Although only 1 or maybe even 2 cards may stick out in this set, it still has what I consider a few hidden treasures. The obvious big boy of the box would be the Don Mattingly rookie. A card worthy to carry the set no doubt. One might consider it to be the only virtue of the set. They wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.
The Mattingly has by far the highest card value of the set. Its value is about 4-5x more than the value of the best cards in the set behind it. The most any these non-Mattingly cards are valued at is only a couple bucks. I personally would put the value of the Mattingly at about $8. It sells in eBay auctions currently for about 5 or 6 bucks in an ungraded pack fresh form. Getting cards like this locally is becoming less common around the country, so I like to figure a little shipping too, into the value. About $8, maybe $9 total sounds about right.
The rest of the cards that show up in the set, can be obtained for about $1-3 before shipping.
I should note, that I don’t necessarily go by book values. I use book prices as a comparison to see where the individual cards rank in the set. Generally speaking, I will go to eBay and then do a search with the year, brand, and name of the player. I filter it to show only sold listings starting with the most recent.
Doing this, I can see that the Cal Ripken card sells for just around $1. The Darryl Strawberry card sells for about $3. I know of at least 2 price sources that put the Ripken at almost double the value of the Strawberry currently.
Its these 2 cards that “compete” I guess for a close 2nd place in the set. Although Cal dominates Darryl in Stats and holdings all across the board, the 1984 set is Darryl’s premier Topps appearance. I’m ok with letting Darryl have this one. He’s earned it. And having a number 2 card in a set, ahead of Cal Ripken, is something that can’t be bought in Lawrence Taylor’s basement.
The remaining cards of the set that stand out are all familiar names. There are a couple of Nolan Ryan cards. There’s also a couple other Cal Ripken cards as well.
Wade Boggs, Rickey Henderson, Ryan Sandberg, Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, and Tony Gwynn, all have very classic ’84 Topps cards that many of us can recall seeing from memory.
A slightly less obvious gem is Andy Van Slyke’s Rookie card, found here in the 1984 set as well.
Although these cards don’t really carry any monetary value as far as baseball cards go, they have to be considered a classic in many respects. ’84 was a great year in Major League Baseball, and some very big baseball icons make this a box to have. They may be only worth a dollar or 2, but that’s all cards from the junk wax era are worth at best anyways. They can definitely hold their own in front of their peers.
In Part 3 of the 1984 Topps Baseball Series, we will take a look at how incredibly stable the price value of the 1984 series has been over the years by comparing price values now and 30 years ago, and several spots in between.
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