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The Topps 1986 Baseball Card set is THE greatest set produced in the past 30 years. Certainly not because of the rather crisp card design, but due to the sheer number of players in this set who have gone on to be elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. I am rather impressed with the number of future HOF players that the 1986 Topps baseball card set contains.

Topps 1986 Baseball Cards

Nolan Ryan 1986 Topps Baseball Card - Front Nolan Ryan 1986 Topps Baseball Card - Back

Here are the 43 players that have been elected to the Hall of Fame (as of 01/2020).
Card NumberPlayer NameYear Inducted
10Tony Gwynn2007
30Eddie Murray2003
70Dave Winfield2001
85Tony Perez2000
100Nolan Ryan1999
120Steve Carlton1994
130Alan Trammell2018
170Gary Carter2003
185Rollie Fingers1992
200Mike Schmidt1995
237Ted Simmons2020
267Paul Molitor2004
270Jack Morris2018
280Tim Raines2017
290Carlton Fisk2000
291Tom Lasorda (Manager)1997
300George Brett1999
320Jim Rice2009
321Earl Weaver (Manager)1996
329Kirby Puckett2001
335Don Sutton1998
340Cal Ripkin (Jr)2007
355Lee Smith2019
390Tom Seaver1992
400Rod Carew1991
411Sparky Anderson (Manager)2000
441Whitey Herzog (Manager)2010
445Bert Blyleven2011
471Bobby Cox (Manager)2014
500Rickey Henderson2009
510Wade Boggs2005
530Rich "Goose" Gossage2008
531Tony LaRussa (Manager)2014
538Dennis Eckersley2004
620Bruce Sutter2006
681Dick Williams (Manager)2008
690Ryne Sandberg2005
700Reggie Jackson1993
730Ozzie Smith2002
755Harold Baines2019
760Andre Dawson2010
780Robin Yount1999
790Phil Niekro1997

Here are additional cards in this set that were darn good players and managers in their time and some may yet be elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. You know at least three more of these names will get in.
Card NumberPlayer NameQuick Stat
1Pete RoseAll-Time MLB Hits Leader with 4,256
20Lou Whitaker4x Silver Slugger, 3x Gold Glove
28Eric Davis3x Gold Glove, 2x Silver Slugger
55Fred Lynn1975 AL MVP, 9x All-Star, 4x Gold Glove
60Dwight Evans8x Gold Glove, 3x All-Star, 2x Silver Slugger
80Darryl Strawberry4x World Series Champion, 8x All-Star
81Gene Mauch (Manager)Managed Phillies, Expos, Twins, Angels
104Sid Fernandez1986 World Series Champion
111Roger Craig (Manager)Managed Padres and Giants.
159Orel Hershiser1988 NLCS and 1995 ALCS MVP
180Don Mattingly9x Gold Glove, 1985 AL MVP, #23 Retired
195Dave Concepcion9x All-Star, 5x Gold Glove, #13 Retired
240Tommy JohnArm Surgery Procedure Moniker
250Dwight Gooden1985 NL Cy Young, 3x World Series
293Chris ChamblissCharlotte Knights Manager
295Kirk Gibson2x World Series Champion
410Dave Kingman442 Home Runs, 3x All-Star
443Bill BucknerYes, 1986 Was "That" Year
450Graig Nettles2x World Series, 2x Gold Glove
505Jerry Koosman1969 Miracle Met With 2.28 ERA and 180 K's
528Terry Pendleton1991 NL MVP, 3x Gold Glove Award
570Rusty Staub1985 Was Final year In MLB, #10 Retired
595Dave Parker7x All-Star, 1978 NL MVP
600Dale Murphy2x NL MVP, 7x All-Star, #3 Retired
610Ron Guidry1978 AL Cy Young Award, #49 Retired
630Fernando Valenzuela1981 NL Cy Young and World Series
651Billy Martin (Manager)5x World Series, #1 Retired
660Steve Garvey10x All-Star, 2x NLCS MVP, #6 Retired
661Roger Clemens6x AL and 1x NL Cy Young Award
680George Foster1977 NL MVP, 5x All-Star, 2x World Series
709Dwight Gooden1985 NL Cy Young, 3x World Series
741Pete Rose (Manager)17x All-Star, 1973 NL MVP
770Vida Blue1971 AL Cy Young and MVP, 3x World Series

Here Are A Few 1986 Players Who Later Became Managers
Card NumberPlayer NameQuick Player and Manager Notes
83Phil GarnerManaged Brewers, Tigers, and Astros 1992-2007
130Alan TrammellManaged Detroit Tigers 2003-2005
136Mike HargroveManaged Indians, Orioles, Mariners
254Ozzie Guillen2005 AL Manager Of The Year
374Terry Francona2x World Series Champion as Boston Red Sox Manager
438Clint HurdleManaged Colorado Rockies 2002-2009
468Mike Scioscia2002 AL Manager Of The Year, 3x World Series
513Ron WashingtonManaged Texas Rangers 2007-2014
578Lee MazzilliManaged Baltimore Orioles 2004-2005
645Dusty Baker3x NL Manager of the Year
765Don Baylor1979 AL MVP, 1995 NL Manager of the Year

Here Are The Key Rookie Cards In This Set
Card NumberPlayer NameRookie Notes
53Len Dykstra1986 World Series Champion
254Ozzie Guillen1985 AL Rookie of the Year
264Darren DaultonDrafted by Phillies in 1980
304Mike Gallego1989 World Series Champion
347Teddy Higuera1986 All-Star
370Vince Coleman1985 NL Rookie of the Year
382Ivan Calderon1991 All-Star
386Cecil Fielder51 Homers And 132 RBIs In 1990
397Steve Buechele1985 Minor League Player of the Year
457Mickey Tettleton2x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger
547Roger McDowell1986 World Series Champion
599Rick Aguilera1986 World Series Champion, Won Game 6
602Mariano Duncan1994 All-Star
628Kirk McCaskillWon 17 Games In 1986
769Harold ReynoldsESPN and MLB.com Commentator

The 1986 set contains 792 cards.

They were sold at retail as wax packs, rack packs, and factory sets.

Wax Packs sold for 35 cents per pack (15-cards plus a stick of gum in a wax-coated wrapper that didn't allow you to see any of the cards). A box of wax packs contained 36 packs of cards (540 cards total). A case contains 20 boxes (10,800 cards). Of note, the wax pack boxes had a limited edition of 16 baseball cards printed on the bottom of the box (inside and out). There were 4 different sets making up the 16 cards. Set 1 included (A) Jorge Bell, (B) Wade Boggs, (C) George Brett, and (D) Vince Coleman. Set 2 included (E) Carlton Fisk, (F) Dwight Gooden, (G) Pedro Guerrero, and (H) Ron Guidry. Set 3 included (I) Reggie Jackson, (J) Don Mattingly, (K) Oddibe McDowell, and (L) Willie McGee. Set 4 included (M) Dale Murphy, (N) Pete Rose, (O) Bret Saberhagen, and (P) Fernando Valenzuela. They looked like their regular Topps cards except the pictures were different and the cards were lettered instead of numbered.

Rack Packs (49-card packs divided into 3 sections of 16 cards each, plus 1 special commemorative all-star game card, and wrapped in clear plastic allowing you to see six of the cards --- the top and bottom card in each of the three sections). Rack packs are my favorite baseball card packaging. You can get excited about the cards you are buying even before you open the pack. There were 24 rack packs to a box (1,176 cards) and 6 boxes to a case (7,056 cards).

Vending boxes were also available. Each vending box contains 500 crisp cards with no bubble gum stains. There are 24 vending boxes in a case (12,000 cards). Of note, each vending box is filled with a run. As best as I can tell there were 5 runs. Therefore, you will need to buy at least 5 vending boxes to get at least one of each card. Each vending box contains between 3 and 5 copies of each card.

Topps also issued a supplemental set of 132 cards in 1986, called the Topps Traded set. Rookies included: Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Jose Canseco, Will Clark, Andres Galarraga, Bo Jackson, Wally Joyner, John Kruk, Kevin Mitchell, and Jim Leyland (Managerial Debut).

1986 Topps Traded Baseball Cards
Information on the 1986 Topps Traded Baseball Card supplemental set.
Shoebox Legends
An Interesting Hockey and Baseball Card Blog
Auctions for Packs of 1986 Topps Baseball Cards
Baseball Cards
1986 Topps Baseball Card Checklist and Price List
Trading Card Database
1986 Topps Baseball Card Database
Keyman Collectables
Printable 1986 Topps Baseball Card Checklist
Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. Since we do not have complete control over the "Ads by Google" appearing on this page, we do not directly endorse their sites or products. Please notify us if you find any of the advertisers to be misleading.
Feel free to contact me to correct any information in this article or to alert me to additional information that should be included.

© 2009 Topher
Updated 2020

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