If you grew up in the 80’s, it was hard to not be a Bo Jackson fan. Bo was everywhere. Bo broke bats. Bo played football. Bo wore Nike’s, and as they taught us, Bo Knows!
One of the best parts of being a collector of his cards is the fact that his prime was during the junk wax era. That means you can very affordably build a collection of cards from his playing days.
Here are 7 of my favorites that can be found for less than $5!
1) 1987 Topps
No, it’s not his first Topps card (that honor goes to 1986 Traded), but it is one of many rookie cards found in the ‘87 set and is one of the iconic pieces of that set. The multi-colored future stars logo splashed above his name, combined with the classic wood grain border make this one of my favorite cards in my collection.
2) 1990 Score Black and White #697
This photo of Bo holding a bat across his shoulder pads is legendary. It, or some version of it, was plastered all over commercials, posters, and other advertisements. Interestingly, this is the one card that Bo refuses to sign. It seems the photographer who took the picture did not receive fair compensation for the photo which was ultimately used in all those ads I described above. Bo’s refusal to sign is his way of honoring the photographer.
3) 1991 Score “Bo Breaker” #773
I wish cell phone cameras were a thing in 1991, because I would have had a ton of footage of my friends trying to break a bat over their leg. The break was something we went crazy for, and apparently so did the rest of America. The 1991 Score #773 captured an action shot of him destroying a bat over his left knee while wearing his classic powder blue Royals uniform. The “Bo Breaker” font and lightning bolt absolutely scream 90’s.
4) 1991 Fleer
If you can get past the “mustard yellow” border, the 1991 Fleer Bo Jackson has a lot to offer. I love the centered name hovering above the photo of him about to hit a ball. The full color back has both full career stats and a list of interesting facts so we can know more about Bo. A lot of people rip on ‘91 Fleer, but other than a questionable border color choice, it is a pretty sweet set.
5) 1990 Fleer Baseball MVP
The 1990 Fleer MVP set was a boxed set sold exclusively at Toys R’ Us. There are no shortage of these cards, but at the same time, they are nowhere near as common as the other 1990 base cards. My favorite part about this Bo card is the photo showing him in what appears to be a run down, about to be tagged. It’s just one more unique moment that highlights the variety that can come from this era. Just in this post I’ve highlighted photos which are posed, swinging, bat breaking, fielding, throwing, and base running!
6) 1991 Fleer Pro-Vision Insert
For years, Donruss had Dick Perez and his Diamond Kings. Fleer wanted to get into the art card game, and in 1991 they introduced the Pro-Vision insert set. The Pro-Vision cards were only found in rack packs and the art used in the set was from the hand of Terry Smith. Titled “Bionic Bo”, the drawing showed him with his arms crossed and an exposed circuit board could be seen on his forearm. The Pro-Vision line continued for the next several years, spanned multiple sports, and the art got crazier and crazier. Just check out some of these listings on Ebay!
7) 1989 Topps Royals Team Card #789
The Royals team card ditched George Brett in 1989 and instead featured Bo following through on a throw in from the outfield. His glasses appear to be all out of wack, most likely due to his running down the ball and the violence of his throw. I was a fan of these Vignette Team Leaders cards from the day I started collecting the 1986 set, so when I learned Bo found his way onto this one I had to have it.
8) 2018 Topps Living Set #70
Bonus! I couldn’t finish this post with out calling attention to the 2018 Topps Living Set Bo Jackson card. This is the only card issued after his playing days that comes anywhere close to the top of my favorite list. There were only 7,321 of these cards made and were sold direct to the consumer on Topps.com. If you don’t know much about this set, check out the Topps Living section of the site where you can learn more and see the full photo checklist. I really like the artwork of this card and how it looks on the 1953 design.
So there you have it, 7 (ok 8) awesome Bo Jackson cards that you can find for under $5. This was the third post of the “7 Awesome Cards” series. If you liked this one, you’d probably also like reading the posts about Mike Trout and Kris Bryant!
I’d love to hear what players you’d like me to feature next, so leave me a note in the comments below!