I Think the biggest problem with the 1986 Topps Baseball set is the fact that it’s nestled between the ’85 Topps and the ’87 Topps sets. The 1985 set was iconic. A solid set with some really good key cards. The McGwire, the Puckett, and a pretty good sized lot of other cards desirable to a decent extent. Then on the other end, the ’87 set was legendary. Both in key cards and the role it played in the industry. It has to be hard to be the 1986 Topps set, with those circumstances dominating your place in the world. Even still the 1986 Topps Baseball set does make an appearance.
The card to beat in this release has to be Roger Clemens 2nd year card, #661. A stars 2nd year card as the best card in the box? Yes. One of the downfalls of the ’86 set for sure. But in all fairness, those were the circumstances of that year (at least at Topps). Donruss the same year had the famous Jose Canseco Rated Rookie. Topps didn’t get out a Canseco card unfortunately until the ’86 Traded (updated) set came out.
I would put the Pete Rose card, #1 in the set, and the #100 Nolan Ryan as the 2 next to have, as far as book value goes. I wouldn’t argue with that. Both Pete Rose and Nolan Ryan that year were solid star veterans of the game.
After that it gets harder. Fast. The remaining cards are little more than commons as far as this set goes. But there are the stars, who will always be the stars. A respectable Don Mattingly and Kirby Puckett show up. Mike Schmidt and George Brett are around. And we cant forget Cal Ripken. And there’s even a Ryan Sandberg Uncorrected Error card missing the Topps logo on the front. If you want to stretch it just a little farther, you can throw in the Vince Coleman card.
Not an amazing crop of rookies for this year, but there are a couple of honorable mentions. Both Cecil Fielder and Ozzie Guillen have rookie cards in the set.
I’d have to say that about sums it up for me with the 1986 Topps cards to have. I love the set because it was released when I was collecting heavy as a kid. But the cards just are not up to par with the real junk wax fever of things. Things did pick up rather quickly though as soon as the 1986 Topps Traded set was released. Which may be the best Traded/Updated set that Topps released during that era.
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