I have to take a step back from my baseball card collecting chronology. I started collecting in 1982 and really got into by 1983, but my neighbor started a year before me and had some cards from 1981. These were different cards for me; I didn’t have any from 1981 and really wanted some. We would have trading sessions almost daily during the summer and I really wanted some cards from 1981. We had absolutely no concept of values for cards and just tried to get the players we knew or New York Yankees. Growing up in upstate New York, we vastly overvalued any card with a Yankee player on it. It was weird for us to see a Dave Winfield card with him playing for the San Diego Padres. He was a Yankee (in our minds he always was and always would be).
It wasn’t my neighbor’s Dave Winfield that I coveted. I really wanted his Topps Bobby Murcer card. Bobby Murcer was my father’s favorite player at that time, so I wanted it and eventually he gave in and traded it to me (I’m not sure what cards I had to give him).
Oddly enough, the other 1981 card of my neighbor’s that I really wanted was the Fleer Bucky Dent card (hey, I was seven or eight at the time and I loved Bucky Dent). He never caved on the Dent card (he loved Bucky as well).
It’s odd that it was the Tim Raines cards we probably should have been after, but we had no idea who he was at that point. Anyway, he had a bunch of Fleer and some Topps from 1981, but no Donruss. Once again, Donruss was pretty hideous. Not as bad as 1982 or 1983, but still way behind the other two brands.