Buzz 12 in 12: Busting a 1981 Donruss baseball pack (Hour 11)

Do you like Buzz Breaks? Today’s your day then as we launch 12 in 12 — a series of a dozen breaks of past wax boxes and wax packs in a dozen hours. We’ll post one every hour all day long … and this is Hour 11.

12in12-logo-smallerThe pack: 1981 Donruss baseball cards
The cost now: 
The cost then: 30 cents

What’s inside this pack? Keep reading …

Cards per pack: 18
Base set completion: 
18 of 605 (3 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Inserts: None

Autographs/Memorabilia: Not for a few more years

What’s Buzz-worthy: This one’s arrival along with 1981 Fleer ended years of Topps’ solo presence as an MLB licensee and it’s one that includes plenty of badly cut cards, plenty of errors and variations and plenty of big names in a 600-card set capped by five checklists. At first rip, this was a good pack with a Pete Rose on the back and it got better with cards for Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Willie Stargell. A bummer here? Some gnarly gum damage — mostly to the Tim Foli and also edge stains to Wayne Gross and Mike Torrez. (Those three? Instantly to the garbage can.) Of the rest, there was one card that qualifies for the error and variation game — the Del Unser card in this pack, which was a corrected version. The centering on the three key cards is pretty rough and the corners aren’t great, showing why high-grade cards from this set can be tougher to find. It really makes me appreciate my high-grade Rickey Henderson card I slabbed up years ago. If you can find these packs cheap and clean, they’re a fun rip, but you may be best served by just picking off singles or buying sets.

Product Grade: A
Pack Grade:
Fun Grade: B

What’s next? Be back at the top of the next hour …

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