Sports Cards of the Awesome80s
By Patrick Mondout
June 30, 2005
Welcome to our look at the sports cards of the Awesome80s! We've got
pages for all the major sets of the decade (and the Super70s
too) as well as a few dozen complete checklists. Use the links on the left
(under the green heading "Sports Cards") to get started.
There are a number of people I want to thank for their help in putting
this section together. I have a separate page just
In addition to dozens of old copies of Sports Collector's Digest from
the late Super70s forward, I used the following books to produce the
sports card sections of my web sites:
Baseball Card Price Guide, edited by Dr. James Beckett, Rich Klein
& Grant Sandground.
Basketball Card Price Guide, edited by Dr. James Beckett and Keith
Hockey Card Price Guide And Alphabetical Checklist, edited by Dr.
James Beckett, Clint Hall & Allan Muir.
Football Card Price Guide, edited by Dr. James Beckett and Dan Hitt.
Collectors Digest Standard Catalog of Football, Basketball & Hockey
Cards, by Sports Collectors Digest Staff.
Catalog of Minor League Baseball Cards, edited by Bob Lemke
I did have some knowledge of the hobby before I started writing about
it, however. Before my 19th birthday in 1987, I owned nearly half a
million cards. I stopped two years later but still have a sizeable
One note about my scans in these sections: They are not to scale. I
chose to make the cards the size that I did for illustrative and technical
reason, and made no effort (except in a few rare cases) to have the cards
appear the size they actually are in relation to each other. I hope this
doesn't spoil your view.
I'd like to think this goes without saying, but just so that there is
no confusion: Neither Donruss, Topps, Fleer, Score, Bowman, Upper Deck,
Sportflics, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the
National Basketball Association, or what's left of the National Hockey
League, nor any other related company endorses this site and any and all
trademarks and copyrights remain theirs and the appearance of their cards
here is for editorial use only and should not be seen as an attempt to
imply the endorsement or support of these companies. The views expressed
here are those of Awesome80s.com and its worldwide readership unless
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is my card/set worth?
A: Whatever someone else is willing to pay; cardboard cards have no
intrinsic value. Thus, you should either buy a price guide (see our
Amazon.com links on the left) or check eBay for the latest prices (see our
links on the right). Note that I cannot respond to any requests to
evaluate your collection.
Q: Are any of the cards I see here for sale?
A: Nope. I keep my collection for nostalgia sake, not as an
investment. I'll still have them when they bury me.
Q: What effects the value of my card?
A: In real estate, its location, location, location. In cards, its
condition, condition, condition. Well, that and scarcity and popularity.
However, some extremely highly graded cards from unpopular sets go for
hundreds of dollars on eBay, so it still often comes down to condition.
Q: What is "SP" (single printed) and "DP"
A: Standard sized baseball cards of this era were generally printed
on sheets of 132 cards. Thus, if a set with more than 132 cards divides
evenly into 132, there are most likely the same number of each card
printed. Likewise, two sets of 66 cards will fill up a 132 card sheet with
no duplication, etc. The 1980 Topps Baseball set,
for example, has 726 cards. That is five sheets of 132 cards with no
duplication (660 cards) plus one sheet with the remaining 66 and 66 double
printed cards. Cards which are double printed are much easier to find
because more were printed. Double printed cards are generally worth less
than other cards in the set. When a card is said to be single printed, it
means that other (non single printed) cards in the set were printed more
frequently. In short, they are more scarce.
Q: What is a "wax pack", or a cello pack or a rack
A: These are terms used to describe the types of packages the cards
were sold in. A wax pack is so name because it is a wax-paper packaging.
It is the most common type and most likely what your vintage cards came
in. A cello pack is named for the see-through cellophane and such packs
usually had many more cards in them than a wax pack. A rack pack gets its
name from having a small hole punched through part of the packaging to
allowed it to be hung up in a rack. Perhaps the best way to describe them
is that they have what may appear from a distance to be three sets of
cello packs attached to one another so that all three can be seen at the
same time. Incidentally, if you have any old unopened packs, think twice
before opening them! Such packs can be worth a lot of money, particularly
if they are a cello pack or a rack pack with a valuable card showing.
Q: Is it better to buy "graded" cards?
A: It all depends upon your goals. Such cards are easier to sell on
the market since cards from the major graders are like commodities.
However, be careful as not all graders are the same. One actually sells
cards on eBay and, not surprisingly, never offers anything less than a
"gem 10" for sale despite obvious flaws in the scans. A few
other sellers seemed to have invented their own grading firms and print
"Mint 10" labels for off-center cards with bent corners.