Here’s the next 4 cards in the countdown of the top cards in the decade. As a reminder, this is my opinion on the best card from the 80’s. Not just the best photo, the best card design, the best player or the most notable card. Really, I consider all of those factors and make a personal list, made up of the cards I think are the best.
5) 1988 Topps #200 – Wade Boggs
There was a poll done on the 1988 Topps blog, which was finished up before I started this blog. At the end of the blog, when all cards had been scanned, there was a poll ,and Bo Jackson’s card won the title for the best card from the set, beating this card out for the victory. The Bo card is tremendous – you can’t go wrong. But I’d give it third place in that set, behind the Jose Canseco and this card. There should be more cards with Boggs and his unique follow-through and the head duck. This card has always been one of my favorite cards, even though Boggs is not a favorite player of mine. Like many of the other cards on this list – the picture seems to go well with the design. The bat splits “Red” and “Sox” down the middle. The ribbon with the player name actually covers up the empty space on the card. It’s cool, period.
4) 1982 Topps Traded #98T – Cal Ripken, Jr.
We’re getting into cards that really could be argued as the best card of the decade. This card certainly fits that bill. It’s the most expensive card of the decade. It’s Probably the most notable card, too. Ripken has a rookie card in 1982 Topps, but that one shows him with 2 other Oriole prospects. The single player card of Ripken, is a pretty iconic card. It’s got his signature on there – neat that he signed it “Jr.” but the card just says “Cal Ripken”. This card actually ranks 12th on the list of Topps “Top 60” cards that they had a poll on in early 2011. It’s 5th from the decade just behind the McGwire Olympic card, which I gave an honorable mention yesterday, behind the Bo Jackson card from 1986 Topps Traded (see my commentary in the next card), and also behind top 2 cards from my countdown. You’ll have to read on to see which those are…
3) 1987 Topps #170 – Bo Jackson
As mentioned, the 1986 Topps Traded card of Bionic Bo is up there on the Topps 60 list that the company did. That card is #8. I think they got it wrong including that card. This is the cooler of the 2 Bo Jackson cards. Unlike the ’86 Topps Traded card of Bo, this card:
- Has an awesome picture of Bo in his Royal Blue, about to make a catch – and probably gun down some sucker at the plate (86 Topps is just a poorly done pose)
- Featured on the awesome wood-based design of 1987 Topps (86 Topps – not an awesome design)
- Has the awesome future stars writing at the bottom. It looks better on 87 than any other set (86 Topps – no Future Stars writing)
- It’s Bo Jackson. Bo Jackson is awesome (OK, the 86 Bo Jackson card has awesome Bo Jackson – but that’s only 1 out of 4)
Honestly, the top 2 cards from my countdown are rookie cards of 2 of my favorite 3 players of all-time. So I’m admittedly catering to my own bias there, but not with this card. So there’s an argument this could be the top card. Bo Jackson isn’t someone I have any particular affinity for – like just about everyone else, I was in awe of him and recognized he had the cool factor.
2) 1989 Topps Traded #41T – Ken Griffey, Jr.
My top 2 cards agree with the top 2 cards in the “Topps top 60”, though I’ve flipped the order. This card was ranked #5 from that list, which is not only the top card of the 1980’s, it’s the top card of any decade other than the 50’s or 60’s. It’s a cool photo, and again – it’s cropped well for the design. Though 1989 isn’t my favorite design out there – it’s kind of middle of the road. Griffey is my favorite player of all-time. I named my dog after him. So it’s with a little hesitation that I don’t make this the #1 card of the decade. But there’s one card that has too much mojo going for it to get beat out by any other card…
And you’ll have to read tomorrow to see which one that is!