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TOP 80 CARDS OF THE ’80s

RANKED FROM #1 THROUGH #80, HERE ARE THE TOP 80 CARDS OF THE DECADE OF THE ’80S

RANKING COMPILED BY BECKETT BASEBALL STAFF

1 1989 UPPER DECK KEN GRIFFEY JR. #1 RC

Who cares if there are more copies printed to stretch around the world… twice? One of the most important cards of the post-WWII era, ushering in a new, premium brand into the baseball card aisles and leading off that ground-breaking set with the Rookie Card of arguably the most impactful player of his era.

2 1984 DONRUSS DON MATTINGLY #248 RC

This was the card, more so than any other in the first half of the 1980s, that promoted perceived scarcity and status. If you owned a ’84 Donruss Mattingly, you owned the neighborhood. You were royalty. And you were living large.

3 1982 TOPPS TRADED CAL RIPKEN JR. #98T

This isn’t even Cal’s first Topps card – that appears elsewhere on this list – but it was more challenging, and more expensive, to secure after its release in late 1982. While some dealers broke box sets to sell singles, others chose not to. As Ripken’s greatness played out on the field, this became a must-have for any collector who understood what he/she was seeing. It still is.

4 1980 TOPPS RICKEY HENDERSON #482 RC

You want the Rookie Card of the major league’s all-time runs scored and stolen base leader? You’ve come to the right place.

5 1985 TOPPS MARK MCGWIRE #401 OLY RC

The USA Baseball subset in 1985 Topps introduced the program to the masses, and brought this slugging first baseman’s first licensed trading card to the forefront of the collectibles industry. Everybody wanted one. And everybody paid good money for it two years later when McGwire was slugging his way to 49 home runs as a rookie.

6 1989 FLEER BILLY RIPKEN F-FACE #616

It used to be Billy Ripken was best known for being Cal’s younger brother. Since 1989, he’s mostly been known for his penmanship.

7 1984 FLEER ROGER CLEMENS #U-27 XRC

Give Fleer credit for getting The Rocket in its 1984 Update set when the competitors waited until the next year to include him in their sets. Fleer was ahead of the curve for this one, as well as card #10 on this very list.

8 1986 DONRUSS JOSE CANSECO #39 RC

Both Donruss and Fleer produced Canseco Rookie Cards for their mainstream sets, but the choice of the masses was Donruss. It had a couple things going for it: The iconic Rated Rookie logo and Canseco pictured by himself. Meanwhile, Fleer’s offering paired the future Bash Brother with pitcher Eric Plunk. Donruss sold a lot of ’86 Donruss packs for this Canseco card alone. One of the true highlights of the 1980s.

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BECKETT BASEBALL January 2019, Special 1980's Issue, The Legend of F-Face, Underrated Treasure: Topps Tiffany Sets, And More......