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Old 12-16-2016, 10:46 AM
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Default Your Favorite Donruss Sets from 1981-1991

Beginning in 1981, Donruss began printing their regular annual baseball card sets. In 1992 they joined the "premium" fray and started using thicker card stock on their base set. But from 1981 to 1991, the base Donruss set was printed on standard cardboard and issued in wax packs for an affordable price. Between those 11 sets, which are your favorites, and why? Feel free to rank them or whatever you want.

Personally, the 1987 set is my favorite with 1984 a close second. This is due first and foremost to the designs of those sets, but also to the great rookies and many nice regular player cards featured in those sets. While the 85 set is decent, it was a big letdown after that beautiful white bordered 84 set. And 88 was a travesty coming after the sweet 87 set. But, I feel similarly about the 88 sets of Topps and Fleer, as the 87 sets of those cards were great as well. 1987 was just an excellent year for baseball cards. That's when it all began for me though, so maybe that's just nostalgia talking, but I think the designs of the big 3 that year still hold up well today.

Anyway, I'm curious what the favorites (and least favorites) are of anyone here who still has interest in cards from the "junk wax" era.
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Old 12-16-2016, 10:56 AM
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Sean Sullivan
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I have to go with '83 as my favorite, followed maybe by '86 (or whatever one has the white letter Highlights cards). Mostly I just love finding the variations.
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Old 12-16-2016, 11:36 AM
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Ben North
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My favorite is the 1990 set by far because of the awesome red borders. Love the T210's for the same reason.

Like Sean posted above I also like looking through junk wax era cards for the error and variation cards.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:40 PM
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1989 for printing errors is my favorite so far.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:39 PM
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I think they knocked it out of the park in 1985.

1981 was exciting because it was new but the quality control was lousy. 1982 and 1983 were bland. 1984 had some great cards but some quality issues and some duds too. They finally put it all together in 1985.
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Old 12-16-2016, 02:17 PM
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Here are examples of each respective year in case anyone wants a quick refresher.











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Old 12-17-2016, 03:06 PM
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My favorite is 1986. Those slick borders and parallelogram pictures...And great rookies like Canseco, McGriff, O'Neill..

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Old 12-17-2016, 07:55 PM
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Jason Wells
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1990 for me as well.
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Old 12-17-2016, 09:59 PM
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Paul Herbener
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I always thought 1984 was the best. Clean big images and a bit harder to find then the rest. I do wish there were more rookies in it though.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:57 PM
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Tom J
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1984 - Don Mattingly and Strawberry, need I say more?
1983 - the first year that Donruss finally put it all together
1987 - great players and good photography and design
1986 - good design, but photography could be discolored
1990 - great photography and I liked the design, just not so much the red color

and last but not least -

1981 - oh my, tons of errors, gum sticking to the cards, blurry photography, terrible distribution in the packs, two and three of certain players for no apparent reason, thin card stock, etc. Fleer's first effort in 1981 was much better.
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