Collectors were in for a jolt just one year later, but in 1980, the baseball card world was essentially as it had been for most of the previous 25 years. One manufacturer. One main set. Wax packs with a stick of gum.
Fleer and Donruss would enter the business in ’81 and so there’s a bit of a nostalgic feel when you spot an unopened pack or box from 1980.
Our Vintage Pack Break from Just Collect this week takes you back 34 years to an era when Rickey Henderson’s rookie card was a small curiosity, Ozzie Smith was still a San Diego Padre, Pete Rose was not only eligible but still one of the game’s best hitters and Lou Brock had just retired.
Boxes contained 36 packs with 15 cards per pack and the wrappers looked much like Topps’ 1974 and 1976 issues. They’d have to step up their game in the coming years as competition entered the industry.
There were Highlights, League Leaders and Future Stars mixed in with the standard cards and 66 double prints confounded those who broke down cases and received mountains of them (Mike Schmidt, Carl Yastrzemski and Rod Carew were among them).
These days, ungraded 1980 Topps packs usually sell for $10-15, but be sure to buy from a reliable seller.
Check out the break: