Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Buying Back My Childhood - 1988 Panini Baseball Stickers

1988 was a golden year for baseball cards and memorabilia; not only was Topps (over)producing all kinds of products (including baseball card folders!) but this was the first year of Starting Lineup figurines.. which I was addicted to as much as - if not more than - trading cards. 

1988 was also the first year of Panini sticker albums. Topps had been producing similar products years prior to Panini's release, but if they were in stores I never noticed them. Panini's stickers were as much a part of my childhood as Topps cards and Garbage Pail Kids. And so I thought it would be fun to relive my childhood and buy a box of stickers.

Unfortunately a sealed box would set me back about $50 and so I bought this lot of loose stickers instead. I could not tell what % of the set was in this lot, or how many dupes I'd receive - but for $5.40 I took a gamble. 

Of course, once I added that to my eBay bDay purchase, I also needed an album:

As you can see, it's a little wider than my 8.5 x 11.5 scanner. I thought I'd scan a couple of the pages and a handful of the stickers before I stick 'em in the album.

 Here's the inside front cover. This is how we got our stats 30 years ago:

Some teams had more stolen bases than home runs; the Cardinals had more than twice as many. And look at how many complete games the '87 Red Sox and Royals had.

There's an explanation insert on the opposite page:

Here's a sample team page. They all look the same, no logos or team colors (the stickers provide that):

 I only got a few Sox in the box:

In the middle of the book there is a complete stat sheet for every player on every team in 1987. The next page has the '87 All-Stars, but it's covered by this:

 This is where you would affix these small, circular logos:

As for the mini-pennants, they have a place at the back of the book:

The inside back cover gives you tips on how to complete your sticker album. You could even trade dupes with Panini (Try doing that with Topps!)

I only got a handful of dupes in the box I bought. However, I didn't realize there were nearly 500 stickers in the set. Not sure if I'll be able to fill the album, but I'm going to try.

Here are some of the more interesting player stickers, including Hall of Famers:

 Superstars of the 80's:

And some others I thought were interesting - like Lance McCullers (Sr), a baby-faced John Kruk, and the only hatless player in the box Jerry Mumphrey:

The foil stickers were always my favorite as a kid (especially the logos):

I didn't scan the action photos because they are split in half and I didn't have any complete pictures.

Did you collect Panini sticker albums (or any other sticker albums?)




  1. That looks like a really fun project, best of luck in tracking down the rest that you need and filling out your book!

  2. I just finished this project myself! I have a lot of duplicates. Email me with which ones you need and your address and I'll send you some.

  3. Awesome! I remember trying to complete this project as a nine year old. My parents kept buying me packs but I know that I never quite finished it off.

  4. I collected the Panini sticker books when I was growing up. I just got a couple of them in a trade and thinking about trying to complete them. I collect the Panini football book now, but have never come too close to finishing it.

  5. I collected them for a few years... maybe 1982 to 1984. Back in those days... I'm pretty sure Topps and Panini partnered up.

  6. Wow...I had completely forgotten about these. Once I saw your photos, a wave of memories came flooding back. I remember collecting these too now. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  7. I was really in to the sticker albums when I was young, although I was much more interested in the non-sport sets (G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, Thundercats, etc.), than I was in the sports.

  8. I just found my 1989 book, and it seems I have 1988 stickers but no book for them does anyone have a spare 1988 book?