Iconic Royals card: Bo Jackson in '90

April 7th, 2021

As part of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Topps baseball cards, we've asked fans (as well as our staff) to submit their all-time favorite baseball cards, and we've broken them down by team. We'll be revealing submissions regularly throughout the season, ranging from the famous to the weird, and everything in between.

To begin the series we'll be looking at one iconic card from each team.

Iconic Royals card: Bo Jackson, 1990 Score

There were four Bo Jackson cards in this 1990 Score set, but the one submitted by Ryan Fox from Quincy, Mass., Ken Cooper from Ventura, Calif., and Chris Hermansen from Suwanee, Ga., is easily the most famous.

The card depicts a shirtless Jackson wearing football shoulder pads and holding a baseball bat behind his head. It’s particularly notable for its simplicity, as it’s a black-and-white card that has no team logos and doesn’t even say Jackson’s name on the front.

A two-sport star, Jackson was at the height of his popularity at this point, playing in MLB and the NFL and starring in Nike’s “Bo Knows” advertising campaign, making him one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet.

“I bought this card as a kid and always liked how it looked,” Hermansen wrote. “I loved watching Bo play as a kid and had a pair of his Nike cross-training shoes.”

Jackson made the All-Star team with the Royals in 1989 and the Pro Bowl with the Raiders the following season, but his football career came to an end when he injured his hip in an NFL playoff game in January '91. Jackson was released by the Royals a few months later.

He subsequently signed with the White Sox but appeared in just 23 games during the 1991 season, then missed all of ’92 before playing for the Sox in ’93 and the Angels in ‘94, his final season.