The Pull of My Life: 1990 Topps Bo Jackson

It’s no secret that I’m primarily a baseball collector and that’s always been my primary focus.  Every year I look forward to the new sets, new themes, and new designs that each manufacturer comes out with.  But, 1990 Topps baseball will always be #1 in my heart and nothing will ever replace it.

Although I collected cards prior to 1990, that was the year that I really became immersed in card collecting.  I can still remember buying what I always referred to as “double jumbo packs.”  These were the mother of all packs of cards!  Where else could you get 106 cards in a single pack?  I’m not entirely sure where I purchased them from, though.  They were most likely from Hills Department Store or possibly Walmart, but I’m leaning towards Hills.  Either way, I was the happiest kid on earth every time I got one of these packs!

1990 Topps Jumbo Packs

But, what always drew me to this set was the colorful borders and how I always felt as if no two cards had the exact same border (they probably did, but I was a kid not really dissecting the cards).  So many colors existed and at this time I was already aware of what the 1975 Topps set looked like because my dad still had a few and I honestly probably made the connection of “my dad has these cool old cards from 1975 with all these colors and here’s my soon-to-be-cool old set with all these colors.”  Whatever it was, I was in love!

That set also had what would become the first Bo Jackson card that I pulled myself and I can still remember the day I got it out of a pack my grandparents had purchased for me.  I remember opening the pack in the car on the way home as we were passing Fairmont State University and seeing that glorious card staring back at me with it’s purplish border and Bo crushing a baseball in his white Royals uniform.  Once I realized what I had (a guaranteed $1 Beckett book value card), I just held that half of the pack in my hand ever so carefully so as not to crease or bend it in any way.  It sat on top of that stack the entire ride home as I never took it out of my sight.  I don’t even think I opened the other half of the pack until later that evening.  Once home, I ran across the street to my friend Randy’s house to show him and he was just as excited as I was (well, maybe not, but at the time I didn’t care).  In my mind, I had just pulled the greatest Bo Jackson card that had ever existed and it was in my collection!

1990 Topps Bo Jackson

Today, I have multiple copies of that card and every time I see it I pause for just a second and take a gander.  It still rekindles the memories I have of that particular day and just how excited I was.  That card may not let me retire early, but it will always hold a special place in my heart.


  1. If you think that you got it in Fairmont, maybe it was Walmart. But at that time, if it was Morgantown, it would have been Hills. Walmart wasn’t in Mo-town yet.

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