Despite a playing career cut short and otherwise dampened by a devastating hip injury suffered on the gridiron, few baseball players from the 1980s loom as large in the imaginations and memories of fans today as Bo Jackson.

The man was a phenom the likes we had never seen before, or since, a player who could do anything on the diamond.

And a man whom most of us believed would someday do just about everything on the diamond.

Little wonder, then, that Topps sought to recapture some of that “Bo Knows” magic when putting together their 2022 baseball card checklist:

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That Bo throwback is part of the 100-card Series 1 insert set dubbed the “1987 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary” set, which, of course, celebrates the iconic wood-grained set that has caused more Twitter playground fights among veteran hobbyists than the next ten Junk Wax designs combined.

Do you love the woodies? Or do you hate them?

Doesn’t really matter, because enough folks love them to keep them in the hobby limelight, and enough hate them to elicit visceral reactions whenever those cardboard splinters appear online.

Throw Bo into the mix, and the balance moves decidedly toward the “love” side of the equation, and Topps leans into that on Jackson’s 2022 card back by giving us some updates:

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Now we know part of what Bo has been up to since he retired.

And we know what Mark Buehrle was up to 15 years after Bo hung up his spikes.

Vital info right there, I tell you.

Also vital is the way Bo ties this insert set together.

Because, most of the players on the checklist are current players. And, since the median age of MLB players generally falls between 28 and 30 in a given season, most of these guys weren’t even born when the original ‘87s were issued.

Wretched whippersnappers.

But Bo was there.

And so was Don Mattingly … and Greg Maddux (though in the wrong uniform) … and Ryne Sandberg … and a handful of others who made the cut in this insert run.

Ken Griffey, Jr., and Randy Johnson were not in the original woodies, but they were at least alive back then, and adult(ish) baseball players, to boot.

They’re here, too.

But Bo, man…

Bo Jackson gives us the opportunity to make a direct comparison and decide for ourselves — Which is better … old or new?

Here, take a gander and decide for yourself:

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So what do you think?

To these bloodshot, myopic, skeptical eyes that now swim with stuff they can’t unsee, it’s a landslide.

I’ll let you guess whether the land slides left or right for me, but I’d love to hear your take, too.

Really, though, both of these cards look pretty cool, don’t you think?

After all …

Newer isn’t always better.

And older isn’t always better.

But, when it comes to baseball cards of any ilk, Bo Jackson is always among the best there is.

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(You might also like our complete rundown of Bo Jackson rookie cards.)

Bo Jackson cards continue to make waves in the hobby, including his very latest entries … the 2022 models. Check out the top-selling Bo cards on eBay during February 2022 in our YouTube video:

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