The name of this blog is dedicated to my mother. Back in little league, my mother used to stand back behind home plate and give me that one, simple batting instruction: "get the bat off of your shoulder!"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Donruss Action All-Stars

I received a surprise trade package in the mail. Surprise because I hadn't sent this person anything, but the sender's return address was very familiar. Wait... a trade package from my mom! Yeah, that's right. Even old men have mommas who still send them goodies!

Inside were about 15 packs of '83, '84 and '85 Donruss Action All-Stars postcard-sized cards.

I was out visiting my parents a few weeks back, and took my nephew to the card store there. The store had a bucket full of packs of cards from the Period of Excessive Printing, as I like to call the 80's. I was there to get my nephew a birthday gift, and forgot to pick up anything for myself. So, I mentioned to my mom that they had those cards for $0.50 a pack and if she wouldn't mind grabbing me all they had next time she went by there. Which she did! I forgot to get them myself because I was too busy trying to talk my nephew in to picking something for a birthday gift. He was too shy to say what he wanted, so I just mailed him a big stack of Yankees when I got back home.

There's half of me that wants to set this young lad of 9 off the path of Yankee fandom and on the correct path of Angel fandom, but it just isn't going to happen. He does have an excuse though, and it's one I can forgive him for. His great-great-grandfather, Ernie Johnson played for the Yankees back in the 20's. He even played with Babe Ruth. Ernie's son Don Johnson also played pro ball, for the Cubs during the 40's. I try to get him to like the Cubs, but he will just not be dissuaded from his love of the Yankees, so I won't stand in the way. As long as Topps sets overload me with Yankee inserts, I have someone who would love to have them. 

I only vaguely remember these Donruss postcard sized cards at the time they were released. 1981 to about 1985, when I was in college, are dry years in my card collection. I have few cards that I personally bought in packs at that time.

The photos on these cards are great, especially when you compare them to the initial '81 and '82 Donruss sets. Of the three different varieties she sent, I am not sure which I like best. I like bits of all of them. The photography on the '85 set is best, but I would prefer the head closeup was not there. The '84 back design is pretty cool, but, at least of the 10 I have, the pictures are not very exciting, as you can see from the Garvey above. He looks like he's playing for the company soft ball team. The '83 set has some of the best action shots of all, but they made it secondary to the huge face picture and the tons of grey background.
One of the best things though, are the backs. First off, I can read them without squinting, or holding the card away from my face. And there are fielding stats on there, like PO, Assists and Errors.

The best part though was the note that came in the package, probably some loving affectionate letter from my mother, right? No. It was a note telling me I owed her $7. Plus shipping... Oh well. Thanks mom!


  1. Gotta love moms. Mine would have sent the same note. : )

  2. Lucky she's not asking for a handling charge. ;)

  3. If you can, find the '84 Willie McGee. It is awesome. It has that blurry sparkle background that occurred in the regular donruss set.