An early 80’s birthday gift

7 04 2011

Donruss didn’t just make mistakes in 1983, and the set remains an odd favorite for me.  Odd because as I look at the set now, it seems kind of bland and uninspired (and of course, a virtual copycat of the 1982 release) but as a kid I loved this set.  If I remember how I loved the sets from ’83, the list would look something like this:

1)  Fleer –   This is the first set I ever completed and holds that special place for me.  It was done mostly through busting wax. While the design isn’t special and most of the cards are boring, it’s still my favorite from the day based on sentimentality alone.

2)  Donruss – I recall sitting on my bed with my notebook of wantlists at the time pricing the big cards from this set and thinking I would finish it next.  It may have had to do with the fact that this set was only 660 cards compared to the

3) Topps – When you compare the amount of duplicates I had from the first two years of Topps to this, it’s clear that this set came in 3rd in 1983.  In addition to Topps having a bigger set, it cost more, too.  For a child, those factors really matter, and probably drove the set down for me.

Nowadays, I’d probably flop Topps and Donruss on that list.  Nothing will beat 1983 Fleer.

In with the variations that I posted from ’83 Donruss yesterday were some regular old base cards, and I now own at least one of every card from 1-660.  Just four variations to go.

Once I get down to the last two or three cards from a set, I like to look them up and list them on my wants page.  This helps those that sort cards by teams or who have their cards stored in plastic pages find them easier when trading comes up.  That also means it ruins some of the surprise.

Since I hadn’t gotten to that point with this set, getting a Ricky in the mail was a pretty nice surprise.  His inclusion in the package no doubt insured a safe and speedy arrival.

I always thought Dale Murphy overshadowed Bob Horner when I was younger, even though they both were major threats in the Braves line up.  Seeing how Horner fell in his shadow, I always thought “Little Jack” would be a good nickname.  In the modern internet era, it probably could have stuck.  But an eight year old in Ohio doesn’t have much sway otherwise.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution caught up with Horner in May of last year and asked what he was up to:

I don’t do anything. I’d like to tell you I do, but I play a little golf and enjoy my wife and my children. If you’re looking for some deep, dark explanation, I don’t have one. We’re just enjoying life.

Sounds awesome to me.
I’m not a big fan of Rick Sutcliffe.  Part of that is the teams he played with in the majors.  The other part of it is that I don’t care for him in the booth.  But, in an effort to post something remarkable about him, I learned that he holds the record for facing Barry Bonds the most without yielding a home run.  Maybe that’ll blow your skirt up.

If that isn’t a card from the 80’s, I don’t know what is. A Hall of Fame card for a should-be Hall of Famer.

When I think of rookies from the early 80’s, I think of Henderson, Fernando Valenzuela, and Tim Raines.  The Rock would have to be my favorite of the bunch.  The other two got all the talk, but Raines just ran all over in 1981, stealing seventy-one bases to lead the majors.  Ricky included.  Persona

There were so many other cards that were great, but Ray’s stood out as a classic example of an early 80’s Donruss.  The color scheme rules on this one, too.

Burris is currently a pitching coach for the Erie Seawolves, the AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.  I have nothing else to say about the man because I know so little.

I do know there’s now four more packages that have arrived already for my birthday and one on the way as part of a trade.  Hopefully these will lead to some joy from completed sets soon.

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One response

8 04 2011
sanjosefuji

1983 was one of the greatest years to collect baseball cards… In fact the 1983 Topps set is my favorite set of all-time. It contains my favorite player’s rookie card (Tony Gwynn)… and has an awesome design (love the dual photos).

I’m also a big fan of the 1983 Fleer set… love the brown borders and the simple design. I still have 2 wax boxes and 2 cello boxes that I’m considering busting… to build the set. However… I’ll probably keep them sealed and just buy a hand collated set on Ebay.

The Donruss set is my least favorite… but it’s still a classic. I actually like the glove on the 83 cards over the ball on the 82 design… but either way… they resemble each other way too much.

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