Mike Schmidt is the greatest third baseman of all-time and one of the greatest overall players in the history of Major League Baseball. For several years in the 1980s, Mike Schmidt baseball cards were among the hottest in the hobby, too, as Iron Mike racked up three MVP awards and more than 500 career home runs.

But it’s been nearly 30 years now since Schmidt retired, and a lot has happened in that time.

Pete Rose was banned from baseball.

The game almost imploded due to the players’ strike in 1994 and 1995.

Home run records fell like Seattle rain during the so-called Steroid Era as bashers like Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and — ahem — Brady Anderson rewrote the record books.

The hobby boomed and busted.

Along the way, Schmidt fell out of the public spotlight and mostly slid from collectors minds.

But Schmidt is still around, the sage veteran presence for a Philadelphia Phillies franchise that has fallen on hard times.

And his cards are still around, too, testaments to the wonders of the hobby’s glory years.

What follows is a rundown of every regular-issue Mike Schmidt baseball card produced by the major card companies during a storied career.

So sit back and enjoy the pasteboard show of the guy that Bill James once said was not that far off from the conversation for “best player ever.”

1973 Topps (#615)

1973 Topps Mike Schmidt (#615)

1973 Topps Mike Schmidt (#615) backIf you could own only one Mike Schmidt card, this would be the one to target.

Not only is it the rookie card of a top-tier Hall of Famer, but it’s also part of the 1973 Topps high series — the very last time Topps produced before ushering in the modern era with an all-at-once 1974 series.

The Schmidt rookie card is no aesthetic masterpiece, and it relegates Mike to the last third of the real estate, but he does share rookie honors with John Hilton. Ron Cey is there, too, though technically his rookie card comes in the 1972 set.

No matter its shortcomings the 1973 Topps Mike Schmidt rookie card is a must-have for any serious vintage collector, and you usually can pick up a solid copy on ebay for less than $100.

1974 Topps (#283)

1974 Topps Mike Schmidt (#283)

There was a time in the late 1980s and early 1990s when “second-year cards” were all the rage, and they owed their fling with the spotlight largely to Schmidt and other players of his ilk.1974 Topps Mike Schmidt (#283) back

It made some sense.

After all, this 1974 Topps pasteboard was the first to picture Schmidt all by himself, and it is still a very early card of a Hall of Famer.

While this card sold raw for nearly $100 at its peak, you can find solid PSA 7 copies today for well under $50.

1975 Topps (#70)1975 Topps Mike Schmidt (#70) back

1975 Topps Mike Schmidt (#70)

By the time this 1975 Topps card was issued, Schmidt had led the league in home runs for the first time, with 36 in 1974. He was a legitimate power hitter with a bright future ahead of him, so it would have been great to see his big swing on this card.

Instead, collectors got an awkward head shot that didn’t tell them much about the quiet man with the monster bat.

But these 1975 cards were mostly about the design, and few things make a veteran collectors tummy flutter like a stack of these Chiclet-colored beauties. And if that stack has a legend — like Mike Schmidt — nestled inside?

All the better.

1976 Topps (#480)

1976 Topps Mike Schmidt (#480)

1976 Topps Mike Schmidt (#480) back

At first glance, this photo seems even worse than the 1975 Topps version — Mike Schmidt bunting?

On closer examination, I prefer to think that Schmitty has just slammed a bomb and is preparing to discard his bat and round the bases.

This was one of the first pre-1981 cards that I added to my own collection, so it holds a special place in my collector’s heart.


1977 Topps (#140)

1977 Topps Mike Schmidt (#140)

1977 Topps Mike Schmidt (#140) backCompared to the sets around it, 1977 Topps featured a pretty crisp card design, and this spring shot of Iron Mike adds to the fresh feel.

Solid card of a legend still ramping up.




1978 Topps (#360)

1978 Topps Mike Schmidt (#360)1978 Topps Mike Schmidt (#360) back

The 1978 Topps set features a minimalist design that is somewhat reminiscent of the classic 1957 Topps set.

Too bad Topps chose to use all that photo real estate for so many boring head shots like this sixth-year Schmidt card.

Even with no “action,” though, this is a solid offering


1979 Topps (#610)

1979 Topps Mike Schmidt (#610)

1979 Topps Mike Schmidt (#610) back

Was Schmidt ever happy on a baseball card early in his career?

He doesn’t look too thrilled here on his 1979 Topps cards, for sure, but the color scheme works well and the overall design is clean.




1980 Topps (#270)

1980 Topps Mike Schmidt (#270)

Schmidt’s Topps offering got a little snazzier just in time for his first MVP campaign.

1980 Topps Mike Schmidt (#270) backHe was already 30 years old by the time this card came out, but his superb conditioning and key role on the contending Phils would keep him in his prime for several more years.

The batting-practice pose shows Schmidt’s intensity even in game prep and is nicely framed by the banner-laden 1980 Topps design and the “N.L. ALL-STAR” designation.

1981 Donruss (#11)1981 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#11) back

1981 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#11)

Schmidt didn’t break into a smile for his first non-Topps cards, but collectors were happy to see both Donruss and Fleer join The Old Gum Company on store shelves in 1981.

Donruss card stock was thin as tissue paper, but this is a decent looking glamour shot of Iron Mike.

1981 Fleer (#5)

1981 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#5)

1981 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#5) backThe overall quality of the 1981 Fleer set was a smidge better than its Donruss counterpart, but it looks like they used the same photographer, on the same day.

Same warm-up suit.

Same hair.

Same “I’ll-mess-you-up” expression.


 1981 Topps (#540)1981 Topps Mike Schmidt (#540) back

1981 Topps Mike Schmidt (#540)

This is the first Schmidt card I remember pulling from a pack, and it still stokes the collector’s fire in me every time I see it.

One of the few cards to feature Mike live in the field,  this 1981 Topps beauty makes you believe he could stop a train with his glove and grit.




1982 Donruss (#294)

1982 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#294)

The 1982 Donruss set  featured crisper photos and thicker card stock the the 1981 set, but S1982 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#294) backSchmidt looks about the same.

Same warm-up suit.

Same hair.

Same scowl.


1982 Fleer (#258)1982 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#258) back

1982 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#258)

Is that a smile on Mike Schmidt’s 1982 Fleer card?

He must have just won an award or something.




1982 Topps (#100)

1982 Topps Mike Schmidt (#100) back

1982 Topps Mike Schmidt (#100)


While not quite as toothy as his Fleer offering, the 1982 Topps Schmidt card came about as close to showing a smile as any Topps Schmitty pasteboard before it.




1983 Donruss (#168)1983 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#168) back

1983 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#168)


Strong follow-through from Mike on his 1983 Donruss card, with a design nearly identical to the 1982 set.





1983 Fleer (#173)

1983 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#173)

1983 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#173) back

Schmidt must have really mellowed as the 1980s wore on because you can almost see an upturned corner of the mouth as he talks to an unidentified Montreal Expo on this 1983 Fleer card.

Who is that masked man?

Looks like either Tim Raines or Al Oliver, both of whom were on the 1982 NL All-Star roster.


1983 Topps (#300)1983 Topps Mike Schmidt (#300) back

1983 Topps Mike Schmidt (#300)


Schmidt looks off-balance on his 1983 Topps card, but the power in his follow-through and the stunning card design make this one a winner all the way around.




1984 Donruss (#183)

1984 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#183)

1984 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#183) back

The 1984 Donruss set established a new standard for card design and (perceived) scarcity.

It’s a classic issue that never goes out of style, and Donruss even managed to get Schmidt in a fielding shot.

Good on you, pre-Panini.



1984 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#48) back 1984 Fleer (#48)

1984 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#48)

Maybe it’s because the company was based in his adopted hometown of Philadelphia, but Schmidt seemed to love Fleer’s camera.

How else to explain all the smiles and near-smiles, as on this solid 1984 Fleer offering?


1984 Topps (#700)

1984 Topps Mike Schmidt (#700)

This is the first card I ever paid a premium for while I could still (or soon) pull it from a pack.

This beauty cost me 40 cents in March of 1984, purchased from a favorite dealer who used to set up at a local (Indianapolis) flea market.

Not a perfect card by any means, but not bad either.

And priceless in terms of nostalgia.

1985 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#61) back 1985 Donruss (#61)

1985 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#61)

Donruss got in on the Smiling Schmidt craze with its 1985 offering.

Pretty sure Mike could have swung all three of those bats at once and slammed a dinger with each one.




1985 Fleer (#265)

1985 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#265)

1985 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#265) back

This 1985 Fleer card broke the string of Schmidt head shots, but the sacrifice was worth it.

Just look at those colors and that awesome home run follow-through!



1985 Topps (#500)

1985 Topps Mike Schmidt (#500)

1985 Topps Mike Schmidt (#500) backYou may not realize it, but Schmidt could run pretty well in his career.

Even by 1984, when this photo for his 1985 Topps card was snapped, he still had some wheels — though they weren’t as good as he thought.

That season, he stole five bases … and was thrown out seven times.



1986 Donruss (#61)

1986 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#61)

Iron Mike is channeling Ted Kluszewski on this 1986 Donruss card.1986 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#61) back

Welcome to the gun show!






1986 Fleer (#450)

1986 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#450)

After several years of smiles and one at-bat action shot, Fleer treated collectors with this unusual pre-game shot of Schmidt in 1986.

Should their be air quotes around “treated”?





1986 Sportflics (#44)1986 Sportflics Mike Schmidt (#44) back

1986 Sportflics Mike Schmidt (#44)

Sportflics had Magic Motion!

Sportflics had 3-D!

Sportflics had clean card backs!

Sportflics had thick card stock!

Sportflics had indecipherable images.



1986 Topps (#200)1986 Topps Mike Schmidt (#200) back

1986 Topps Mike Schmidt (#200)

Ho hum.  Another vicious follow-through on another Topps card during another MVP season for Big Mike Schmidt.




1987 Donruss (#139)

1987 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#139)

1987 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#139) backMike Schmidt was 37 years old when this 1987 Donruss card was issued and, though he’d just come off an MVP campaign, his face was showing his age.

Iron Mike would get lost in the shuffle of young sluggers in 1987 and would finish 14th in MVP voting even though he had a better year than many of those ahead of him.


1987 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#187) back


1987 Fleer (#187)

1987 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#187)

Schmitty in a sunny ballpark watching the flight of a home run (?) ball.

Pretty heady stuff.





1987 Sportflics (#30)

1987 Sportflics Mike Schmidt (#30)

1987 Sportflics Mike Schmidt (#30) back

The 1987 Sportflics set featured all of the same goodies as the 1986 inaugural set, but they added a color photo to card backs.

Doesn’t sound like much now, maybe, but it was awesome at the time.




1987 Topps (#430)

1987 Topps Mike Schmidt (#430)

1987 Topps Mike Schmidt (#430) back

The 1987 Topps set is a love-it-or-hate-it type of proposition.

Personally, I love it … one of my favorite sets of all-time.

Here, Schmidt looks on, apparently trying to decide how far he should hit the next pitch.




1988 Donruss (#330)

1988 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#330)

1988 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#330) back

Did a ball just fly through the zone so fast the Mike Schmidt can’t figure out what happened?

Is he watching a bug crawl across the infield grass toward him?

Or is this a Starting Lineup Schmidt figurine?

Those are the mysteries of the 1988 Donruss Mike Schmidt card.



1988 Fleer (#315)

1988 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#315)

1988 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#315) back

I always thought of 1988 Fleer as the Little Debbie set because the design reminds me of an icing-laden snack cake.

Photos are crowded out by busy border elements, but this image of Schmidt is pretty solid action shot nonetheless.




 1988 Score (#16)

1988 Score Mike Schmidt (#16)

1988 Score Mike Schmidt (#16) back

The 1988 Score set pushed the limits for baseball card technology at the time and had collectors excited by its quality white card stock, solid photography, and comprehensive card backs — complete with another, fairly large color photo.

The Schmidt card features the HOFer on his toes at third base, ready for whatever might come his way.



1988 Sportflics Mike Schmidt (#35) back1988 Sportflics (#35)

1988 Sportflics Mike Schmidt (#35)

Sportflics was back in 1988 with a heavier card design and an even larger photo on the obverse.

I still have no idea what Schmitty is up to on the card front, though.





1988 Topps (#600)

1988 Topps Mike Schmidt (#600)

1988 Topps Mike Schmidt (#600) backSchmidt’s warming up for his second-to-last season on this 1988 Topps card.






1989 Donruss (#193)

1989 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#193)

1989 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#193) back

Schmidt’s last regular Donruss card treats collectors to one final classy follow-through.






1989 Fleer (#582)

1989 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#582)

1989 Fleer Mike Schmidt (#582) back

Schmidt checks his swing and his career aspirations on this 1989 Fleer card.







1989 Score (#149)1989 Score Mike Schmidt (#149) back

1989 Score Mike Schmidt (#149)

Of all the regular-issue cards of Mike Schmidt over his storied career, it took until 1989 for a card company to capture him in the midst of his powerful swing.

Thanks, 1989 Score!




1989 Sportflics (#21)

1989 Sportflics Mike Schmidt (#21)

1989 Sportflics Mike Schmidt (#21) back

By this point, Sportflics was all about the back-of-card photo.





1989 Topps (#100)

1989 Topps Mike Schmidt (#100)


1989 Topps Mike Schmidt (#100) back

Mike Schmidt, running for first one last time on his 1989 Topps card.






1989 Upper Deck (#406)1989 Upper Deck Mike Schmidt (#406) back

1989 Upper Deck Mike Schmidt (#406)

Uppper Deck changed almost everything about the hobby in 1989, and they were lucky enough to get in one Schmidt card before the legend hung up his spikes.

I would have been OK if they switched the front and back photos, but it’s a great piece of hobby history no matter how you flip it.

1990 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#643) back1990 Donruss (#643)

1990 Donruss Mike Schmidt (#643)

I’m breaking my own rules by including this 1990 Donruss card here because it’s a tribute card, not really a regular-issue pasteboard.

But back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, companies just didn’t issue cards of non-active players, no matter how great.

Granting Schmidt this capstone offering that shows his entire career stats roll gets Donruss an extra feather in its cap.

1990 Upper Deck (#20)

1990 Upper Deck Mike Schmidt (#20)

1990 Upper Deck Mike Schmidt (#20) back

Like the Donruss card above, this 1990 Upper Deck issue breaks my rules.

But Schmidt’s retirement deserved cardboard commemoration, and this artistic number does the trick.

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