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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Postwar Sportscard Forums > Modern Baseball Cards Forum (1980-Present)

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  #1  
Old 01-10-2021, 10:48 PM
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Default 1981-1988 Underrated?

In my opinion the top10 cards from this time frame (using 10 different players) to be produced (in no particular order) are:

1) 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Barry Bonds
2) 1985 Topps Tiffany USA Mark McGwire
3) 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn
4) 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly
5) 1984 Fleer Update Roger Clemens
6) 1984 Fleer Update Kirby Puckett
7) 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Bo Jackson
8) 1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr.
9) 1987 Topps Traded Tiffany Greg Maddux
10) 1988 Score Traded Glossy Craig Biggio

Honorable Mention:

1) 1983 Topps Traded Darryl Strawberry
2) 1983 Donruss Wade Boggs
3) 1983 OPC Ryne Sandberg
4) 1987 OPC Barry Bonds
5) 1982 TCMA John Elway "Oneonta Yankees"

The top design from each of the three main companies I believe will be most iconic decades from now are:

1) 1986 Topps
2) 1984 Fleer
3) 1984 Donruss

Memorable cards that don't cost a lot:

1) 1988 Topps Traded USA Jim Abbott
2) 1985 Topps Dwight Gooden
3) 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco
4) 1981 Topps Valenzuela/Scioscia rookie
5) 1987 Topps Bo Jackson Future Star
6) 1988 Score Roberto Alomar
7) 1981 Donruss Rickey Henderson
8) 1987 Donruss Greg Maddux Rated Rookie
9) 1987 Fleer Barry Larkin
10) 1982 Topps Lee Smith

Top Variation Sets:

1) 1982 Topps Blackless
2) 1985 Topps Mini
3) Any Topps Tiffany
4) Any Fleer Glossy
5) 1988 Score Glossy
6) 1984 Nestle
7) 1981 OPC Gray Backs

Top Error Cards:

1) 1987 Opening Day Barry Bonds/Johnny Ray
2) 1981 Topps Borderless
3) 1981 Fleer Craig Nettles
4) 1988 Topps Dwight Gooden AS partial blue missing
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Last edited by 4reals; 01-10-2021 at 10:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2021, 10:38 AM
Wimberleycardcollector Wimberleycardcollector is offline
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Great list. I know lots of collectors frown on the junk era of cards but I love them. Having never collected for investment or the flip I have a great appreciation for those sets. To me they are just as important to my collection as my “vintage cards”. Just another part of baseball history.
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2021, 10:55 AM
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Nice list. Design wise I would substitute 1983 for 1986. Always thought it was an appealing set as a kid!

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  #4  
Old 01-11-2021, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hxcmilkshake View Post
Nice list. Design wise I would substitute 1983 for 1986. Always thought it was an appealing set as a kid!

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I can see that for sure. I think an era is usually remembered by the most iconic card from that era and in my opinion the 86 Topps Traded set is it. I would love to see other people’s changes and list opinions!


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  #5  
Old 01-11-2021, 12:30 PM
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Two of my favorites from the era.
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2021, 12:33 PM
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Those are awesome! Never saw that Maddux Canon before!


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  #7  
Old 01-11-2021, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4reals View Post
In my opinion the top10 cards from this time frame (using 10 different players) to be produced (in no particular order) are:

1) 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Barry Bonds
2) 1985 Topps Tiffany USA Mark McGwire
3) 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn
4) 1984 Donruss Don Mattingly
5) 1984 Fleer Update Roger Clemens
6) 1984 Fleer Update Kirby Puckett
7) 1986 Topps Traded Tiffany Bo Jackson
8) 1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr.
9) 1987 Topps Traded Tiffany Greg Maddux
10) 1988 Score Traded Glossy Craig Biggio

Honorable Mention:

1) 1983 Topps Traded Darryl Strawberry
2) 1983 Donruss Wade Boggs
3) 1983 OPC Ryne Sandberg
4) 1987 OPC Barry Bonds
5) 1982 TCMA John Elway "Oneonta Yankees"

The top design from each of the three main companies I believe will be most iconic decades from now are:

1) 1986 Topps
2) 1984 Fleer
3) 1984 Donruss

Memorable cards that don't cost a lot:

1) 1988 Topps Traded USA Jim Abbott
2) 1985 Topps Dwight Gooden
3) 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco
4) 1981 Topps Valenzuela/Scioscia rookie
5) 1987 Topps Bo Jackson Future Star
6) 1988 Score Roberto Alomar
7) 1981 Donruss Rickey Henderson
8) 1987 Donruss Greg Maddux Rated Rookie
9) 1987 Fleer Barry Larkin
10) 1982 Topps Lee Smith

Top Variation Sets:

1) 1982 Topps Blackless
2) 1985 Topps Mini
3) Any Topps Tiffany
4) Any Fleer Glossy
5) 1988 Score Glossy
6) 1984 Nestle
7) 1981 OPC Gray Backs

Top Error Cards:

1) 1987 Opening Day Barry Bonds/Johnny Ray
2) 1981 Topps Borderless
3) 1981 Fleer Craig Nettles
4) 1988 Topps Dwight Gooden AS partial blue missing
Happy New Year for all, very interesting list. in my opinion about 1982 Topps BLACKLESS more than underrated is unknown about the existence of this variation. i collect cards since 1991 and never heard about the variation and always my favorite set is the 1982 Topps, except for saturated black ink on cards. the minis are rarest but not more scarcest than Blackless, the most interesting of topps minis is the great story of this cards.
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2021, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
Two of my favorites from the era.
beautiful cards, Rickey Henderson Granny Goose is very Hot card!!
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2021, 01:50 PM
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Christian---I wonder if you could elaborate on or clarify your points in post 7
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2021, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALR-bishop View Post
Christian---I wonder if you could elaborate on or clarify your points in post 7
Apparently the most wanted of Henderson's granny goose. The PSA pop in PSA 8NM-MT are 4 with 2 PSA 9.
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  #11  
Old 01-11-2021, 02:50 PM
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Thanks for the clarification
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  #12  
Old 01-11-2021, 03:24 PM
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Under the still affordable cards, I would list 1987 Topps Tiffany Barry Larkin RC. You can pick up PSA 9 for $50 or less.
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  #13  
Old 01-11-2021, 03:26 PM
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  #14  
Old 01-11-2021, 04:50 PM
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IMO this has to be up there or at least honorable mention. There literally is not one single graded Tiffany Mattingly RC on eBay at the moment compared to his peers. While maybe not the most expensive in a PSA 10, this card is just a classic and highly collected.

I believe this card to be very very underrated and will see tons of future growth once people realize they are becoming harder to find as people stuff away in PCs.

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Last edited by gustomania; 01-11-2021 at 04:52 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-11-2021, 04:55 PM
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I agree. Anything Tiffany is awesome!


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  #16  
Old 01-11-2021, 05:12 PM
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1984 Nestlé Nolan Ryan
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Last edited by Blackless Collector; 01-11-2021 at 05:13 PM.
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  #17  
Old 01-11-2021, 05:15 PM
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Not on your original list but my favorite 80's set is still ultra cheap.
1988 Topps Big - A real homage to the 1956 Topps set with great content.
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  #18  
Old 01-11-2021, 05:27 PM
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Those Big Baseball are awesome!!!

Here’s another one under the radar. 1300 total graded and only 150 PSA 10s. In general in person these are beautiful cards of any player and inexpensive.

In terms of Bonds there is only 2 PSA 10s on eBay with 1 listed at 1150 best offer and one at auction with starting bid at like $995. I expect eventually these to catch up and people realize the LT value.

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  #19  
Old 01-11-2021, 06:08 PM
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No love for Tommy, not even a mention.
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  #20  
Old 01-11-2021, 06:09 PM
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Love the 1988 Score set. Very clean design and always liked backs that had a little blurb or two about the player. Its neck and neck with the 1984 Donruss set for me.
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  #21  
Old 01-11-2021, 06:11 PM
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I need one of these, agree and I’ll bucket Smoltz Tiffany in that space.

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No love for Tommy, not even a mention.
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  #22  
Old 01-11-2021, 06:11 PM
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And I guess it's easy to gloss over these two.
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  #23  
Old 01-11-2021, 06:16 PM
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So much goodness in this thread! I remember being a kid just dying to have an '84 Fleer Update set but never being able to afford it. What a great decade! As I get older, my appreciation for my own childhood and my own era grows. I have long collected the 1950s, and it was a great time in baseball history. However, it wasn't my era. I treasure my 80s cards, and there are so many more I want! I love having the sets, because I even remember the common players and not only the stars. The only plastic I need for this era are 9 pocket pages and Cardsavers/toploaders. While I want reasonably sharp cards, I don't need my 80s cards to be graded. The '82 Blackless cards are awesome! While I don't have as many as I would like, that's something I'd like to work on. I also very much enjoy '84 Topps encased.

Last edited by vintagebaseballcardguy; 01-11-2021 at 06:17 PM.
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  #24  
Old 01-11-2021, 06:36 PM
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1982 Topps Hector Cruz Blackless

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  #25  
Old 01-12-2021, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
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No love for Tommy, not even a mention.

Tommy who? Never heard of him..,


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Old 01-12-2021, 07:40 AM
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Great stuff in this thread! It's amazing how many absolutely classic card designs came out of those '80's sets. Just beautiful. The offbeat stuff is great too.

Growing up a Cubs fan in the 80's was special, with all the daytime games on WGN during the summer. Here are a few mainstream and off the beaten path 80's Cubbies favorites of mine.

80023.jpg87091.jpg87011.jpg
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  #27  
Old 01-12-2021, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
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Growing up a Cubs fan in the 80's was special, with all the daytime games on WGN during the summer.
I didn't grow up in Chicago, but my friends and I became big Cubs fans watching Harry and Steve on WGN every afternoon after school.

Classic, durham sandberg bowa/dunston cey davis matthews dernier moreland
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for making me browse thru my 80's cards
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  #29  
Old 01-12-2021, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks for making me browse thru my 80's cards
LOL! I heard that. I now have the urge to go home and get sets like my '85 and '86 Fleer out of their boxes and look at them. I haven't had those out in forever!
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  #30  
Old 01-12-2021, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicosbailbonds View Post
Love the 1988 Score set. Very clean design and always liked backs that had a little blurb or two about the player. Its neck and neck with the 1984 Donruss set for me.
I love that set also. Just finished my custom art for my sets binder
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  #31  
Old 01-12-2021, 05:01 PM
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I just completed putting together master sets from this era, specifically the years during which I collected as a kid (81-91).

My own personal favorite sets, based solely on looks (as opposed to value, rookie cards, variations or anything else):
1981 Fleer
1983 Topps
1987 Topps
1987 Donruss
1988 Topps
1989 Topps
1990 Fleer
1991 Upper Deck

As someone who sorted cards by teams (then and now as I ripped packs) most of the non-Topps issues were maddening because they were hard to sort in this fashion at high speed - nothing much to go on other than an often small team logo. That's one of the reasons 1990 Fleer was such a welcome change of pace.

I've often heard that it was good for Topps to get the competition in 1981 - that they had grown stale. But I think that with the exception of 1979, the sets of the 1970s (and 1980 for that matter) were some of the best ever. By contrast, I count 1982, 1985, 1986 and 1990 as some of their worst looking offerings, and this when they had to compete against 2, then 3 then 4 competitors.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:42 PM
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Fun era and fun post! I feel like with the price jumps of the last year, the era is finally getting some respect.

I love that the designs are so different and so subjective. 100 people's top 10 lists will be all different.

I really liked '82-87 Donruss, '83 and '84 Topps, '88 Score, and '89 UD. I'm not sure Fleer made a good looking set the whole decade, IMHO...although I think '84 is my favorite.

The other great thing about the 80's is the the regular sets were still the draw...no inserts. But there were a million "small box sets" out there for every taste, from every department store, drug store, etc.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:50 PM
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Oh, and the last graded 80's card I bought (this week).
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