Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Yard Sale Find Pt. 2: The Excessive 80s

The 80s have been called the "decade of excess" and that's definitely true throughout the realm of baseball cards, especially by the end of the decade with card manufacturers nearly around every turn. The yard sale find produced an epic stack of cards from the early 80s. Remember, I'm not showing every card, just stars, HOFers, interesting cards, etc. Journey with me now back to a rad time when MTV actually showed music videos, Reaganomics, Ghostbusters, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and hair metal. It's the 1980s!


1980 was the last year Topps had the monopoly on the card industry. These cards still reek of the 70s to me with the hair, mustaches, etc. Only four 1980 cards in the batch, which saddens me a little as I really enjoy the 1980 set. At least I got some decent players in the lot.


1981 ... the year everything changed in cards. Fleer and Donruss jumped on the scene and Topps comes out with a design I'd forgotten about. I've got a handful of 1981 Donruss in my collection already, nothing from 1981 Topps or Fleer so these fill in some gaps, even though they're not the most inspiring card designs ever. 


These Diamond Kings were the best to come out of the 1982 Donruss pile, along with a few commons which I didn't scan in. The early to mid 80s are the best because there are still 70s stars floating around and the cards are very affordable. I think my favorites of these are the Reggie Jackson and Steve Carlton.

Some cards from the very non-descript 1982 Fleer set. I really like the 1981 All-Star Game card as is was the first game back after the mid-season players strike. The picture of a packed house at old Municipal Stadium is pretty cool too although I think a horizontal format would've been better. 

At one time I was working on the 1982 Topps set but I decided to hold off on that for the time being. However, I won't complain when cards from the set show up randomly in lots. Remember what I said earlier about old 70s stars still kicking around? Well, who knew Sparkly Lyle was still around and with the Phillies of all teams! That's the other thing I like about early to mid 80s cardboard, you get cards of players with completely random teams.


1983 and 1984 were well covered. I'll start with 1983 Donruss, which are some of my favorite old school Donruss cards. Come to think of it, anything pre 1987 Donruss is really cool. Got two Mike Schmidt cards here along with George Foster, who had one of the most impressive seasons in Reds history in 1977 with a .320 average, 52 HRs, 149 RBIs, Did I mention he won the NL MVP award that year?

Some 1983 Fleer featuring Gaylor Perry, Tony Perez, and a really cool Red Sox all-stars card with Eckersley, Yaz, and Mark Clear. This is the first year that I noticed Fleer putting their name on the front of the card. The design is much improved from 1982

And a nice batch of Topps to close out 1983. I had no clue that Vida Blue ever pitched for the Royals, or Bud Black for that matter. I think that Gaylord Perry card might be a sunset card but not sure.


This Donruss set always reminded me of one of those charts that you write musical notes on in school. Looking at this batch that I picked out to share Steve Garvey makes an appearance finally along with Jesse Orosco and Mike Scott. Dave Stewart with the Rangers? I must have missed that, especially since the year before he was shown with the Dodgers. At some point I'll be working on this set too, but not until I finish up some other projects.

There were loads of 84 Fleer cards in the box which meant duplicates of course. Check out the 'stache on Dick Tidrow! Looks like a chipmunk could live in there. I didn't know Chris Chambliss was still kicking around this late into the 80s either. These are clean, simple cards and I love the fact that the whole logo is shown at the bottom.

Of everything that was included in the haul, I got a stack of 84 Topps somwhere in the neighborhood of 4 inches tall. Needless to say, that will put a serious dent in my want list for the set. Speaking of which, I need to update that after I sort through just these cards alone. I think my favorite here has to be the 1983 highlight card with Bench, Perry, and Yaz all retiring. Yeah, it's seen better days but it's the centerpiece of the 84 Topps stack.

Right about there is where the collection stopped. There was very little from the rest of the decade. I wonder if the person collecting these got overwhelmed, lost interest, or a combination of the above. Anyway, there's still a good handful of stuff left to show off.

I'll start with these oddballs. There were about four copies of the Mike Schmidt Coca-Cola card included. I'll be keeping one and the rest will be dispersed accordingly. Getting some TCMA cards was nice but the kicker was the Drake's John Castino card. Now, I've never heard of John Castino but I really dig the powder blue Twins uniform and I'm really curious how a card distributed in Minnesota wound up in a pile of cards in rural southwest Ohio.

1985 Fleer and 1987 Topps. Nothing to really write home about here but the 85 Fleer cards didn't scan all that well. Getting a Billy Hatcher rookie card is pretty cool though.

1988 Donruss. I really hope that if Panini keeps doing what they've been doing with Donruss (the throwback cards in each years set) that they skip this set. It's just so bland and boring. I think my favorite card has to the be the one of Teke, mainly because I haven't seen in 10,000 times like the others.

Some 1988 Topps. The biggest name from this batch is Herm Winningham.

Finally, we've reached the end of the decade with 1989 and the junk wax era in full steam. Cards were seemingly around every corner and with the launch of Score in 1988 and Upper Deck during 1989, there were five major card manufacturers. Unfortunately, there were no 1989 Upper Deck cards to be had and the only thing that even strikes my interest is the Dave Parker card.

That does it for the 1980s, a decade of cardboard excess. While the cards were fun at the beginning of the decade and still had a bit of a vintage feel to them, the cards by the end of the decade felt bland and unexciting.

There's one more part to go, the 1990s and that's coming up soon.


  1. Love me some 80's music videos, movies, and baseball cards!

  2. The '82 Fleer All-Star Game card is probably one of my favorite cards of the '80s.

  3. I think that Drake's card is part of the national Big Hitters set, and therefore didn't necessarily come from Minnesota. Always liked those sets.