My Favorite Cards: 1987 Topps Traded

The 1987 Topps set was probably the most "important" set of my card collecting life.  I had infrequently collected cards during earlier seasons - having (mostly) random Phillies from previous sets.    But I was really into baseball that spring and decided to collect the set - which I did from packs and common card boxes at the card shop (thanks Mom and Dad).

The card design is very memorable for anyone in my general age range (30-35 years), and as is typical with Topps Traded, this 132-card set from '87 features the same wood panel frame layout and yellow back design as the flagship set.  The Phillies made a few roster (and managerial) changes during the season.  As a result there are five cards in the team set.  Here is a quick look at them...

Lance Parrish
Parrish was a legitimate star when he signed with the Phils before the 1987 season.  There were a lot of expectations for the team, expectations that were never met.  I really like the look of this card; Topps must have liked it, too...they used the same photo for Lance's 1988 card.

Lee Elia
Elia may have been the one to gain the most from the disappointing season.  After the team stumbled out of the gate, Manager John Felske was soon fired and replaced by the longtime Phillie coach.  Of course, Elia didn't last that long either...

Jeff Calhoun
In the time before there were bullpen specialists, there was Jeff Calhoun.  The left-handed reliever was picked up in early April and pitched in 42 games (finishing 15), and posted a 1.48 ERA.  Today Calhoun would be a millionaire with a 15 year career - in his day, after posting those stats, he was out of baseball in 1988.

Chris James
Fair or not, Chris James was an example of the failed Phillies farm system.  During the years I was growing up there were a string of them - Bruce Ruffin, Jeff Stone, Ricky Jordan to name a few.  I liked CJ and like this card, though.

Wally Ritchie
Not flashy, Ritchie was a dependable lefty out of the bullpen for a few years.

Check out some of my other favorite cards in these previous posts.