30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Isn't It Iconic? Don't You Think...

According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions for "iconic" is "widely recognized" and "well established".  When I think of iconic cards from the 80's, one of the first cards that pops into my head is the 1985 Topps Mark McGwire rookie card.  It has to be one of the most recognizable cards from that era... if not the most.

The card has lost its luster over the years, but there was a time when my LCS gave customers $100 in store credit for their near mint and centered copies.  These days you can find copies for under $10 any day of the week on eBay.

Oh how the times have changed.

Back in September... right around the 20th Anniversary of The Great Race, I decided to take advantage of the soft market and start looking for an autographed copy of this iconic card.  Unfortunately... I quickly discovered they aren't cheap.  Sometimes they even fetch triple digits.  I actually came close to deleting the saved search, because there was no way I was going to spend that kind of dough.

Then Probstein123 listed an auction for a BGS/JSA authenticated copy a few weeks ago.  I threw in a last second bid and ended up winning this card:


Up until a few years ago, demand for McGwire autographs easily outweighed supplies.  This drove prices well above the century mark.  However Topps and Panini have both included him in their autograph lineup in recent years.  That being said... his signatures still command anywhere from $30 to $100 depending on the print run and product brand.

I ended up paying $66 (+ $4 shipping) for my copy.  It's not exactly cheap, but I felt like I got a reasonable deal.

Well that's it for now.  The holiday break is over and I'm back in my classroom.  Until my next post...

What's the first card that comes to mind when you hear the words "iconic 80's rookie card"?

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!

22 comments:

  1. '89 Upper Deck Griffey because it's one of the most iconic cards, period, and stars a favorite player. But there's plenty of good options that I look forward to seeing after my comment!

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  2. 1986 Donruss Rated Rookie Jose Canseco.So expensive back in the day because he was arguably the Mike Trout of that era.

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  3. Very cool card. Autographed RCs have become a hot item over the past couple of years.

    McGwire's 85T is definitely one of the most recognizable baseball RCs of the 80s. One thing that intriges me about this card is that it's a pure RC - not a traded/update - and no one else (Fleer/Donruss) made a McGwire card that year.

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  4. Gotta be the '89 UD Griffey.

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  5. It's a high price but as long as you're happy, there's nothing wrong with that. If I didn't have thousands of other things I want, I wouldn't hesitate spending that on the card.

    When I graduated college (2001), my uncle that got me into cards gave me two card - a Cal Ripken rookie and the 1985 Topps McGwire. For pure nostalgia sake, it's one of my most valuable cards.

    -kin
    beansballcardblog.com
    ifeellikeacollectoragain.blogspot.com

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  6. Wonderful pick up! The most iconic rookie cards I can think of are these five. Ripken 1982 Topps base; the big three from 1983 (Sandberg, Boggs, and that other guy from San Diego!), and then 1989 Upper Deck Griffey Jr!

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  7. I bought lots of packs during the 81 - 83 Topps, Donruss and Fleer craze. All were affordable until the 1984 Donruss. The Mattingly card was a huge deal because they were the first new packs of cards that were a bit too pricey for some collectors.

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  8. Lots of iconic 80's rookies come to my mind. 82' traded Ripken, 83' Topps Sandberg, Gwynn, and Boggs, 84' Mattingly, also the 85' Puckett and Clemens. I kind of lose it with 86' and after though.

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  9. 80 Henderson, 85 McGwire, 89 Griffey all jump in relatively the same. Griffey is the only one I ever had a chance of pulling out a pack though.

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  10. Ripken's 82 comes to mind first. I had enough of them to almost pay a semester of grad school.

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  11. I am with Nick V, the 3 that come to mind are 80 Rickey, 85 McGwire and 89 UD Griffey. Great pick up, love the autoed version.

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  12. Looks like the 1989 Upper Deck Griffey is going to take the crown...

    89UD Griffey 5
    86D Canseco
    85T McGwire 3
    82T Ripken 3
    83T Sandberg 2
    83T Boggs 2
    83T Gwynn 2
    84D Mattingly 2
    87T McGwire
    82TT Ripken
    84F Mattingly
    84T Mattingly
    85D Puckett
    85F Puckett
    85T Puckett
    85D Clemens
    85F Clemens
    85T Clemens
    80T Henderson

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  13. Sigh - He looks so much smaller on that card, doesn't he? Still, an awesome pickup of a great card!

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    Replies
    1. He does look smaller, but that bat he's holding still looks like a toothpick!

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    2. Yeah, he wasn't jacked to the gills yet, but that Mac was always Big.

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    3. From what I heard... he started eating his Wheaties along with Sosa and Bonds. Breakfast of Champions!

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  14. Definitely an iconic card of the 80s. 89 UD Griffey and 84 Donruss Mattingly would be the only 2 I rate higher.

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  15. Here is a slightly different take on the question: which were the rookie cards considered most iconic in the 1980s but not at all today?

    1989 UD Jerome Walton
    1988 Topps Matt Nokes
    1987 Topps Kevin Mitchell
    1985 Topps Cory Snider
    1985 Fleer Bret Saberhagen

    I am missing a ton here.....

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  16. Sean - Great list. Here are a few more that came to mind...

    1983 Fleer Ron Kittle
    1987 Fleer Wally Joyner
    1987 Fleer Mike Greenwell
    1988 Gregg Jefferies

    Update:
    89UD Griffey 6
    86D Canseco
    85T McGwire 3
    82T Ripken 3
    83T Sandberg 2
    83T Boggs 2
    83T Gwynn 2
    84D Mattingly 3
    87T McGwire
    82TT Ripken
    84F Mattingly
    84T Mattingly
    85D Puckett
    85F Puckett
    85T Puckett
    85D Clemens
    85F Clemens
    85T Clemens
    80T Henderson

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  17. I would have guessed the most common answer was going to be the 1989 Upper Deck Griffey.

    Thinking back to my collection in the 1980s, I would have to go with 1986 Topps Vince Coleman as my personal favorite. Also had a 1980 Henderson rookie that I got in a trade for a Dwight Gooden rookie, loved that card. I might have to come up with my own list and make it into a post.

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