Monday, January 13, 2014

A thin line between love and hate

I received some Dodger cards from Spiff of Texas Rangers Cards a couple of weeks ago. Spiff is one of the first bloggers I traded with after starting this blog, so it's always great to get some cards from him. And I hope I have some Rangers left to send him!

Among the cards that jumped out at me were two original Donruss cards. Those cards from 1981 always take me back to the excitement and bewilderment of having three sets to chase instead of one.

Of course, the lasting trademark of '81 Donruss is the card stock. It is shockingly thin. It is so thin that I barely thought of them as cards when I was collecting that year. I bought fewer Donruss packs than Topps and Fleer that year, and I know it is because of the card stock. I kept holding them up to the light to see if I could see through them.

But aside from the card stock, I liked '81 Donruss. The design was basic but original and kind of fun. The photos weren't fantastic, but neither were Fleer's. The set's backs were different for their time with only one year of stats and a timeline for each player.

But that thin card stock! You know how much card stock matters to me (see 2011 Heritage). I wanted to like '81 Donruss more, but I just couldn't. Because of the card stock.

I've often wondered if it's the set with the flimsiest card stock of all-time. Oh, I know there are a number of regional sets that were released on thin stock. But I'm talking about nationally released sets. The only thing I can think of that might come close is one of those Skybox sets of the late '90s. Dugout Access, I think it was.

The following year, Donruss strengthened its card stock, but I didn't like it any more than '81. I guess design matters to me even more than card stock. I know I'm in the minority, but the '82 Donruss design was cliche and childish from the moment I saw it.

It bothered me so much that I wanted the return of '81 Donruss, flimsy card stock and all.

Anyway, here are some more cards from Spiff, all on much sturdier card stock:

And one of my all-time favorites, especially since spring can't get here fast enough:

Card stock is probably one of the most important aspects to collecting for me, as surprising as that sounds.

But just like there is too thin, there is also too thick.

These things sure look nice, but they're hell on a binder page.


  1. Love the 1981 Donruss. It seems like every photo was taken at Wrigley or Comiskey, just like the Hooton. I also liked the way your post started with three former Cubs - Hooton, Monday and the third guy.

  2. Hating on flimsy Skybox card stock won't make you any friends in this skybox. It's ironic that you mentioned Dugout Access though, because I set some Dodgers from that set aside for you last night. WARNING: They're hideous.

  3. Those thick cards I usually put them in the last binder of the dossier. They are a 'bump' to the other cards. But yep..they do look nice!