Sunday, June 16, 2019

A 1980s Card Part 6- 1983 Donruss Willie McGee

Willie McGee was not necessarily my favorite player at any point during his two stints with the Cardinals, but he was high on the list.  Even when the Cardinals traded him away to the A's during the 1990 season, it was still fun to follow his career.

One of my favorite non-1980s Willie McGee cards has always been his 1991 Donruss Highlights card.....

which shows him as the 1990 National League Batting Champion, but he is playing for the A's.  Only player in Major League history to win a batting title for a league while not playing in the league.  Willie McGee would go on to play for his hometown Giants, and the Red Sox, before returning to St. Louis to play out the last few years of his career as the Cardinals fourth outfielder. 

The 1980s Willie McGee cards are something I had to revisit a bit later on in life.  I had a lot of his cards, but there were definitely some holes in my collection of McGee cards.  No matter the holes, I flip back through my 1980s Cardinals cards, and the McGee card that always stands out to me is his 1983 Donruss rookie card. 

I like the design of McGee's other two major brand rookie cards better than the Donruss, but I am willing to over look a weaker card designer for a far superior player photo. 

Here is his Fleer rookie. 

This photograph makes McGee seem like a bit of an after thought.  The best you can do is a side photo of him swinging a metal bar at the on-deck circle?  At least the picture feels like it has focus, which is more than what Topps can say about their 1983 McGee card. 

This card has a lot of potential, but not the best execution.  The action shot is decent, but it feels out of focus, and really off center.  The head shot at the bottom feels even more out of focus than the action shot.  It's hard to get portrait style pictures wrong, but here we are....

Back to the 1983 Donruss card.  Here is the card back.  

Typical 1980s Donruss card back.  I love that they put the "How Acquired" section on the card.  Not sure that many talk about the lopsidedness of the Willie McGee trade anymore, but long ago it was a thing.  Sykes never played a game for the Yankees.  McGee won two batting titles, a National League MVP, and is a huge reason the Cardinals won the 1982 World Series. 

Willie will never be a Hall of Famer, although he is in the Cardinals Hall of Fame, just a popular player who had some great years.  


  1. 1. My biggest question back in 1982 was why he was not in Topps Traded.

    2. Known to me as E.T. Willie Mcgee

    3. Eddie Murray had the highest overall average in 1990 but did not win a batting title (Mcgee only hit 240 or something with the A's.

    1. I want to know about the Topps Traded thing too. Seems odd that he was not included.

  2. I've always liked him, since the moment I got my Willie first card, because he has that funny expression all the time. He looks like those funny players to watch. I like that