Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Complete sets: 1984 Drake's Big Hitters

It's been a bit more than a year since I received my final trade package from legendary blogger Mike of BA Benny fame--and it was a huge one!  He included a lot of smaller boxed sets, so I thought I might scan some or all of them eventually.  The one I'm showing off today just turned 30 years old, and is just a bit younger than I am.  It's a joint effort by Drake's (which was apparently a bakery I've never heard of) and Topps, entitled "Drake's Big Hitters."
Here's the front and back of the box.  The back helpfully includes the checklist, plus an explanation of what they consider a "big hitter," which seems pretty reasonable.

As you can see, the set includes 33 cards, and here's all of them, in their 30-year-old glory:
To start things off, this is a pretty good group that includes five HOFers.  Baylor was four years removed from an MVP and still hitting pretty well.  Buckner, Cey, and Cooper were also statistically pretty good during this era.
Reggie is the only HOFer in this group, but it's still decent.  Garvey's appearance gives us the first half of GCRL's favorite trio; sadly the other players didn't make it.  Hendrick is a guy I didn't have any memory of, but the former #1 overall pick had some nice years in the mid-70s and early 80s.  Kemp was also a former #1, for the Tigers in this case, but didn't have much left in the tank by the time he made it into this set.  Greg Luzinski, who still had a bit of power here, was the 70s/80s answer to Prince Fielder, if by "Prince Fielder" you mean "Who was a fatass power hitter in the 70s/80s?"
Lynn had come off a couple off-years but was very good from '82 to '88, while Madlock's best days were recently behind him.  Murphy, however, had just won back-to-back MVPs, and he had a few more similar seasons through '87.  HOFers Murray and Ripken enjoyed success in '83 by winning it all, with the latter following up his ROY '82 with an AL MVP.  Their fellow Hall member Rice absolutely mashed in '83 before slowly declining the rest of the decade.  And Pete Rose was an idiot gambler with a stupid haircut, though his inclusion in any hitting-themed set is a must.
Finally, this page is pretty damned good for having only six players.  Schmidt, Winfield, and Yount were of course HOFers, Strawberry ('83's NL ROY) could have been one had he not thrown it away, and Trammell deserves way more consideration than he's received.  Also, I hope Red Sox fans don't hate me for being amused that Mookie and Buckner appear in the same set a couple years before their infamous play.

Your final HOF tally is 12, which is pretty solid.

Although the cards were made by Topps, the fronts are clearly different from the '84 flagship set, which makes sense.  The backs, however, are nearly identical:
Really the only difference (besides the numbering, obviously) is the Drake's logo in the upper-left corner.  Here's a flagship (Tiffany, not that it matters) back for a comparison:
From tradingcarddb.com
I hope you liked this look back at a set that's likely older than many of you!


  1. Geez, man, it wasn't that long ago. I was in college and working then.

    1. Whatever you say, old man! I guess you won't like the title of my post coming this evening, then. Thanks for reading.

  2. Is that the same Drake's Seinfeld mentions in an episode? Drake's Coffee Cakes....

    1. Apparently it is, and I do recall that now that you mention it. I had a feeling it wasn't anything like an obscure brand, just unknown to me.