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.
1) 1980 Topps #482 – Rickey Henderson
- Rookie card of my favorite player not named Ken Griffey Jr.
- Who’s also one of the best players to lace ’em up. In my lifetime, I think he’s probably the third best batter – behind Bonds and A-Rod, just ahead of Ripken and Griffey, and with a TBD for Pujols.
- 1980 Topps – one of my favorite card designs.
- Great picture – Rickey’s notable, low-to-the-ground batting stance.
- Facsimile signature that is placed perfectly and goes really well with the card and photo.
- Old school Oakland uniform.
There’s a lot to love about this card. This card is really why I started this blog – doing the lifetime Topps thing meant I could start with this set, which seemed untouchable when I was a kid with a 5 or 10-dollar allowance.
Also, not in my list above may be the most important factor – the year it was released. In 1980, which was also the year I was born, there was only one game in town. And that would be Topps. So if you wanted to get a card of your favorite player, there was only one place to find it. Want a rookie card of Tony Gwynn? Wade Boggs? There are 3 to choose from. What about Cal Ripken? Three as well, and the card everybody wanted was the Topps Traded that isn’t technically a rookie card. Griffey? There are actually 7 of his. And if you go past the 1980’s, it gets down right ridiculous. But there’s just one Rickey, and it’s the best card of the decade to me.