Friday, June 2, 2017

SABR Cards has a 1980s Baseball Card Poll

The fine folks over at SABR Cards is asking collectors to VOTE on the BEST Baseball Cards of the 1980s.

The poll starts with years 1981 through 1985...remember, 1981 is when the Topps card monopoly was ended and Fleer and Donruss were allowed to produce big league baseball cards.

Next week SABR Cards will do years 1986-89.

That first year was brutal, especially the Donruss cards...yikes!

Here's how I ranked the cards, 1st, 2nd, 3rd...


#1    Topps

#2 Fleer

#3 Donruss

1981 Donruss might be the worst baseball cards ever made.


#1 Topps

#2    Donruss    

This could've been a great card...I love the pose by Dale Murphy, but the photography was bad.

#3    Fleer

Same here with the '82 Fleer Reggie Jackson... Great pose of Reggie waiting to get into the batting cage, but the picture is dark.


#1  Topps

The 1983 Topps cards are my favorite set of all the '80s cards that Topps produced...easy call here.

#2   Fleer

#3   Donruss

I really should've switched Donruss to the second spot because of The San Diego Chicken card!


#1    Topps

Another great card design by Topps in 1984...the Mattingly card is in my Top 10 cards of All-Time.

#2   Fleer

You have to give Fleer props for cards like this...they were really trying to be different, separate themselves from the other two card companies.

#3   Donruss


#1   Topps

I put the '85 Topps Mark McGwire card on here because this was the must have card to get, not only when he hit 49 HRs as a rookie in 1987, but the card hit the collecting Hall of Fame Chase when he was chasing the single season HR record in 1998.

#2   Donruss

#3    Fleer

1985 was probably a tie between Donruss and Fleer, as their cards were getting better, but I chose Donruss second...don't ask me why.

Obviously I showed Topps lots of love for the first 5 years, and well, that's because the early photography from Donruss and Fleer wasn't good, and the cards themselves lacked in design, although both get props for creativity, especially with the great San Diego Chicken cards.

The next poll, years 1986-89, will be much different , as both Fleer and Donruss challenge Topps in design and improve on the pictures on the cards.

Make sure to head over to the SABR page and vote for your BEST 1980s baseball cards.... Play Ball!


  1. 84 Donruss is growing on me. Call 911!

    1. OMG! Thought for sure that '85 HoJo card would do it!