What is this? Insert cards on my 20th-Century Topps Baseball blog? I didn't collect any of these insert cards in the '80s because they weren't included in the wax packs where I compiled my cards from. I would often see other people with these type of insert cards in the '80s, but no one ever seemed to be seriously interested in them. Everyone I knew collected base cards. Imagine that.
Anyways, it seems very difficult for modern era baseball card collectors to ignore insert cards. Believe me; I tried. It all started with the acquisition of all those post-1992 Topps factory sets I compiled, all of which include some type of extra bonus card packs. When I entered back into this hobby after a 10-year hiatus in the summer of 2001, I found many of these bonus insert cards to be a nuisance. Initially, I had no idea what to do with them. My complete sets all went into binder pages along with my Traded/Update sets, while most of the extras were just sold off.
I kept many of the mid-to-late '90s Topps factory set bonus reprints for players like Mantle, Mays, Clemente, Ryan, and Aaron. Those, I would integrate into my vintage sets as a filler until an original can be found to replace them. Afterward, I would then sell off the reprint. I guess that this post is marking the start of my "giving in" to collecting some of these insert cards--especially those that represent my initial era of card collecting in the '80s.
Basically, there were 3 major type of insert sets manufactured by Topps between 1983-1991: Glossy Send-Ins ('83-'90), Glossy All-Stars ('84-'91), and Glossy Rookies ('87-'91). The primary focus of this particular post is on the Glossy All-Star Game Commemorative Sets that were manufactured between 1984-1991. This was the first of those Glossy All-Star sets, and were found individually inserted into rack packs of 1984 Topps baseball cards.
There still seems to be a lot of confusion with online listings representing these sets by the year identified at the top of the card. In this case, the 1984 Topps All-Star Game Commemorative set actually identifies players from the '83 All-Star Game. If you look at the copyright symbol at the bottom of the card back, the answer will become apparent. These are 1984 Topps cards, and represent the first of 8 consecutive All-Star Game Commemorative insert sets manufactured by Topps.
They all consisted of a total of 22 cards each. The set is split into 11 cards for each league: 9 position players, 1 manager, and 1 honorable mention/captain. The honorable mention cards in this set are Carl Yastrzemski and Johnny Bench, who both retired during the 1983 season. Later versions of this set included honorable mention/captain players who had retire much earlier.
Of course, this insert set cannot be effectively integrated into my base/traded set, so I have included it at the end of my binder after the checklist cards. I compared this set with the 22-card All-Star subsets commonly included in Topps base sets during the '80s, and found little correlation. Some of the position players match, and some don't.
There will soon be a 40-card Glossy Send-In insert set to complement this 22-cards Glossy All-Star Game Commemorative insert set.