As promised, here are the 1988 Donruss Baseball’s Best cards that correspond to the players we’ve seen so far (save Walt Weiss, who was not in the set). I’ve also done a comparison between the Rookies edition and Baseball’s Best, just for point of reference.
I’ll talk about my feelings on the design of the Baseball’s Best set in a bit, but obviously I prefer the BB aside from the design…yeah that orange and red will scar your retina, but it’s a much better photo, far more engaging. And you can see his face!
The Leiter’s kind of funny. It’s probably from the same roll of film as the Rookies shot, but I like the Rookies one much better, for some reason. This one is interesting, though, almost in an alternate reality way. What if that had been Leiter’s Rookies card?
And finally, Grace. Let’s just say that this one is a definite downgrade. From interesting photo to too dark, and impossible to see his face. Just…yuck.
Okay, now, on to the design…up front, let me state that I had actually never seen an 88 Baseball’s Best card in person. I had the 89 set back in the day, and some of the 1990 cards (which were highly superior to the 1990 Donruss base set). The 1988? Wow. I didn’t think anything could be uglier than the base 88 design, but Donruss proved me wrong. “Yeah, let’s take an ugly-ass design and make it orange. That’ll work!” It is, without a doubt, one of the ugliest baseball card sets I’ve ever seen. I mean, the history is kinda cool. As I said, some of it has an alternate reality feel to it, but good lord. I would never have purchased this set outside of this project. Which means it’ll be fun as hell to see the differences. Just prepare your eyes.