Saturday, September 20, 2008

1984 Donruss

Unlike their Topps and Fleer counterparts, the '84 Donruss cards are one of the best sets ever produced. The design is simple, yet fresh. They were the first of the three company era where almost the entire card was the photograph, with an unobtrusive team and player name nestled in nicely at the bottom. Despite their scarcity, they were easy enough to find in the state of Michigan that summer too. 

My final yarn about 1984 will be about my only trip ever to a World Series game. I managed to put enough money away from my summer job to start my own savings account at the bank that summer. When the tickets went on sale that fall, I took the money out of the account and sent off for four tickets to Game 3 ALCS and four tickets to Game A of the World Series.

For those of you who don't remember, the Cubs making the post-season threw a wrench in the post season plans, since they were scheduled to host Games 1 and 2 if they made the World Series. Since they didn't have lights at Wrigley Field, MLB decided to swap the games if they made it to the Series. If they made it, the AL would gets games 1, 2, 6, and 7, and not the NL. As it was, Leon Durham pulled a Bill Buckner a full two years before Buckner would do it, making the whole thing moot anyway...

Well, I sent off for tickets, hoping for the best but not really expecting to get any. So imagine my surprise as I was walking home from school one late September afternoon to see my mom waiting outside the front door and waving an envelope. Sure enough, inside were four tickets to the ALCS game. A week later, she did the same when our Series tickets arrived.

Ok, on to the game. I still remember that night vividly today. The marquee out front of Tiger Stadium listed the three games the Tigers would play that weekend. Our seats were in dead centerfield and I remember being on sensory overload. Too often I had heard announcers talk about the buzz and electricity at World Series games and that night I realized that it was not a cliché. 

Milt Wilcox started for the Tigers. (He won the pennant clincher I was at the week before) Marty Castillo blasted a home run to left that I had a perfect view of. Chet Lemon caught a deep fly ball off the bat of Terry Kennedy right in front of us. And just like that, the Tigers had taken a 2-1 lead over the Padres. Less than 48 hours later the Tigers were World Champs. I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it.

Where was I? Oh yes, the 1984 Donruss Detroit Tigers:
15 Lance Parrish Diamond King
49 Lance Parrish
90 John Grubb
105 Dan Petry
125 Juan Berenguer
150 John Wockenfuss
171 Chet Lemon
212 Howard Bailey
227 Lou Whitaker
247 Marty Castillo
272 Dave Rozema
293 Alan Trammell
334 Wayne Krenchicki
349 Larry Herndon
369 Doug Bair
394 Larry Pashnick
415 Jack Morris
456 Enos Cabell
471 Milt Wilcox
491 Mike Laga
516 Aurelio Lopez
578 Tom Brookens
593 Kirk Gibson
618 Glenn Wilson

And that wraps up the greatest summer of my youth. Thanks for the great memories guys.


Jon said...

1984 Donruss Action All-Stars
For their second year, the 3"x5" cards switched to the traditional portrait landscape and had a single action shot of the player. The backs are divided in half, with the top half featuring another picture of the player and bottom half showing the player's statistics. 60 cards again in the set.
4. Lou Whitaker
34. Lance Parrish

Jon said...

1984 Donruss Champions
Another 60 card, 3"x5" set, the cards feature current star players along with all-time "Greatest Champions". Apparently the Tigers didn't have any current stars, since they only got one card in the set.
26. Ty Cobb "Greatest Champion"