Best 1983 Topps Baseball Cards

1983 topps baseball cards box

This used to be probably the best set of the junk wax era but now it is considered vintage. The 1983 Topps baseball card set consists of 792 cards, the most ever for a Topps set up until this release year. The first year of the redesign that consists of two images. There is a full photo actions shot, and then a smaller head shot insert into a circle at the bottom of the card.

When you think of 1983 Topps cards you think several key rookie cards like that of Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, and Ryne Sandburg rookie cards. Some people will also include the Willie McGee rookie card as a favorite because in the early 80’s he was an MVP. But since his MVP, he dropped off considerably. Other than those rookies there are plenty of Hall of Famers included.

What Are The Best 1983 Topps Baseball Cards?

1.) Tony Gwynn

1983 topps tony gwynn baseball card
1983 Topps Gwynn Back

The 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn rookie card is the most recognizable card of the 1980’s. Mostly because of the eight batting titles that he compiles. Definitely one of the best hitters of the 80’s. Tony Gwynn’s baseball card shows him in a large action shot running to first base. Most likely after a single he just hit. Then on the bottom left is a circle with a head shot.

2.) Wade Boggs

1983 topps wade boggs baseball card
1983 topps wade boggs back

Wade Boggs elusive career began in Boston where he became known as “The” player you would want in your lineup to get on base. He appeared in a total of 12 all-star games. Boston fans had a difficult time when Boggs left them for the New York Yankees. But with the Yankees Wade Boggs was able to get a World Series ring. The 1983 Topps baseball card shows Wade Boggs crouching down while he is on the base path. There is another small circle image of his headshot where he is shown with a smile.

3.) Ryne Sandberg

1983 topps ryne sandberg baseball card
1983 topps ryne sandberg back

The third best card of the 1983 Topps set is the Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg. During his time in the Major Leagues he won seven silver sluggers, which is the best player at each position. Ryne Sandberg also appeared in ten all start games and won an MVP award in 1984. Ryan’s 1983 Topps baseball card shows a large image of him at the plate batting while the smaller circle image at the bottom of the card shows a headshot of him.

4.) Nolan Ryan

1983 topps nolan ryan baseball card
1983 topps nolan ryan back

The 1983 Nolan Ryan Topps baseball card shows a large image of the great pitcher holding his glove out to catch a ball, even though he already has one in his hand. The smaller circle image at the bottom of the card is a very serious look by Nolan Ryan.

5.) Cal Ripken Jr

1983 topps cal ripken jr baseball card
1983 topps cal ripken back

Cal Ripken, who eventually played in more consecutive games than anyone else with 2131 games over 16 years. The 1983 Cal Ripken jr card, his second year card, shows a large image of him whacking a ball and then in the small circle there is also a headshot of Cal holding a bat ready to get another hit.

6.) Rickey Henderson

1983 topps rickey henderson baseball card
1983 topps rickey henderson back

Here is a great card of Rickey Henderson. A first ballot hall of famer, Rickey has more stolen bases and runs than anyone else in history. His 1983 Topps baseball card shows him after he took a swing in a large image, and then the smaller image shows Rickey’s headshot with a serious look.

7.) Pete Rose

1983 topps pete rose baseball card
1983 topps pete rose back

Pete Rose, also known as the “hit king” because he is the major league leader in hits all time, has a large fan base because he was disqualified from the Hall of Fame but most people think he should be in. The 1983 Topps shows Pete ready to run after he hit the ball. The smaller image at the bottom shows a headshot of him glaring with a somewhat serious look.

8.) Mike Schmidt

1983 topps mike schmidt baseball card
1983 topps mike schmidt baseball card back

We had to include the great third baseman Mike Schmidt on this list. Mike hit over 500 home runs and won 10 gold gloves in his career. The 1983 topps baseball card of Mike shows him after he belted a ball and is ready to run. His head shot in the lower right shows him looking onward, probably ready to get to the plate to knock another home run.

9.) Dennis Eckersley

The action image of Dennis Eckersley on this 1983 Topps baseball card shows the hall of fame pitcher after he just threw his sidearm pitch. This is a few years before he becomes a dominant relief pitcher. His headshot shows Dennis gazing with a serious look. The prior year Dennis made the all stars for the second time in his career as a starting pitcher.

10.) Phil Niekro

Here is a great baseball card of the knuckleballer Phil Niekro. Probably known as the best knuckleballer to ever play in the mlb. This card shows Phil in the middle of his windup. It actually looks like he is smiling as he pitches. The smaller headshot shows Phil Niekro with a serious look like most of the players did for their headshot. Phil Niekro would end up getting 318 wins for his career and making the all-star game five times.


While many people believe that cards from the 80’s are worthless, this set contains some really great rookie cards, and therefore will always be considered the top baseball card set from the 80’s. Plus there are some great subsets that include the highly collectable all-star cards.

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