1982 Donruss Baseball Cards Price Guide

The 1982 Donruss baseball card set was the third year for the brand after they entered the baseball card market in 1981. While not considered one of the premiere card sets of the early 1980s, the 1982 Donruss cards are still highly collectible today for both casual collectors and serious vintage baseball card investors. Let’s take an in-depth look at the 1982 Donruss set and provide a price guide for the top rookie cards, star players, and chase cards from the collection.

The 1982 Donruss set contains 204 total baseball cards and is considered the third largest issuance that year behind Topps and Fleer. The design features team action shots for most players on a plain white background. Stat lines are included on the back along with a write up about the player. One of the unique aspects of the 1982 Donruss design is the inclusion of NBC Sports logo since they had broadcast rights that season. Rarity doesn’t play too big of a factor in this set, but there are some short prints and chase cards that command premium prices.


Grading is important when considering values for 1980s-era vintage cards. In near mint to mint condition (Grades NM-MT 8 or higher on the 10 point Sheets scale), common player cards can be purchased for under $10. There are always exceptions when it comes to the star players and rookies. Here’s a breakdown of some key cards and their values across different grades:

Ryne Sandberg RC (Card #48): One of the true icons of the 1980s and a future Hall of Famer. In NM-MT 8 condition, his rookie fetches $150-$200. A pristine MT 10 grade commands $1,000+.

Cal Ripken Jr. (Card #87): Even in his second season, Ripken was recognized as a future star. NM-MT 8 condition is $50-75.

Wade Boggs (Card #89): Consistently one of the top hitters of the decade. NM-MT 8 around $30-40.

Fernando Valenzuela RC (Card #7): The debut of “Fernandomania” in 1981 put him on the map. Even in EX-MT 6 condition, his rookie sells for $125-150 due to popularity.


Ozzie Smith RC (Card #131): Arguably the best defensive shortstop ever. High end NM-MT 8 grade fetches $250-300 for this rookie card.

Goose Gossage (Card #99): One of the premier closers of his era who made the save an art form. Near mint copies sell for $40-50.

Steve Carlton (Card #160): Perennial Cy Young caliber pitcher who won 4 of them. NM-MT 8 grade around $15-20.

Reggie Jackson (Card #111): Even after leaving Yankees, still huge name recognition. NM-MT 8 sells for $25-35.

In addition to stars, there are several short prints and errors that can increase rarity and value significantly. Here are a few:

Edgar Martinez SP (Card #81): Print run may be 1/10 of normal. NM-MT 8 worth $250 due to scarcity.

Darrel Evans Printing Plate: Official printing plate from Donruss numbered to 99. Just a few are known to exist. Value around $1,500 in top condition.


Robin Yount SP (Card #167): May be 1/3 as produced as other cards. NM-MT 8 has sold for $100-125.

Pete Rose Error: Shows as Phillie but was Reds at time. Rare error that has sold for over $2,000.

Gary Matthews SP (Card #113): Only a few hundred produced according to rumors. Near mint over $200.

While not as iconic as flagship issues like Topps or as innovative as Fleer, the 1982 Donruss set remains highly sought after by collectors both old and new. Combining star power from the decade mixed with fun 1980s aesthetic makes it a vibrant but affordable vintage checklist to collect. With patience and care taken to acquire high grades, there is potential for strong long term appreciation especially for rookie cards, stars and errors/variations in this important early Donruss release.

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