera, and Carlos Delgado, among others.

You might notice a few Hall of Famers there.

And you also might notice one Hall of Fame rookie card on the back of the PSA 9 Jumbo pack offered in this eBay lot (that would be Piazza).

Considering that only nine total packs have been graded at all, with seven of them coming in at a 9 … with Piazza’s status as an all-time great … and with all the other big-time rookies that might hide among the 23 cards within …

Well, this is about as solid a single pack from the Junk Wax era as you’re likely to find.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

Reggie! – Unopened 1978 Clark Reggie Jackson Candy Bar

Reggie! Bar from Clark - Unopened 1978 Reggie Jackson Candy Bar

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Every once in awhile, you need to see where you stand in the world.

Throw yourself into the arena and really test your mettle.

And, with the Fourth of July just passed, memories of barbecues, junk food, and Joey Chestnut’s still dancing through your head, what could be more appropriate than a little gastrointestinal challenge?

Like … hmmmm … how about a 40-year-old candy bar?

This eBay lot brings you the cheeky and maybe infamous Reggie! bar, first issued in 1978 when future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson was stirring the straw — hard — for the New York Yankees.

And this is no mere wrapper — it’s the whole shebang. Wrapper. Reggie. And candy bar.

As the seller intones,

Of course, you probably wouldn’t really want to eat this thing, even back in 1978 but especially now (right?).

Sure would be tempting to sit back and share some waxy candy with ol’ Reggie, though, wouldn’t it?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1982 Topps Baseball Cello Box

1982 Topps Cello Box

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In 1982, the hobby was just starting to get the hang of this rookie card thing.

Thanks to a run of Los Angeles Dodgers that included Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, and Fernando Valenzuela, as well as other fairly recent phenoms like Mark Fidrych and Joe Charboneau, we knew that there might be gold in those wax packs we bought from the corner stores.

The 1982 Topps set fueled our RC embers by giving us three-in-one Future Stars cards for each team, yielding tiny pictures of such luminaries as Boomer Wells and Tom Brennan, but also guys we already knew about or who showed promise that summer: Chili Davis, Terry Francona, Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky, Steve Sax, Cal Ripken, Jr.

Those last two names, in particular, took on special meaning as the season wore on and both found key roles for their Big Leagues teams, the Dodgers (yes, again) and the Baltimore Orioles.

Thanks to the heroics of Sax and Ripken, and to the presence of other prospects who panned out to varying degrees early on, the 1982 Topps set remained a fount of rookie card hunting and speculation as the hobby entered its boom years proper.

This eBay lot lets you relive the excitement of chasing Cal and the rest of the Boys of Summer, 1982, courtesy of an unopened cello box with plenty of stars and rookies showing. (Note that the seller lists 23 packs even though there should be 24 and the pictures seem to represent a full box — would be worth asking about beforehand if you’re interested in bidding/buying.)

If you close your eyes and listen closely, why, you just might hear the lovely tones of your long-lost Atari beeping away in the background.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1959 Topps Baseball Unopened Cello Pack (Series 4)

1959 Topps Baseball Unopened Cello Pack

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One of the amazing things about this hobby is that decades-old stuff turns up on a regular basis looking like it did when your dad or his dad was still a whippersnapper.

A perfect example is this 1959 Topps unopened cello pack graded 7.5 (NM+) by GAI.

It’s not that you never see these packs on the market — PSA has graded 46 of them as of this writing, and two packs sold together at a Robert Edwards auction in the fall of 2017.

No, what really tugs at the heartstrings is that you know you could have walked into a corner store in the summer of 1959 to find this same Series 4 cello pack waiting for you.

Harry Hanebrink would have grimaced at you from the front, and Billy Loes would educate you on baseball numbers from the backside. What lay in between among the other 10 cards?

Maybe Gil Hodges or Don Zimmer or Billy Martin? Maybe … they’re all part of that series, after all.

Sitting her nearly 60 years on, it almost doesn’t matter what’s inside. It’s the nostalgia that makes this, as the seller says, “a very strong pack.”

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1990 Topps DoubleHeaders Unopened Boxes (2)

1990 Topps Doubleheaders Unopened Box

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Topps has a hobby history unparalleled by any other card company and, like any good business, they are not shy about using their competitive advantage.

We’ve seen it with their throwback homages to League MVPs, wherein Topps produces new cards that depict the player’s old card from the season he won the award — 1975 Topps and the 1982 Topps Kmart boxed set spring to mind.

We’ve seen it on the backs of 1991 Stadium Club cards, where Topps included miniature versions of each player’s Topps rookie cards.

And we’ve seen it more subtly when Topps brings back its own designs, or pretty near — think of the 1962/1987 and 1963/1983 pairs.

In 1990, Topps used the rookie card flashback to produce a set of 72 DoubleHeaders. Each DoubleHeader consisted of a plastic holder featuring a miniature version of the player’s Topps rookie card on one side and a miniature of his 1990 Topps on the other side.

This rather complicated “card” was sold in paper pouches, one player per packages.

There isn’t a ton of demand for this issue, and it’s not the most spectacular thing Topps ever pushed out, but it’s still an interesting piece of hobby history.

You also don’t — or at least I don’t — see unopened boxed all that often, which is why this eBay listing of two boxes caught my eye. Together, this duo gives you 72 packs which theoretically means you could complete the set by opening them all but … well, collation wasn’t always a priority back then.

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1979 Topps Baseball Unopened Rack Pack

1979 Topps Baseball Unopened Rack Pack Dennis Eckersley

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For years during the hobby boom of the 1980s, the 1979 Topps set languished behind its nearest neighbors in terms of collector interest and market value. But as Ozzie Smith began to emerge as a legitimate superstar rather than just a curiosity in the late eighties, we started to seek out his 1979 Topps rookie card in droves.

What we found was a condition-sensitive gem that sat in the middle of an issue just a bit more scarce than the junk wax stuff, and that also featured second-year cards of superstar (and future Hall of Famers) like Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray, Alan Tramell, Lou Whitaker, and Jack Morris.

This eBay lot offers up an unopened rack pack from those long-ago days, before Fleer and Donruss busted Topps’ monopoly.

Which of the big names lurks among the 39 cards?

Hard to say, but you know for sure Dennis Eckersley (front) is there and that Larry Harlow is there twice … front and back!

And, c’mon — who doesn’t want two Larry Harlow cards in one pack?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

1982 Topps Baseball Unopened Cello Pack – Nolan Ryan on Front

1982 Topps Unopened Cello Nolan Ryan Front

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By 1982, Nolan Ryan was already 35 years old, and most fans and collectors thought he might have a couple more good years left, at best.

Turns out, The Ryan Express had more than a decade of good years — some of them great — left in his powerful right arm.

As Ryan went about dismantling strikeout and no-hitter records between the time this 1982 cello pack with his Topps card on front was issued and the time he retired, he pulled all his cards right up the Legend Ladder with him.

This pack makes a great display piece whether you’re a Ryan collector or not, and the listing is worth a look or three just for all glorious Red, White, and Blue baseball card box in the background as the Fourth of July descends upon us.

As a bonus, this seller is offering up several more 1982 Topps cellos, and the visuals are all just as striking.

Check out the Ryan eBay listing here (affiliate link).

Check out the other unopened 1982 Topps cellos on eBay here (affiliate link).

1986 Fleer Baseball Unopened Rack Packs (15)

1986 Fleer Unopened Rack Packs

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In 1986, Fleer finally got a leg up on its old nemesis Topps by winning the Rookie Card battle — for a year at least.

While Topps relied on the likes of Vince Coleman, Ozzie Guillen, and Glenn Davis to carry its first-year burden, Fleer checked in with RCs of Jose Canseco, Paul O’Neill, Cecil Fielder, Coleman, Guillen, Andres Galarraga, Benito Santiago, and others.

They had already nailed a Davis card in 1985.

This eBay lot of 15 Fleer rack packs from 1986 give you 675 cards — more than enough to hit on a few of these big-name rookies.

It also gives you 15 Future Hall of Famer insert cards. This is an awesome little set with a six-card checklist that includes Pete Rose, Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, Rod Carew, Nolan Ryan, and Reggie Jackson.

Five out of six ain’t bad, eh?

Check out the full eBay listing (affiliate link).

(Check out our previous Wow! Wax listings here.)

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1981 TOPPS BASEBALL CARDS COMPLETE SET - 726 CARDS - NM/MT

140.jpg $61.00 (2 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday 05/11/2021 15:26:31 EDT
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1981 Topps Baseball Cards 20 Card Lot

140.jpg $8.50
End Date: Friday 06/04/2021 19:39:51 EDT
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