This was the pack I was most interested in opening out of this lot, mainly because I had never opened a pack before. So without further adieu or any adieu for that matter, here is 1986 Topps League Leaders.
Card 1: Rick Reuschel
What an epic way to start the pack. What's not to like? The dazed look on Rick's face, The sweet oddly shaped Pirates hat with multiple dents and most of all, despite Rick being a talented pitcher for a number of years, I will always remember him as the guy who gave up the blast to Bo Jackson leading off the All-Star game. LOVE this card.
So what did Rick lead the league in to deserve this card? 4th in ERA with a 2.27. A note was also made that he tied for 6th in Complete Games with 9.
Card 2: Jack Clark
Jack was a beast in the '80s, although I remember him more for his clunkiness in the '90s.
So what did Jack lead the league in to deserve this card? Jack was 4th in On-Base Pct. with a .393. A note was also added that Jack tied for 7th in Base on Balls with 83 and was 8th in Slugging Pct. with .502.
Card 3: Carlton Fisk
One of the cooler parts about these cards is their size. For some perspective here is Fisk with his back-up Ron Karkovice.
As for the Fisk card. Gotta love the catcher's helmet worn forward as a hat, the hideous blue and red stripes of the White Sox uniforms and the knee high pants. Well played Mr. Fisk, well played.
So what did Carlton lead the league in to deserve this card? Fisk was 2nd in Home Runs with 37. I had no idea Fisk was such an offensive juggernaut in 1985. He also ranked 7th in GW-RBI, 8th in Runs Batted In and 10th in Slugging Pct. with .488.
Card 4: Tom Browning
1985 was Tom's rookie year and it was a great one. He finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Vince Coleman and his 110 Stolen Bases.
So what did Tom lead the league in to deserve this card? Tom was 4th in Victories with 20, 5th in Shutouts with 4, tied for 2nd in Games Started with 38, 6th in Innings Pitched with 261.1 and 9th in Strikeouts with 155. It was quite the league leading year for Mr. Browning.
Card 5: Wade Boggs (Our first actual outright league leader)
One sidenote to this card, I miss players wearing actual stirrups like I wore all throughout Little League and beyond. I realize that fashions change, but this is one that needs to make a comeback. Wade was an absolute beast in 1985 and finished 4th in MVP voting.
So what did Wade lead the league in to deserve this card? Wade was 1st in Batting Average at .368, 1st in On-Base Pct. with .450, 1st in Hits with 240, 3rd in Doubles with 42, and 4th in Total Bases with 312. Willie McGee won the NL MVP with numbers inferior to these in 1985, however Boggs only managed a 4th place finish.
Card 6: Ryne Sandberg
As I've discussed before, I watched a lot of Cubs baseball while living in Texas in the late '80s and early '90s. While Grace was my favorite player by far, Sandberg was also a guy I loved watching. In 1984 Sandberg was an MVP, so 1985 was a bit of a letdown, but still a very solid year for Ryno.
So what did Ryne lead the league in to deserve this card? Ryne was 4th in Runs with 113, 4th in Stolen Bases with 54, 4th in Hits with 186, 6th in Slugging Pct. with .504, and 8th in Batting Average with .305.
So that ends what may have been the most enjoyable six card break I've had in a while. I'm used to feeling underwhelmed these days when I get a pack of six mediocre cards that I paid 6 dollars for. 1986 League Leaders is officially on my radar, even if only one player in my pack actually led his league in anything.
4 packs of Score is coming soon. The scanning is taking its toll on me.
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