I better get rolling with this under $25 countdown if I'm going to finish by the end of the year. Here's a quick one at #17:
What is it? A 1986-87 Topps Mario Lemieux.
When and where did I get it? eBay, a few weeks ago.
How much did it cost me? $6.99 (free shipping!).
For the longest time 1986-87 Topps was one of those sets that just seemed foreign to me. I started collecting as a kid in 1989, so most of what I had was junk wax era and later. I did have a few cards from earlier in the decade, which I thought were practically priceless because they were so "old". I definitely recall a 1981-82 Topps Bill Barber that I kept in a top-loader and swore would help me with retirement someday. The 86-87 set was without representation in this small, cherished stack of cards though. Sure I saw a picture or two in a Tuff Stuff (remember those?), and a couple of my friends had a few, but that was about it.
After getting back into collecting in 2007, I ended up trading for a huge chunk of the 1986-87 Topps set. Since then, I've picked up a card or two here and there but haven't pursued the set too vigorously. One thing I did manage to accomplish this year was to organize all of my 1980-81 through 1989-90 Topps cards and get updated want lists. In the end, I found that I was less than 10 cards away from finishing this one off.
Mario here was one of the few cards I had left to go. I knew it would be one of the more expensive remaining pickups since it's the second most valuable card in the set ($30 BV) behind the Roy rookie. I was happy to grab this one for just $7 shipped. The card has good centering, good clean corners and looks right at home with the rest of the 86-87s in the binder.
I think Lemieux's is one of the better looking cards from this set. The design has grown on me and I love the fact that in most cases the colors used for the border match those of the player's uniform almost to a T. I like the closely cropped photo of Super Mario and the giant #66 in the foreground.
You'll be seeing some more 86-87 Topps here in the near future. If I can show some restraint from blowing my card budget on packs I should have this set finished off soon...
1994 Carolina League 50th Anniversary All-Time Set - I've been emailing with Alex T. (the reader who kindly traded me the George Brett and Robin Yount rookie cards recently). He's an interesting dude whose co...