Feb 4, 2009

The Battle For 1987 Cardboard Supremacy: Donruss!

After an impressive 49 points from Topps, Donruss has some work to do. The biggest highlight for me with this rack pack was that the edges were immaculate. Almost every '87 Donruss card I have is marred by the chips and dings on the black borders. Somehow this pack weathered the storm for 22 years.

First up, a Diamond King...well Prince...maybe a Jester?
Shouldn't this card of distinction have gone to Joe Carter? .302, 29, 121 vs. .288, 17, 80. Plus Joe added 29 steals to his resume. I just figure for a Diamond King, perhaps we should be choosing players with a little more Wow to them.
Points scored: +5 for Diamond King, +2 for the artwork on the mustache, -3 for choice of Brook Jacoby, -1 for hatin' on Joe Carter. Total = 3 points.

Next up, a bona fide Diamond King.
1986 wasn't actually that great a year for Winfield, although he was an All-Star, but at least this guy feels like a Diamond King. I miss these cards showing up in my packs today. Yeah, yeah collecting was simpler back in 1987 and I'm just nostalgic, but I'm rarely excited by inserts these days, yet opening this rack pack I actually got excited to see who my Diamond Kings would be.
Points scored: +5 for Diamond King, +2 for Hall of Fame Diamond King, +2 for Future Halo, -3 for being a disappointment then going to Toronto and having an MVP-like season. Total = 6 points.

Another Winny sighting.
All the stuff I just said above...well that again, but now for some negatives. Dave Winfield will always be linked with Dave Parker in my head because they were sold to Angel fans in '91 as the vets who would push us to the top. Not so much. And Dave Parker was the worst. Trading Dante Bichette for that slug, uggh.
Points scored: +2 for Hall of Famer, + 2 for Future Halo, -5 for reminding me of Dave F'n Parker. Total = -1 point.

A card I would have been stoked for in 1987, Mike Greenwell.
I look back it his career numbers and I just sorta shrug. A couple of good years in the late '80s followed by a pretty good decline, yet for some reason when I sort through old boxes, I continue to put his cards in the star pile. Maybe I'll be doing this for the jay Bruces of the world someday.
Points scored: +3 for being a star!, -2 for maybe not being such a star. Total = 1 points.

The Rock has arrived.
I'm not sure where I stand on the Tim Raines Hall of Fame candidacy, although I'd probably lean towards no since I like the idea of a strict Hall, but then again this guy was a stud. While Rickey was without a doubt the best lead-off hitter ever, Raines wasn't that far behind for a number of years. The '80s were kind to Raines, the '90s were more of a disappointment.
Points scored: +4 for being a star in '87, +2 for the double Expos logo, -1 for just not quite being Rickey. Total = 5 points.

As legit a Hall of Famer as they make, George Brett.
George Brett was a guy I grew up really liking, despite rarely seeing him play. Being in Kansas City he never got the exposure outside of the infamous pine tar incident, that he probably deserved. He also ranks very high for me because I was in attendance for the 3,000th hit at Anaheim Stadium. My dad and I didn't think we'd get to see history that day, since Brett was still 4 hits shy, but he had a great game and picked up all 4 that night. Very cool moment for a young fan.
Points scored: +5 for Hall of Famer, +2 for 3,00th hit attendance, +1 for this video. Total = 8 points.

Player/Manager/Disgrace/Amazing Hitter: Pete Rose
Although Pete didn't actually play in 1987, he was still managing the Reds and probably ruining his chances at the Hall of Fame. Here we see Pete scanning the opposing dugout hoping to see a player come up with an injury so he can call his bookie and increase the bet. So yeah, Pete's kind of a degenerate gambler, he didn't improve his standing by lying and making a spectacle out of himself, but this guy was an absolute kick ass baseball player. If you've never gone to baseball-reference and looked at his stat line, you need to do so now. I'll wait...I told you. It's even more impressive than you think.
Points scored: +5 for Hall of Famer, -2 for not actually being a Hall of Famer, +2 for sweet 1B/Mgr card, +2 to make Bay Rat North West happy about seeing a Red. Total = 7 points.

The messiah who saved the pack: Leon "Bip" Roberts
Must I go on about by man crush on Bip? He is the ultimate in cardboard awesomeness and this card is no exception. Dirt stains, double flapped helmet, one of the only cards with Leon written on the front and Bip in quotations. Masterpiece.
Points scored: +5 just for being Bip, +3 for the Leon addition, +2 more for a Bip rookie. Total = 10 points.

As a young fan I was unfamiliar with the idea of lengthening the name of Boone into Boooooooooooone whenever this guy came to the plate. So in my first game that I remember seeing Bob Boone play, I just couldn't figure out why the always Boo'd this guy. Inevitably, he'd follow the boos up with a hit and the cheers would come and I'd be doubly confused. I'm pretty sure my grandpa explained it to me, but it was still quite the puzzle for a young fan.
Points scored: +5 for Halo sweeteness, +2 for reminding me of the Simpsons Boo-urns episode. Total = 7 points.

Pirate hat oddity: Rick Reuschel
When I decided to start a baseball card blog, I did not envision writing about two Rick Reuschel cards in the span of just over a month. Luckily for me, Rick is rocking the sweet lid and doing so with style.
Points scored: +4 for Pirate hat oddity, -2 for getting lit up by Bo Jackson. Total = 2 points.

Last, but not least...Tekulve.
If I had to go back in time and live the life of one person, I'm pretty sure Kent Tekulve would make my top 5. He is the definition of cool. Don't believe me, this was copy and pasted from an online dictionary that shall remain nameless:
1. moderately cold; lacking in warmth
2. very good, excellent, fashionable, hip
3. of or relating to Kent Tekulve

Told you.
Points scored: +5 for Tekulve, +3 for Tekulve in action. Total = 8 points.

Wow, 56 points! Wait, where the hell is my Rated Rookie?!?!? Screw you Donruss! Minus 8 points for the egregious oversight!! Total points scored = 48 points aka 1 less than Topps. I feel like I got kicked in the gut with the lack of Rated Rookie. Oh well, despite this it was a pretty awesome pack, just not quite what I expected.

Fleer is up last and will need to step it up.

Go Halos!


  1. This pack will be hard to top!
    Unless you pull a Larkin rookie out of Fleer that is.

  2. I consider the '87 D-Russ Pete Rose to be one of the highlights of my collection because you get his career totals on the back and on the front a captivating combination of guilt and despair depicted on Charlie Hustle's face.

  3. That's a great pack. And that's a great card of Tekulve (whom I've written about way too much in the last couple of days. Either way to much or not enough).