Tuesday, September 15, 2015

1983 Donruss Action All-Stars Set

Donruss released a yearly oddball baseball "All-Star" set from 1983 through 1989. These cards were separate from Donruss' regular yearly baseball sets and were issued in their own packs. The inaugural issue, featured here, consists of 60 oversized cards that measure 3 1/2" by 5". Fifty-nine players and a checklist card comprise this gem of a set, which has a horizontal, two-photo format on the fronts. Backs are printed in black and red, and feature player statistics and biographies. The cards are numbered.

The focus of the set happens to fall upon a host of seasoned veterans, though a young Cal Ripken makes an appearance one year after the release of his rookie card (Donruss didn't choose the most flattering action photo for young Cal... He's pictured hitting the ball about as far as my daughter did when she was five). Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski are represented in their final All-Star Game, with Yaz first suiting up for the Red Sox back in 1961. A good twenty Hall of Fame players have cards in the set, with Pete Rose, Dale Murphy, Dave Concepcion and Keith Hernandez following right behind. 

There has been very little collector interest in the set since the day these cards first hit the shelves over 30 years ago; larger-sized cards like these are typically shunned by the average hobbyist. Donruss later went on to produce their 1988 and 1989 All-Star sets in the standard 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" size, but a lack of hot rookies and prospects all but insured the cold reception that those cards also received.

The '83 Donruss Action All-Stars set isn't hard to find today, and an unopened box of packs should only cost around ten bucks or so. A complete set is valued in the $3 to $5 range.

Random Fact: Detroit Tigers left fielder Larry Herndon appears in the set on card number five... And we have no idea why. Herndon enjoyed a solid fourteen-year Major League career with the Cardinals, Giants and Tigers, but was never an All-Star according to Baseball-Reference.com and Baseball-Almanac.com.

Click here to find cheap Donruss All Star Boxes on eBay

1. Eddie Murray, Orioles
2. Dwight Evans, Red Sox
3. Reggie Jackson, Angels
4. Greg Luzinski, White Sox
5. Larry Herndon, Tigers
6. Al Oliver, Expos
7. Bill Buckner, Cubs
8. Jason Thompson, Pirates
9. Andre Dawson, Expos
10. Greg Minton, Giants
11. Terry Kennedy, Padres
12. Phil Niekro, Braves
13. Willie Wilson, Royals
14. Johnny Bench, Reds
15. Ron Guidry, Yankees
16. Hal McRae, Royals
17. Damaso Garcia, Blue Jays
18. Gary Ward, Twins
19. Cecil Cooper, Brewers
20. Keith Hernandez, Cardinals
21. Ron Cey, Dodgers
22. Rickey Henderson, A's
23. Nolan Ryan, Astros
24. Steve Carlton, Phillies
25. John Stearns, Mets
26. Jim Sundberg, Rangers
27. Joaquin Andujar, Cardinals
28. Gaylord Perry, Mariners
29. Jack Clark, Giants
30. Bill Madlock, Pirates
31. Pete Rose, Phillies
32. Mookie Wilson, Mets
33. Rollie Fingers, Brewers
34. Lonnie Smith, Cardinals
35. Tony Pena, Pirates
36. Dave Winfield, Yankees
37. Tim Lollar, Padres
38. Rod Carew, Angels
39. Toby Harrah, Indians
40. Buddy Bell, Rangers
41. Bruce Sutter, Cardinals
42. George Brett, Royals
43. Carlton Fisk, White Sox
44. Carl Yastrzemski, Red Sox
45. Dale Murphy, Braves
46. Bob Horner, Braves
47. Dave Concepcion, Reds
48. Dave Stieb, Blue Jays
49. Kent Hrbek, Twins
50. Lance Parrish, Tigers
51. Joe Niekro, Astros
52. Cal Ripken Jr.
53. Fernando Valenzuela, Dodgers
54. Richie Zisk, Mariners
55. Leon Durham, Cubs
56. Robin Yount, Brewers
57. Mike Schmidt, Phillies
58. Gary Carter, Mets
59. Fred Lynn, Angels
60. Checklist


  1. I loved these cards back in the day. I probably put together 3 sets of them. Now that is worth...$9-$15. I should have bought Apple stock instead. D'ohh! Anyway, I still love these cards. I mailed the Ripken card from the set (and two other Ripken cards) to him in the summer of '83 without even a self-addressed reply envelope (it was my first autograph request--what did I know?). A week or two later, all three (also an '82 Topps Orioles Rookies card and an '83 Topps card) came back signed in an Orioles envelope with my name and address written out in the same color sharpie and same handwriting as the Ripken autograph, plus the initials CR in the upper left corner of the envelope. And the autographs are definitely real, by the way. Imagine a reigning rookie of the year doing that in 2015! The envelope, written out by Cal himself, is even more valuable to me than the autographs.

    1. Wowsa... That envelope is indeed a gem! It's great that you knew how special it was, even back then.

      I feel ya regarding the money spent on these kinds of cards. We spent precious and scarce childhood funds on cards that aren't worth what we paid for them... The consolation is that we can buy anything we want from that era for pennies on the dollar today, and that's exactly what I'm doing!