The single coolest Topps baseball card from each year: the 1980s
In honor of National Baseball Card Day on Aug. 11, we're selecting the coolest baseball card from every year since Topps' first set in 1951. Rather than simply focus on the most famous or valuable cards, we asked some of the best minds in baseball to provide us with their favorite. It could be because of a great photo, a hilarious story, or just a personal memory they have with the card.
The baseball card changed in the 1980s. Sure, they still were printed on cardboard and the photos weren't the high-def, high-color miniature posters that the '90s ushered in, but this was the decade when everything changed; when kids thought that every pack they opened was a gateway to fame and fortune. The 1984 Topps Don Mattingly played a large part in that transformation as one of the most highly valued cards, but so too did the 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco, '89 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. and '89 Topps Gregg Jefferies. Kids had always been ravenous collectors of baseball cards, but now they became mini-businessmen, too.
Naturally, the MLB.com offices are filled with people obsessed with this decade of cards and so, rather than letting one person pick, we assembled some of the best, brightest and most obsessive collectors, lapsed collectors and one-time card speculators into one room to see what they thought. Here are those picks: