15 Curious Facts We Learned From 1987 Topps Baseball Cards

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The backs of 1987 Topps baseball cards contained a fun feature: amazing facts about the players! Or in many cases, declarative statements regarding their hobbies ("Candy Maldonado finds traveling an enjoyable experience.") You learned where players went to high school, what other sports they like, and the names of their children. But some cards shared more. Here are some of the more insightful, curious, or downright crazy things we learned about the professional baseball players of 1987:

1. Howard Johnson, New York Mets

2. Moose Haas, Oakland A's

3. Ozzie Smith, St. Louis Cardinals

4. Sid Fernandez, New York Mets

5. Jim Traber, Baltimore Orioles

[Wait, what? Why hasn't there been a 30 for 30 on this?]

6. Carney Lansford, Oakland A's

7. Mickey Brantley, Seattle Mariners

8. Daryl Boston, Chicago White Sox

9. R.J. Reynolds, Pittsburgh Pirates

10. Joaquin Andujar, Oakland A's

11. Keith Moreland, Chicago Cubs

12. Charlie Kerfeld, Houston Astros

13. Kevin Mitchell, New York Mets

14. Bill Caudill, Toronto Blue Jays

15. Aurelio Lopez, Houston Astros

Any time we talk about baseball cards I feel compelled to plug Dave Jamieson's wonderful book Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became a National Obsession. Dave described the 1987 Topps cards like this: "At age eight, I fell in love with the most unusual offering of the decade. That year, the Topps designers chose to frame player photos with a distinctive wood-grain trim. It didn't resemble anything that sprouted in the natural world—it was more like the faux wood siding on your mother's Plymouth station wagon, or the flimsy wood-effect paneling on the walls of your neighbor's basement...[But] if you suffered from severe cartophilia, as I did, then you simply had to have it."

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May 24, 2013 - 3:08pm
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