Starting Lineup Collection – Baseball

Last week I posted the Football collection. There wasn’t too much to the collection as I was primarily collecting baseball back in the late ‘80’s. Today’s post focuses on my baseball collection. I purchased all of these off the shelf from either Toys R Us or K*B Toys. I remember getting my drivers license around that time and taking drives to the toy stores on the weekends searching for the hot players.

1988 (23 figures): This was the first year of Starting Lineup so I was buying anyone I could find. From hot rookies (Barry Bonds, Will Clark, Wally Joyner) to seasoned veterans (Mattingly, Boggs, Gwynn, Puckett, Schmidt, Brett) to my favorite team the Yankees (Winfield, Randolph). And I didn’t dare open the package. Even back then we knew if they were to keep any value, they would need to be in the original packaging. The figures were very simple and they used the same 5 or 6 poses throughout the run. You can see from the below, they were posed exactly the same. Only difference was the uniform and face (not too realistic looking). I arranged them by pose below so you can see what I am referring to.

1989 – 2nd year (10 figures): As you can see, I didn’t buy that many of the 2nd year run. I stuck with the local team (Mattingly, Leiter, Jefferies, Cone) and the Bash Brothers (Canseco and McGwire). I was also able to find my 1st dual package (Mattingly and Boggs). And they produced Baseball Classics. Had to pick up the Yankees Ruth/Gehrig and Mantle/DiMaggio.

1994 – 1999 – (8 figures): By the time we get to 1994, I have already stopped collecting for a few years. Plus, I had no more room in the closet to store any more figures (they take up way too much room). But when a few of the top players were available, I picked them up. Below is a 1998 and 1999 Derek Jeter and a 19998 dual Rodriguez and Griffey. Also added a Chipper Jones 12 inch figure.

I have been storing the figures for the past 30+ years and they have been through several moves. They have been searched / looked through by my son every so often. The package on the majority of them have stayed in great shape. A few have some bending/curving on the cardboard and on 1 or 2 the plastic package seemed to have turned yellow. But they all still have their cards. Not bad for 30+ years.

How many Starting Lineups do you have in your collection? Are they still in the original package? Are you passing them down to the next generation?

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