(This is the 25th in our series of posts about the best baseball cards from the 1980s. Check out the rest of those posts here.)

It has been well documented that the 1988 Score baseball cards set has no soul. That’s especially disappointing when you consider that the issue was supposed to save the hobby, from being great, I suppose.

Because the hobby was already great.

But 1988 Score was going to …

  • Bring revolutionary, tamper-proof packs — though Topps did that in 1983.
  • Wow us with full-color photos on card backs — though Sportflics did that in 1986.
  • Include Magic Motion technology — though Kellogg’s and Sportflics already did that, in the 1970s and in 1986.
  • Tantalize our senses with borders colored by the rainbow —  though Topps did that in 1975.

It seems there was nothing new under wax, or plastic, as it were. That didn’t stop Score from cranking out 74.12 million of each card, though.

Now, taken on a case-by-case basis, there actually are come nice looking cards in the 1988 Score set, and the photos are generally solid.

Some of the best cards include:

1988 Score Bo Jackson

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But for this series of posts, where I’m picking the best card for each base set in the 1980s, there can really be only one choice …

Card #180, of Bo Jackson.

Awhile back, when I picked the best baseball card from each year, the 1988 Topps Bo Jackson took the Olympic-year gold.

But that card was off-limits for this series because I’d already written about it, so Shawn Hillegas took 1988 Topps honors.

And that leads us back here, where we can make ourselves whole again with the 1988 Score Bo Jackson.

It’s not quite the stunner that the 1988 Topps Bo is, but it’s not far off.

Bo is in his home white Kansas City Royals uniform, his powerful arms fully extended, his soon-to-be-troublesome hips ready to snap into the swing. Bo’s head is down and his eyes are locked on the ball, maybe a curve just dropping into the zone.

Will Bo make contact? Smack a home run? Generate a gale-force whiff?

The next split second would tell us, if we could only unpause the frame. But then … the moment would be gone, and we’d have to rely on our memory to recall it.

As it is, this card will live forever in its bath of Royals blue, on the borders and on Jackson’s uniform.

1988 Score Bo Jackson (back)

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On this card, Bo will always be young and healthy and like no one else we’ve ever seen in Major League spikes.

And he’ll always have the best card from the 1988 Score set, no matter how much hope you still hold for a Gregg Jefferies comeback.

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(This is the 25th in our series of posts about the best baseball cards from the 1980s. Check out the rest of those posts here.)

 

 

 

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