Blogger Thorzul is having a 1981 Topps Tournament to determine once and for all the greatest card from that set.
81 Topps is the set that really started it all for me. I would get packs for 35 cents each from Matthews' supermarket once a week or so and I would always be frustrated that the dollar I had wouldn't quite cover three packs. I didn't so much collect the cards as just play with them, and play in this context means horribly abuse. If you look through my 81 set, you can tell which ones I had when I was a kid and which ones I got more recently pretty easily. If there is a discernible corner on the card, I didn't have it when I was a kid. There was even one card where I cut the little baseball cap out with scissors, but that one got an upgrade a while back. It's actually a pretty nice little set, especially when compared to the Fleer and Donruss trainwrecks from that year. Plus since Harold Baines is the top rookie so it's pretty affordable. You can probably pick up a complete set plus the traded series for less than the price of a box of 2007 Topps if you look around a little bit.
The tourney just started, so there's plenty of time to vote for your favorites. Here are the matchups so far:
#1 Jack Clark vs #16 Mike Norris
#2 Dennis Eckersley vs #15 Joe Strain
#3 Ellis Valentine vs #14 Milt Wilcox
For what it's worth, my favorite from that set is #387 Phil Niekro. in '81 Dale Murphy and Bob Horner were really coming into their own as players, but Knucksie was still undoubtedly Mr. Brave. Plus look at that smile on his face. So warm and friendly, Phil looks like he really loves pitching. Ok, so it's probably actually a grimace of pain from his overworked 40 year old arm, but I didn't know about such things when I was 8. At any rate, go click and vote!