Monday, May 20, 2013

THE SIMPLE PLEASURES OF 1984 DONRUSS


ONE OF MANY SWEET IMAGES.




THE GOOSE LOOKING LIKE THE GOOSE.



Simplicity often is a beautiful thing to behold.

If you don't believe that, take a look at the 1984 Donruss set.

I recently put this timeless classic into a binder and haven't been able to stop looking at it since. OK, the backs are about as exciting as lime Jell-O, but the emphasis here is on the photos. As it should be.

It's not so much that the action photography is standout; it mostly is. The spot-on exposure, composition and reproduction are what make many of the images jump off the cardboard.

Take the Mookie Wilson, for example.




LOOKIE, IT'S MOOKIE!


Under difficult lighting, Wilson's expression is perfectly captured on a sunny day instead of being rendered into an indiscernible underexposed ink blob. Many of the mug shots are done tastefully in an almost "glamour shot'' sort of way. 

Then there's the design, highlighted by a four-bar yellow rally stripe that's as simple as it gets but oddly stylish. Could do without the "'84'' logo, but no design is perfect. Well, except for '54 Bowman.




ONE OF THE BEST EVER SUBSETS.



Rated Rookies debuted in '84 and became a popular staple, but it wasn't all seriousness and rookie-mania though. Interesting cards include one of the San Diego Chicken for the second straight year, a group shot of the Cardinals' top base-stealers inexplicably titled Runnin' Reds and the unnumbered Living Legends cards.




THE ORIGINAL MASCOT CARD.




NOT AN ERROR CARD BUT SHOULD BE.




NICELY DONE TRIBUTE TO 4 FUTURE HALL OF FAMERS.




RADIOACTIVE RAY.



Even the much-maligned Diamond Kings that kick off the set with an awesome bunting design are the best of that subset's history; although, Ray Knight looks highly radioactive.




ALWAYS LIKED THE DIAMOND KINGS, ESPECIALLY IN '84.



Still, '84 Donruss is one heck of a set that's so much more than the coveted Don Mattingly rookie. What took me so long to get it into an album? Laziness, I guess. I'll feature some more cards here and there as I continue to flip the pages.

Yes, simple is simply better.





ICONIC, EVEN THOUGH THE IMAGE ISN'T THAT GREAT.




COMMON, EVEN THOUGH THE IMAGE IS GREAT.




TYPICAL OF MOST '84 DONRUSS PAGES.




LOOK OUT, EDDIE.




EXAMPLE OF HIGH DEF PHOTOGRAPHY.

1 comment:

  1. I was 14 when this set came out and a Topps snob who didn't think much of this (or any other) Donruss set at the time. But I'd recently come across a few of these and thought that I might not have been giving this set its due. You just confirmed that for me. Still hate most of the 80s Donruss sets, but this one's an overlooked gem. (Still, those backs...) Thanks for sharing.

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