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1986 Donruss Baseball

By Patrick Mondout

Donruss produced popular 660 card another nonwhite-bordered set in 1987. The company's strategy of limited production had catapulted it to the status of "most desirable card" within the hobby in just a few short years and the company did nothing in 1986 to lose that perception. The blue bordered cards immediately sold above retail in hobby stores and conventions.

Investors and collectors learned from the previous year that if you could find Donruss cards at retail, you bought 'em. All of them! So very few of us teenagers were able to find these at the local 7-Eleven and I'm sure many went the whole season without actually buying any.

Jose Canseco was a phenomena. He was seen as someone with Mickey Mantle-like gifts at the plate and on the basepath. His towering homers were exciting to watch and the sky was the limit to his potential. Or so we thought. His "Rated Rookie" cards would be the hot card of 1986.1

After a disappointing crop of Rated Rookies the year before, Donruss' Bill Madden (the guru who picked these guys) hit a triple. In addition to Canseco, Fred McGriff, Andres Galaraga, and Paul O'Neill were also selected. I would have said he hit a grand slam, but he "missed" Wally Joyner and Barry Bonds. One RR mystery is how Danny Tartabull managed to get rated for the second straight season. It brings to mind the Dale Murphy "rookies" of 1977 and 1978.2

Other rookie cards that were considered hot at the time include Kal Daniels, Cory Snyder, Vince Coleman, Ozzie Guillen and Teddy Higuera.

A checklist for all 660 cards is available here.


1986 Donruss at a Glance
Back Checklist Wax Pack
Diamond Kings Rated Rookies Ty-Breaking

1. Fleer, who had also learned the "limited product" trick, also produced a Canseco rookie, but he shared the front of the card with teammate Eric Plunk. Fleer's Wally Joyner rookie actually outperformed the Fleer Canseco at the time, if only because Donruss failed to include him in their set.
2. Danny Tarbabull was a Rated Rookie in both '85 and '86. Topps featured the future two-time NL MVP on one of their "four-in-one" rookie cards in 1977. They did so again in 1978. Nor was that the only time it happened.



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Year: 1986

Manufacturer: Donruss

# of Cards: 660 (Checklist)

Value/Price: Check eBay (see links below)

Size: 2 x 3

Image courtesy of Donruss

'86 Donruss Sets!
'86 Donruss Singles!
'86 Donruss Unopened Packs!
'86 Donruss Lots!
'86 Donruss Cases!

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