(This is the first in our series of posts about the best baseball cards from the 1980s. Check out the rest of those posts here.)

When Topps was planning their 1980 Topps baseball cards, they couldn’t have known for sure that it would be their last set as King of the World.

After all, even though Fleer had been battling to end Topps’ cardboard monopoly since at least 1975, the court case wouldn’t be decided until the summer of 1980. By then, the yearly Topps set would have already joined its brethren as an untouchable piece of the collecting landscape.

So Topps really had no reason to go above in beyond in preparing for 1980.

Boy, if you liked catchers, though, it sure seems like Topps was putting in extra prep work for the first set of the new decade.

Especially if you liked catchers in action, or catcher’s gear.

Here, take a look at some of the beauties Topps uncorked in 1980:

1980 Topps Jeff Newman (#34)

1980 Topps Jeff Newman

Newman is contemplating the consequences of Billy Ball.

1980 Topps Carlton Fisk (#40)

1980 Topps Carlton Fisk

Fisk is not amused with you … as usual.

1980 Topps Ted Simmons (#85)

1980 Topps Ted Simmons

Simmons is perplexed by how underrated he remains.

1980 Topps Tim Blackwell (#153)

1980 Topps Tim Blackwell

Blackwell often moonlighted as a push broom.

1980 Topps Butch Wynegar (#304)

1980 Topps Butch Wynegar

Think Butch picked off the runner?

1980 Topps Bob Davis (#351)

1980 Topps Bob Davis

Davis is thrilled about playing for the Blue Jays.

1980 Topps Duffy Dyer (#446)

1980 Topps Duffy Dyer

Dyer wonders if he’ll ever get out from Gary Carter’s shadow.

1980 Topps Jim Sundberg (#530)

1980 Topps Jim Sundberg

Who’s the joker who put chewed up gum in Sundberg’s mask?

1980 Topps Brian Downing (#602)

1980 Topps Brian Downing

Brian Downing was so tough, he always wore glasses … and no one said a word. No one.

There are probably others, too, but one post can only hold so much cardboard beauty.

Now, I will allow that there are a lot of similar shots here, with catchers standing fully upright as if to best display their chest guards and other tools of ignorance.

They’re still great. Love them.

And besides, Topps gave us other sorts of catcher cards in 1980, too, like this awesome batting shot of Johnny Bench:

1980 Topps Johnny Bench

But which is the best card from 1980 Topps?

Well, last year I picked the Burger King Fred Lynn card as the best of 1980, but the self-imposed rules of this game say I can’t repeat.

Besides, we’re all about catchers here today, in case you couldn’t tell.

And there aren’t many better cards anywhere than this action shot of the late, great Gary Carter:

1980 Topps Gary Carter

The Kid has the ball, dammit, and you’re not getting by.

From the intense warrior’s glare to the glove thrust triumphantly in the air to the crystal clear image to the gritty dust-up to the now-nostalgic red, white, and blue of the Montreal Expos‘ uniform, this card has something for everyone.

There’s even a pennant in the background in case Carter doesn’t already have you feeling rah-rah enough for the action on the field.

Man!

Greatness.

(This is the first in our series of posts about the best baseball cards from the 1980s. Check out the rest of those posts here.)

 

 

 

1980 Topps Rickey Henderson Oakland Athletics #482 Baseball Card

$10.50 (7 Bids)
End Date: Monday Jul-22-2019 19:00:09 PDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

TOPPS BASEBALL COMMONS.... 1980........$.05 each

$1.25
End Date: Monday Aug-19-2019 4:06:42 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $1.25
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

1980 TOPPS #450 GEORGE BRETT HOF - - SHARP / GRADABLE - - NM-MT

$1.95 (0 Bids)
End Date: Friday Jul-26-2019 4:21:39 PDT
Bid now | Add to watch list

1980 Topps #100 Johnny Bench

$1.95
End Date: Monday Jul-22-2019 3:36:47 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $1.95
Buy It Now | Add to watch list