’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Donruss Rated Rookie Baseball Cards!!!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Donruss Rated Rookie Baseball Cards!!!

I was going through a random stack of Cubs baseball cards from the 1980’s the other night and I ran across several cards from in-set subsets and insert cards that brought back a ton of memories from my youth as a baseball card collector.

Among the cards were a few Donruss Rated Rookie cards that made me pause and smile.  I used to really like the Rated Rookie subset and eagerly awaited the next Donruss release just to catch a glimpse of who they chose for the new set that year.

Like most rookie cards, the players selected were hit or miss.  For every future Cy Young pitcher, there was a Greg Swindell card.  For every future Gold Glove defender, there was a Jose Lind card.  And for every future member of the 500 Home Run Club, there was a Mackey Sasser card.

Still, over the spread of time that the Rated Rookie subset was included in the base set of Donruss’ releases (1984-1985), they did have their fare share of hits.

I thought it would be fun to look back and choose a ‘Top Ten’ for these cards as I was in my collecting prime as these rookie cards were highly coveted.

So, without any more chit-chat, let’s get right down to it – Here are my ‘Top Ten Donruss Rated Rookie baseball cards!!!

Honorable Mention – 1984: Tony Fernandez, Sid Fernandez. 1985 – Shawon Dunston. 1986 – Paul O’Neill, Andres Galarraga, Danny Tartabull. 1987 – Benito Santiago, Devon White, Rafael Palmeiro. 1988 – Al Leiter, Mark Grace. 1989 – Sandy Alomar, Jr., Gregg Jefferies. 1990 – Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile, Ben McDonald, Steve Avery, Delino DeShields, Greg Vaughn.

10 – Gary Sheffield, 1989

RR 10

9 – Randy Johnson, 1989

RR 9

8 – Mark McGwire – 1987

RR 8

7 – Fred McGriff, 1986

RR 7

6 – Joe Carter, 1984

RR 6

5 – Roberto Alomar, 1988

RR 3

4 – Bo Jackson, 1987

RR 4

3 – Greg Maddux, 1987

RR 5

2 –  Ken Griffey, Jr., 1989

RR 2

1 – Jose Canseco, 1986

RR 1

And there you have it.  Quite a list, huh??

I based my rankings on a multitude of things, but ultimately it came down to how significant I thought the card was at its time of release, how important the card was when the player was at his prime, and how collected the card is today.  I did not use any science in my measurements to get to these rankings – just my feel for the hobby 25+ years ago and at the present time.

How are my rankings?  Dead-on or Way-off??  Let me know what you think.

Oh, and here is one more peek at that fantastic Rated Rookie logo:


Enjoy!  And have a great evening.

11 responses to “’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Donruss Rated Rookie Baseball Cards!!!

  1. Awesome!

  2. Nice list! My list is pretty much the same as yours except for two cards. My list has Mark Grace and Paul O’Neil instead of Canseco and McGwire.

  3. I liked your list… To me it was dead on! I sure liked those cards. Mark Grace was in my top ten also. I have all but the Joe Carter card.

  4. I’d add two Donruss Rated Rookies to the list that also happen to be the first (though not commonly known at it was only noted on the back of the cards).

    1983 Donruss Greg Brock

    1983 Donruss Al Chambers

  5. Its funny, i remember when the 1988 set came out, the greg jefferies card was hot and had a book value of $5, now it could be yours for less than a quarter. In contrast, no one wanted the maddux card when it was released, unless for the stache of course.

  6. Great list! The Canseco card sure was highly coveted at the time. I won mine from a dealer by rolling five “sixes” in a dice game purchase for $1! I was on top of the world.

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