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1981 Donruss Baseball Cards

1981 Donruss Baseball Cards

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The baseball card landscape changed in 1981 when both Donruss and Fleer entered the marketplace and put an end to a Topps monopoly. While 1981 Donruss Baseball is far from a perfect set, it's place in hobby history is important.

On the surface, the 1981 Donruss Baseball checklist is large but simple. Factor in the many error variations and you've got something a little more challenging for completists. The main set has a total of 605 cards -- 600 player cards and five unnumbered checklists. That's significantly smaller than the 726 cards of 1981 Topps Baseball, but still on the big side.

Outside of Tim Raines, there aren't any major rookie cards in 1981 Donruss Baseball. From there, rookies drop off to players like Mookie Wilson and Jeff Reardon. One of the more intriguing cards in the set features a player who would go on to have a stellar basketball career instead, Danny Ainge.

The card design is fairly simple on the front. White around the outside, photos are framed in with a thick color frame with an inset black. The Donruss logo and year are in the top and the team name is on the bottom. Backs are more intricate. They're headlined by the notation, "First Edition Collector Series." The Donruss logo is flanked by bats, balls and ribbons that help frame in the timeline-style bio and stats.

1981 Donruss Baseball Rickey Henderson 1981 Donruss Baseball Rickey Henderson Back

1981 Donruss Baseball has more than 30 cards that have variations. Most of these are errors from the set's first run that were corrected. None command a huge premium like some of the errors that would dominate the hobby a few years later.

Even though 1981 Donruss Baseball can be seen as a historic set for the baseball card world, it's not overly expensive. Complete sets can be found for under $50 while unopened boxes remain under $100.

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Checklist

1981 Donruss Baseball Checklist

Base Set Checklist

1 Ozzie Smith
2 Rollie Fingers
3 Rick Wise
4 Gene Richards
5 Alan Trammell
6 Tom Brookens
7 Duffy Dyer
8 Mark Fidrych
9 Dave Rozema
10 Rick Peters
11 Mike Schmidt
12 Willie Stargell
13 Tim Foli
14 Manny Sanguillen
15 Grant Jackson
16 Eddie Solomon
17 Omar Moreno
18 Joe Morgan
19 Rafael Landestoy
20 Bruce Bochy
21 Joe Sambito
22 Manny Trillo
23 Dave Smith RC
24 Terry Puhl
25 Bump Wills
26 John Ellis
27 Jim Kern
28 Richie Zisk
29 John Mayberry
30 Bob Davis
31 Jackson Todd
32 Alvis Woods
33 Steve Carlton
34 Lee Mazzilli
35 John Stearns
36 Roy Lee Jackson RC
37 Mike Scott
38 Lamar Johnson
39 Kevin Bell
40 Ed Farmer
41 Ross Baumgarten
42 Leo Sutherland RC
43 Dan Meyer
44 Ron Reed
45 Mario Mendoza
46 Rick Honeycutt
47 Glenn Abbott
48 Leon Roberts
49 Rod Carew
50 Bert Campaneris
51 Tom Donohue RC
52 Dave Frost
53 Ed Halicki
54 Dan Ford
55 Garry Maddox
56 Steve Garvey
57 Bill Russell
58 Don Sutton
59 Reggie Smith
60 Rick Monday
61 Ray Knight
62 Johnny Bench
63 Mario Soto
64 Doug Bair
65 George Foster
66 Jeff Burroughs
67 Keith Hernandez
68 Tom Herr
69 Bob Forsch
70 John Fulgham
71 Bobby Bonds
72 Rennie Stennett
73 Joe Strain
74 Ed Whitson
75 Tom Griffin
76 Bill North
77 Gene Garber
78 Mike Hargrove
79 Dave Rosello
80 Ron Hassey
81 Sid Monge
82 Joe Charboneau RC
83 Cecil Cooper
84 Sal Bando
85 Moose Haas
86 Mike Caldwell
87 Larry Hisle
88 Luis Gomez
89 Larry Parrish
90 Gary Carter
91 Bill Gullickson RC
92 Fred Norman
93 Tom Hutton
94 Carl Yastrzemski
95 Glenn Hoffman RC
96 Dennis Eckersley
97 Tom Burgmeier
98 Win Remmerswaal RC
99 Bob Horner
100 George Brett
101 Dave Chalk
102 Dennis Leonard
103 Renie Martin
104 Amos Otis
105 Graig Nettles
106 Eric Soderholm
107 Tommy John
108 Tom Underwood
109 Lou Piniella
110 Mickey Klutts
111 Bobby Murcer
112 Eddie Murray
113 Rick Dempsey
114 Scott McGregor
115 Ken Singleton
116 Gary Roenicke
117 Dave Revering
118 Mike Norris
119 Rickey Henderson
120 Mike Heath”
121 Dave Cash
122 Randy Jones
123 Eric Rasmussen
124 Jerry Mumphrey
125 Richie Hebner
126 Mark Wagner
127 Jack Morris
128 Dan Petry
129 Bruce Robbins
130 Champ Summers
131 Pete Rose
132 Willie Stargell
133 Ed Ott
134 Jim Bibby
135 Bert Blyleven
136 Dave Parker
137 Bill Robinson
138 Enos Cabell
139 Dave Bergman
140 J.R. Richard
141 Ken Forsch
142 Larry Bowa
143 Frank LaCorte
144 Denny Walling
145 Buddy Bell
146 Fergie Jenkins
147 Danny Darwin
148 Johnny Grubb
149 Alfredo Griffin
150 Jerry Garvin
151 Paul Mirabella RC
152 Rick Bosetti
153 Dick Ruthven
154 Frank Taveras
155 Craig Swan
156 Jeff Reardon RC
157 Steve Henderson
158 Jim Morrison
159 Glenn Borgmann
160 LaMarr Hoyt RC
161 Rich Wortham
162 Thad Bosley
163 Julio Cruz
164 Del Unser
165 Jim Anderson
166 Jim Beattie
167 Shane Rawley
168 Joe Simpson
169 Rod Carew
170 Freddie Patek
171 Frank Tanana
172 Alfredo Martinez RC
173 Chris Knapp
174 Joe Rudi
175 Greg Luzinski
176 Steve Garvey
177 Joe Ferguson
178 Bob Welch
179 Dusty Baker
180 Rudy Law
181 Dave Concepcion
182 Johnny Bench
183 Mike LaCoss
184 Ken Griffey Sr.
185 Dave Collins
186 Brian Asselstine
187 Garry Templeton
188 Mike Phillips
189 Pete Vuckovich
190 John Urrea
191 Tony Scott
192 Darrell Evans
193 Milt May
194 Bob Knepper
195 Randy Moffitt
196 Larry Herndon
197 Rick Camp
198 Andre Thornton
199 Tom Veryzer
200 Gary Alexander
201 Rick Waits
202 Rick Manning
203 Paul Molitor
204 Jim Gantner
205 Paul Mitchell
206 Reggie Cleveland
207 Sixto Lezcano
208 Bruce Benedict
209 Rodney Scott
210 John Tamargo
211 Bill Lee
212 Andre Dawson
213 Rowland Office
214 Carl Yastrzemski
215 Jerry Remy
216 Mike Torrez
217 Skip Lockwood
218 Fred Lynn
219 Chris Chambliss
220 Willie Aikens
221 John Wathan
222 Dan Quisenberry
223 Willie Wilson
224 Clint Hurdle
225 Bob Watson
226 Jim Spencer
227 Ron Guidry
228 Reggie Jackson
229 Oscar Gamble
230 Jeff Cox RC
231 Luis Tiant
232 Rich Dauer
233 Dan Graham
234 Mike Flanagan
235 John Lowenstein
236 Benny Ayala
237 Wayne Gross
238 Rick Langford
239 Tony Armas
240 Bob Lacey
241 Gene Tenace
242 Bob Shirley
243 Gary Lucas RC
244 Jerry Turner
245 John Wockenfuss
246 Stan Papi
247 Milt Wilcox
248 Dan Schatzeder
249 Steve Kemp
250 Jim Lentine RC
251 Pete Rose
252 Bill Madlock
253 Dale Berra
254 Kent Tekulve
255 Enrique Romo
256 Mike Easler
257 Chuck Tanner MG
258 Art Howe
259 Alan Ashby
260 Nolan Ryan
261 Vern Ruhle
262 Bob Boone
263 Cesar Cedeno
264 Jeffrey Leonard
265 Pat Putnam
266 Jon Matlack
267 Dave Rajsich
268 Billy Sample
269 Damaso Garcia RC
270 Tom Buskey
271 Joey McLaughlin
272 Barry Bonnell
273 Tug McGraw
274 Mike Jorgensen
275 Pat Zachry
276 Neil Allen
277 Joel Youngblood
278 Greg Pryor
279 Britt Burns RC
280 Richard Dotson RC
281 Chet Lemon
282 Rusty Kuntz RC
283 Ted Cox
284 Sparky Lyle
285 Larry Cox
286 Floyd Bannister
287 Byron McLaughlin
288 Rodney Craig
289 Bobby Grich
290 Dickie Thon
291 Mark Clear
292 Dave Lemanczyk
293 Jason Thompson
294 Rick Miller
295 Lonnie Smith
296 Ron Cey
297 Steve Yeager
298 Bobby Castillo
299 Manny Mota
300 Jay Johnstone
301 Dan Driessen
302 Joe Nolan
303 Paul Householder RC
304 Harry Spilman
305 Cesar Geronimo
306 Gary Matthews
307 Ken Reitz
308 Ted Simmons
309 John Littlefield RC
310 George Frazier
311 Dane Iorg
312 Mike Ivie
313 Dennis Littlejohn
314 Gary Lavelle
315 Jack Clark
316 Jim Wohlford
317 Rick Matula
318 Toby Harrah
319 Duane Kuiper
320 Len Barker
321 Victor Cruz
322 Dell Alston
323 Robin Yount
324 Charlie Moore
325 Lary Sorensen
326 Gorman Thomas
327 Bob Rodgers
328 Phil Niekro
329 Chris Speier
330 Steve Rogers
331 Woodie Fryman
332 Warren Cromartie
333 Jerry White
334 Tony Perez
335 Carlton Fisk
336 Dick Drago
337 Steve Renko
338 Jim Rice
339 Jerry Royster
340 Frank White
341 Jamie Quirk
342 Paul Splittorff
343 Marty Pattin
344 Pete LaCock
345 Willie Randolph
346 Rick Cerone
347 Rich Gossage
348 Reggie Jackson
349 Ruppert Jones
350 Dave McKay RC
351 Yogi Berra CO
352 Doug DeCinces
353 Jim Palmer
354 Tippy Martinez
355 Al Bumbry
356 Earl Weaver
357 Rob Picciolo
358 Matt Keough
359 Dwayne Murphy
360 Brian Kingman
361 Bill Fahey
362 Steve Mura
363 Dennis Kinney RC
364 Dave Winfield
365 Lou Whitaker
366 Lance Parrish
367 Tim Corcoran
368 Pat Underwood
369 Al Cowens
370 Sparky Anderson
371 Pete Rose
372 Phil Garner
373 Steve Nicosia
374 John Candelaria
375 Don Robinson
376 Lee Lacy
377 John Milner
378 Craig Reynolds
379 Luis Pujols
380 Joe Niekro
381 Joaquin Andujar
382 Keith Moreland RC
383 Jose Cruz
384 Bill Virdon
385 Jim Sundberg
386 Doc Medich
387 Al Oliver
388 Jim Norris
389 Bob Bailor
390 Ernie Whitt
391 Otto Velez
392 Roy Howell
393 Bob Walk RC
394 Doug Flynn
395 Pete Falcone
396 Tom Hausman
397 Elliott Maddox
398 Mike Squires
399 Marv Foley RC
400 Steve Trout
401 Wayne Nordhagen
402 Tony LaRussa
403 Bruce Bochte
404 Bake McBride
405 Jerry Narron
406 Rob Dressler
407 Dave Heaverlo
408 Tom Paciorek
409 Carney Lansford
410 Brian Downing
411 Don Aase
412 Jim Barr
413 Don Baylor
414 Jim Fregosi
415 Dallas Green
416 Davey Lopes
417 Jerry Reuss
418 Rick Sutcliffe
419 Derrel Thomas
420 Tommy Lasorda
421 Charlie Liebrandt RC
422 Tom Seaver
423 Ron Oester
424 Junior Kennedy
425 Tom Seaver
426 Bobby Cox
427 Leon Durham RC
428 Terry Kennedy
429 Silvio Martinez
430 George Hendrick
431 Red Schoendienst
432 John LeMaster
433 Vida Blue
434 John Montefusco
435 Terry Whitfield
436 Dave Bristol
437 Dale Murphy
438 Jerry Dybzinski RC
439 Jorge Orta
440 Wayne Garland
441 Miguel Dilone
442 Dave Garcia
443 Don Money
444 Buck Martinez
445 Jerry Augustine
446 Ben Oglivie
447 Jim Slaton
448 Doyle Alexander
449 Tony Bernazard
450 Scott Sanderson
451 David Palmer
452 Stan Bahnsen
453 Dick Williams
454 Rick Burleson
455 Gary Allenson
456 Bob Stanley
457 John Tudor RC
458 Dwight Evans
459 Glenn Hubbard
460 U.L. Washington
461 Larry Gura
462 Rich Gale
463 Hal McRae
464 Jim Frey RC
465 Bucky Dent
466 Dennis Werth RC
467 Ron Davis
468 Reggie Jackson
469 Bobby Brown
470 Mike Davis RC
471 Gaylord Perry
472 Mark Belanger
473 Jim Palmer
474 Sammy Stewart
475 Tim Stoddard
476 Steve Stone
477 Jeff Newman
478 Steve McCatty
479 Billy Martin
480 Mitchell Page
481 Steve Carlton Cy Young
482 Bill Buckner
483 Ivan DeJesus
484 Cliff Johnson
485 Len Randle
486 Larry Milbourne
487 Roy Smalley
488 John Castino
489 Ron Jackson
490 Dave Roberts
491 George Brett MVP
492 Mike Cubbage
493 Rob Wilfong
494 Danny Goodwin
495 Jose Morales
496 Mickey Rivers
497 Mike Edwards
498 Mike Sadek
499 Lenn Sakata
500 Gene Michael
501 Dave Roberts
502 Steve Dillard
503 Jim Essian
504 Rance Mulliniks
505 Darrell Porter
506 Joe Torre
507 Terry Crowley
508 Bill Travers
509 Nelson Norman
510 Bob McClure
511 Steve Howe RC
512 Dave Rader
513 Mick Kelleher
514 Kiko Garcia
515 Larry Biittner
516 Willie Norwood
517 Bo Diaz
518 Juan Beniquez
519 Scot Thompson
520 Jim Tracy RC
521 Carlos Lezcano RC
522 Joe Amalfitano
523 Preston Hanna
524 Ray Burris
525 Broderick Perkins
526 Mickey Hatcher
527 John Goryl
528 Dick Davis
529 Butch Wynegar
530 Sal Butera RC
531 Jerry Koosman
532 Geoff Zahn
533 Dennis Martinez
534 Gary Thomasson
535 Steve Macko
536 Jim Kaat
537 Best Hitters - George Brett, Rod Carew
538 Tim Raines RC
539 Keith Smith
540 Ken Macha
541 Burt Hooton
542 Butch Hobson
543 Bill Stein
544 Dave Stapleton RC
545 Bob Pate RC
546 Doug Corbett RC
547 Darrell Jackson
548 Pete Redfern
549 Roger Erickson
550 Al Hrabosky
551 Dick Tidrow
552 Dave Ford RC
553 Dave Kingman
554 Mike Vail
555 Jerry Martin
556 Jesus Figueroa RC
557 Don Stanhouse
558 Barry Foote
559 Tim Blackwell
560 Bruce Sutter
561 Rick Reuschel
562 Lynn McGlothen
563 Bob Owchinko
564 John Verhoeven
565 Ken Landreaux
566 Glenn Adams
567 Hosken Powell
568 Dickie Noles
569 Danny Ainge RC
570 Bob Mattick RC
571 Joe Lefebvre RC
572 Bobby Clark
573 Dennis Lamp
574 Randy Lerch
575 Mookie Wilson RC
576 Ron LeFlore
577 Jim Dwyer
578 Bill Castro
579 Greg Minton
580 Mark Littell
581 Andy Hassler
582 Dave Stieb
583 Ken Oberkfell
584 Larry Bradford
585 Fred Stanley
586 Bill Caudill
587 Doug Capilla
588 George Riley RC
589 Willie Hernandez
590 Mike Schmidt MVP
591 Steve Stone Cy Young
592 Rick Sofield
593 Bombo Rivera
594 Gary Ward
595 Dave Edwards
596 Mike Proly
597 Tommy Boggs
598 Greg Gross
599 Elias Sosa
600 Pat Kelly
Checklist
Checklist
Checklist
Checklist
Checklist
1981 Donruss Tim Raines

Errors and Variations Checklist

The following is a list of 1981 Donruss errors and variations. Cards that were not corrected are not listed.

7 Duffy Dyer
- 1980 Avg. . 185
- 1980 Avg. 185

23 Dave Smith
- Incomplete box around stats.
- Complete box around stats.

26 John Ellis
- John Ellis pictured (with glove)
- Danny Walton pictured (with bat)

51 Tom Donohue
- correct spelling on front
- spelled "Donahue" on front

56 Steve Garvey
- "Surpassed 25 HR..."
- "Surpassed 21 HR..."

71 Bobby Bonds
- Lifetime HR 986
- Lifetime HR 326

72 Rennie Stennett
- "...breaking broke leg..."
- "...breaking leg..."

82 Joe Charboneau
- "For some reason, Phillies..."
- "Phillies..."

87 Larry Hisle
- "...Twins with 28 RBI"
- "...Twins with 28 HR"

97 Tom Burgmeier
- Throws: Right
- Throws: Left

131 Pete Rose
- "See card 251" on back
- "See card 371" on back

164 Del Unser
- 3B in stats
- no 3B in stats

240  Bob Lacey
- spelled "Lacy"
- spelled correctly - "Lacey"

261 Vern Ruhle
- error Ken Forsch photo (head shot)
- correct photo (waist shot)

306 Gary Matthews
- error "Mathews" on front
- correct "Matthews" on front

319 Duane Kuiper
- error "Dwane" on front
- correct "Duane" on front

326 Gorman Thomas
- "30-HR mark 4th..." on back
- "30 HR mark 3rd..." on back

330 Steve Rogers
- error "Rodgers" on front
- correct "Rogers" on front

342 Paul Splittorff
- error "Spittorff" on front
- correct "Splittorff" on front

357 Rob Picciolo
- error "Bob" on front
- correct "Rob" on front

379 Luis Pujols
- error "Pujois" on front
- correct "Pujols" on front

444 Buck Martinez
- reversed photo
- correct photo

457 John Tudor
- Lifetime W/L 9.7.
- Lifetime W/L 9-7.

483 Ivan DeJesus
- Lifetime hits 702.
- Lifetime hits 642.

490 Dave Roberts
- 1980 highlights: "Declared himself..."
- 1980 highlights: "Showed pop..."

516 Willie Norwood
- 1980 highlights: "Spent most..."
- 1980 highlights: "Traded to..."

524 Ray Burris
- 1980 highlights: "Went on..."
- 1980 highlights: "Drafted by..."

532 Jeff Zahn
- 1980 highlights: "Was 2nd in..."
- 1980 highlights: "Signed a 3-year..."

554 Mike Vail
- 1980 highlights: "After..."
- 1980 highlights: "Traded..."

555 Jerry Martin
- 1980 highlights: "Overcame..."
- 1980 highlights: "Traded..."

556 Jesus Figueroa
- 1980 highlights: "Had..."
- 1980 highlights: "Traded..."

563 Bob Owchinko
- 1980 highlights: "Traded..."
- 1980 highlights: "Involved..."

566 Glenn Adams
- error "Glen" on front
- correct "Glenn" on front

595 Dave Edwards
- 1980 highlights: "Sidelined..."
- 1980 highlights: "Traded..."


Ryan Cracknell  |  E-Mail Author
Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection.

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  1. These boxes should be $1000 + !! Lots of good stuff I. Here…

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