Two 1980’s Chicago Cubs Oddball sets I have had my eyes on have been 1982 Red Lobster and 1983 Thorn Apple Valley.
The Thorn Apple Valley set has long been on my want list, namely for the Joe Carter rookie. This set is a bit pricy because it contains both a Carter and Ryne Sandberg rookie. It is not a rare set by any means, but certainly not as populous as Topps, Donruss, or Fleer.
Joe Carter Cubs cards always fascinated me. I grew up watching Carter’s heroics with the Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays, and one day discovered his 1984 Donruss Rated Rookie at my local card shop in Geneseo, Illinois as a kid. It became one card I always wanted in my collection, and later would seek out other Joe Carter Cubs items.
Until now, the Thorn Apple Valley eluded me. Not because of rarity, but my collection has varied and I never really found a good price on the set.
There are a handful of Thorn Apple Valley cards in my collection from a large Craigslist bulk buy a few years ago, and on occasion I’ll do an eBay search. Recently, I found a partial set along with a Red Lobster partial set on eBay for $17.75 shipped. Neither set included the Sandberg, hence the low price. But…it included the Joe Carter rookie!
The Cubs team card does include Sandberg.
The set’s photography includes both action shots as well as posed shots like the Carter. I love the Wrigley ivy back drop for this Steve Lake card.
And Thad Bosley is posing in left field in what appears to be a gameday crowd in the bleachers behind him.
Bill Buckner is watching a hit in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
And a swinging Jay Johnstone.
1983 was also the year of the great Lee Elia tirade. Elia was the manager when this set was produced. He was fired later in the 1983 season.
The 1982 Red Lobster set was something I recently became aware of when I saw a Sandberg. It was only fitting the eBay seller had both of these sets as a lot.
Lee Elia received his own card.
And the Cubs coaches, Billy Williams included, were on a separate card.
One of my favorite 80’s Cubs was Jody Davis. Great action shot of the backstop on defense.
And the Cubs team card does include a young rookie named Ryne Sandberg (front row, far right).