Vintage Hobby Threads: The 1983 Topps Baseball Card Tee Shirts

Those who follow me on Twitter or read my editor blog last April know that I collect hobby-related books, magazines, periodicals, etc., and that I’m building “the hobby library.” A couple of weeks ago, I bought a program from the Fourth Annual National Sports Collectors Convention held in Chicago from July 7-10 in 1983. 

Fourth NSCC Show Program – 1983

And one of the advertisements inside the program from Fenway Sport Enterprises caught my attention, so I tweeted it out asking if anyone had one of these Baseball Card Tee Shirts.

The Baseball Card Tee Shirt Advertisement

The ad shows a Dodgers and Yankees shirt but explains that team shirts were also available featuring the Brewers, Mets, Cardinals, Angles, Red Sox, Phillies, Orioles, Royals, and White Sox. They mentioned using 1983 Topps baseball cards, including update (traded) cards “such as the Billy Martin Yankee card, the Garvey Padres card, and Seaver Mets card.”

1983 Topps Traded Martin, Garvey, and Seaver Cards

In response to my Tweet, SABR Baseball Cards responded with photos of a “Yankees are Topps” shirt they found on Etsy. Notice the Hanes 50/50 tag, just like the ad mentions.

1983 Yankees are Topps T-Shirt – Image 1
1983 Yankees are Topps T-Shirt – Image 2
1983 Yankees are Topps T-Shirt – Image 3

However, the shirt isn’t the same as the young boy’s in the advertisement. The Guidry and Gossage cards are swapped on the bottom, and the Billy Martin card photo on the t-shirt is nothing like his actual 1983 Topps Traded card! So, SABR asked if there could be a Mets shirt somewhere with an ultra-rare Darryl Strawberry rookie card or Seaver that folks don’t have.

1983 Yankees are Topps T-Shirt – Billy Martin Card

I wonder if PSA would grade one of these “cards” cut out from the shirt.

Happy collecting!

And don’t forget to check out The Post War Cards Newsletter for weekly hobby tidbits like this!

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