Let The Battle Rage On: 1983 Topps Super Veterans VS 2014 Topps Super Veterans. Who Will Win???
As a kid collecting baseball cards, I used the 1983 Topps Super Veterans subset as a tool to learn about the ‘older’ players in the game. The set was large and it featured images from the beginning of each player’s career and then images that were current (1982-83).
When I got back into collecting in 2008, this same subset was the first one I went after. I had built it 20+ years prior, but I wanted to re-live my youth by doing it again. So, I did. And it re-kindled my enjoyment for vintage baseball cards and the players that helped shape the history of the game.
Upon completion of that subset, and learning that Topps had begun recycling older designs in their modern releases, I kept my fingers crossed that ‘Super Veterans’ would eventually be re-done.
And when 2014 Topps, Series 1 hit the shelves, a 15-card subset of ‘Super Veterans’ was included. I was ecstatic. And I quickly made this a target for my collection. And after a few days of shopping around, I scored the complete 15-card set and began showing it off on this blog as I did with the 1983 set back in 2009.
So, here they are. First the 1983 version:
And now, the 2014 set:
And now for my review and comparison.
- The edge goes to ’83 as it relates to size – 35 to 15
- The edge goes to ’14 as it relates to % of future Hall of Fame inclusions: 14/35 players versus a likely 7/15 ( I did not count Peter Rose, though I want to)
- There is a tie in regards to how the images of yore are shown – Sepia tones in both ’83 and ’14
- The edge goes to ’83 as it relates to ‘Star Power’
Overall, I of course like both sets. I wish that the 2014 version included more players on the checklist or at least was continued into the Series 2 release. I don’t find that the 2014 version has the same star power that the set from ’83 offers even though it features Jeter, Rivera, and Cabrera – I just don’t think that Topps truly dug in deep enough to really get behind this set. It feels like it was put together as a way to add Pettitte and Rivera cards into yet another subset. If they had truly shown us the longest tenured players in the majors, we would have had a more apples-to-apples comparison. The set is called ‘Super Veterans’ for a reason; it is not called ‘Best Older Players In The Game’. At the very least, and to be more consistent with the original subset, this one should have included Jason Giambi, Ichiro, Paul Konerko, Raul Ibanez, LaTroy Hawkins, and Bartolo Colon. If Topps had taken this step, it would definitely be more true to what ‘Super Veterans’ offered in 1983.
Still, no complaints from my side. I’m thrilled to have both sets in my collection. I’m just thirsty for more!
Reblogged this on Around The Base.
I think I counted 17 HOFers in the 1983 set. Like you, I wish it would have continued in Series 2, it is a great subset theme.
Adam- You’re correct on 17. Thanks.
I got 18 HOF players in the 1983 set.
Matt- My math skills must be on summer vacation!
I would say ’83 too, mostly for the variety of teams reflected with the players. It does seem the ’14 set was to just wash Yankees balls. If you look at it from purely the player skill leve/status, still ’83 in my mind; Ryan, Jenkins, Carlton, Palmer and Seaver vs. Halladay, Sabathia, Pettite, Wainwright and Zito, not even close.