By the spring of 1985, collectors had pretty much all figured out that rookie cards were where it was at in this great hobby of ours.

I mean, if you wanted to find the next big thing and eventually cash in on baseball card riches, you had to get your hands on some RCs, pronto! Luckily, they were everywhere.

That’s because card companies had figured out that we loved rookie cards, and they were eager to fat us on our treats of choice.

We had Topps Olympic cards and #1 Draft Pick cards … we had Fleer Major League Prospects cards … and, of course we had Donruss Rated Rookies.

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But those were just the super-duper special rookie cards, because each company also gave us plenty of plain old normal base-set rookie cards — 1985 Topps Buddy Biancalana … 1985 Fleer Barbaro Garbey … 1985 Donruss Jeff Pendleton.

They were all super interesting because they were rookie cards of guys we didn’t know, and they garnered plenty of attention because they were rookie cards of guys who might someday amount to something in the Big Leagues.

And some of those guys were exciting because they had a bit of Major League track record or promising scouting reports or strong minor league histories under their belts.

One guy who had all those things was the aforementioned Pendleton, who had power and speed potential, and had shown some of both in three years in the Cardinals’ minor league system. And he had also finished seventh in the 1984 National League Rookie of the Year running on the strength of a .324 batting average in 67 games with the Cards.

Yessiree, Jeff Pendleton had a bright future in front of him, and Donruss wanted to make sure they captured the youngster on one of their black-bordered beauties in 1985.

And so they did.

Only problem, of course, was that Jeff was not Jeff at all.

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He was Terry.

Collectors noticed, and so did Donruss, so they issued a corrected version.

The error version seems to be a bit tougher to find, and only eight of them have been graded a perfect PSA 10, which probably helps explain why one of those recently hammered down on eBay for close to grand (affiliate link).

Luckily for all the Pendleton master set collectors out there, you can find lesser grade and raw copies for a whole heck of a lot less.

And, don’t you have to wonder if there is a Jeff Pendleton running around, somewhere, still giggling about how he wiggled his way into the 1985 Donruss set, even if by name only?

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