Looking for your next set to collect? Did you know there are great starter sets out there, featuring legendary athletes, that can be completed in just a handful of cards and costs a fraction of the price of larger sets?
Four words: Bo knows card sets. That’s right, Bo Jackson, the multi-sport phenom, has a baseball rookie set composed of six cards that evoke memories of the athletic spectacle crushing the ball, robbing home runs and wearing his trademark smile throughout.
Veteran collectors will enjoy compiling a set of the larger-than-life athlete that dominated the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and those new to the hobby can complete their first PSA Set Registry set, without dinging their wallets up.
We’ll highlight each card in the set, the prices and population of PSA 9 and 10, just to illustrate how easy and affordable this set is to complete.
1986 Donruss Rookies #38 Bo Jackson
- PSA Population: 391 PSA Gem Mint 10 | 409 PSA Mint 9
- Average cost for PSA 10: $36
- Average cost for PSA 9: $10
We’ll start off the set with a popular issue from Bo’s rookie year, which also presents a tough grade with its colored borders and fickle centering. Collectors are drawn to the eye-appealing design, and, well, the fact it features an early look at one of the best pound for pound athletes in sports, ever.
1986 Topps Traded #50T Bo Jackson
- PSA Population: 639 PSA Gem Mint 10 | 1,155 PSA Mint 9
- Average cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $60
- Average cost for PSA Mint 9: $14
As you can see by the uptick in PSA population, this card is even more popular for Bo collectors out there. Much like his Donruss offering, which is based on the same photo, centering issues and tricky colored borders can hurt the grade on these cards. Still, the approachable price in PSA Gem Mint 10 remains a selling point for collectors looking to build a set. It is also much easier to track down than the Topps Tiffany variant.
Warning: Acquiring this card may illicit involuntary happy dances.
1987 Fleer #369 Bo Jackson
- PSA Population: 390 PSA Gem Mint 10 | 592 PSA Mint 9
- Average cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $29
- Average cost for PSA Mint 9: $9
Flanked by Kansas City blue and white borders, Bo is depicted with his trademark smile on another iconic rookie offering, one that seems as if it was made for the slugger. The PSA Gem Mint 10 population is nearly cut in half from its Topps Traded counterpart. Again, the colored borders can present grading difficulties.
1987 Leaf #35 Bo Jackson
- PSA population: 87 PSA Gem Mint 10 | 133 PSA Mint 9
- Average cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $127
- Average cost for PSA Mint 9: $11
This same image can be found on both Leaf and Donruss offerings during 1987. The key difference is scarcity. Bo’s Leaf card is much harder to come by, and that is reflected in its PSA population. (More on that coming.) Again, black borders can show every knick and imperfection.
1987 Donruss #35 Bo Jackson
- PSA Population: 700 PSA Gem Mint 10 | 561 PSA Mint 9
- Average cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $31
- Average cost for PSA Mint 9: $10
Now onto the more common of the Leaf/Donruss duo of Bo Jackson cards. Just look at the population numbers for PSA Mint 9s and 10s – 700 PSA 10s for Donruss compared to 87 for Leaf’s version. The card is also hampered by the same black border issues.
1987 Topps Future Stars #170 Bo Jackson
- PSA population: 701 PSA Gem Mint 10 | 708 PSA Mint 9
- Average cost for PSA Gem Mint 10: $27
- Average cost for PSA Mint 9: $8
From the wood grain border to the colorful “Future Stars” logo, this offering does not lack in aesthetic flair. In fact, some see these cards as the precursors to contemporary card design. It also comes in the aforementioned, scarcer Topps Tiffany, which was originally only available through hobby dealers.
Now to Start the Set
With just six total cards, Bo Jackson’s rookie set is a great starter option packed with easy-to-find and affordable cards. And if your eyes are set on that coveted PSA Gem Mint 10, you won’t be breaking the bank. The approximate total cost for the set in PSA 10 is $310. The set in PSA 9 will only run around $62. That’s a bargain.
The next step is to start your Bo Jackson journey. Visit the PSA Set Registry’s Bo Jackson Rookie Set page to start.