Sunday, November 18, 2012

30 Year Top 50: 1987 Donruss

#31- I will have the 1987 calendar year of major baseball card releases covered after this post.  The year was great for rookie cards which I always think ultimately drive a set's significance over time.  Other factors such as innovation, style, and design can also factor in, but the 1987 Donruss set lacks all of those factors.  The 1987 Donruss set offers many of the usual suspects of rookie cards from that year including Barry Larkin, Palmeiro, Will Clark, Wally Joyner, and Barry Bonds.

1987 Donruss Barry Bonds

Many of those other same players also appear in the Fleer and Topps releases, but I think that this set has two major advantages over the other releases.  First, this set was the of the last dark bordered sets produced by a major card company before the arrival of Upper Deck in 1989.  Upper Deck forced the other card companies to elevate the quality by changing their card stock and cutting methods.  The cards looked great, but it also eliminated some of the imperfections collectors would run into with older sets.  Especially older sets with darker borders.  The second reason:

1987 Donruss Greg Maddux

The inclusion of a Greg Maddux rookie.  Maddux also appeared in the 1987 Topps Update release, but this card is frequently considered the Gold Standard for his rookie cards.  Maddux is a sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer, but he can fly under the radar at times with his baseball cards.  This card isn't a hard find and raw copies of the card will only cost collectors a few dollars, but finding one with a high PSA grade will cost you over $50.  

Like the 1987 Donruss Set?  Not in my Top 50 countdown is the 1985 Donruss set.  Similar to the 1987 set, the 85 release is filled with important rookies and also features a dark border that can be condition sensitive.  Finding raw copies of the set and singles is not difficult and generally is inexpensive.  

1985 Donruss Eric Davis

The Eric Davis cars above is one of his three rookie cards released in 1985, however the stars of the 1985 Donruss set are Roger Clemens and Kirby Puckett.  The Clemens card is the better of the two cards, but has been set back in recent years due to the linkage of his career to the use of steroids.  

1985 Donruss Roger Clemens

The other important rookie card is the Kirby Puckett rookie.  Puckett had his career cut short due to injuries and glaucoma, but was still elected to the Hall of Fame.  This is my least favorite of his rookies, but still proudly own a few copies.  

1985 Donruss Kirby Puckett 

1 comment:

  1. love both those sets...been trying to hand collate the 1985 version for years...but i've been lazy about it.