I’m going to start off my 25-year countdown with 1986 Topps. The wax packs are still cheap and easy to find, unlike the 1985 Topps set that features Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, and Kirby Puckett rookie cards.
“The 1986 Topps set totals 792 cards and was issued in wax, cello and rack packs or factory sets. Subsets include Pete Rose Tribute, Record Breakers, Turn Back The Clock, All-Stars, Team Leaders, Checklists, and Manager cards. Player cards had a picture in the middle, the upper 1/4 of the background was black (with the rest being white), the team name appeared across the top, the player name appeared across the bottom, and the player’s position appeared in a small circle in the corner of the picture. Size: 2-1/2 X 3-1/2 in.”
Key cards in the 1986 Topps set include #1 Pete Rose, #100 Nolan Ryan, and #661 Roger Clemens. Other notable cards include #180 Don Mattingly, #200 Mike Schmidt, #254 Ozzie Guillen rookie card, #300 George Brett, #329 Kirby Puckett, #340 Cal Ripken, and the #386 Cecil Fielder rookie card.
According to Beckett book value, the complete set is going for $10-$25. The most valuable card in the set is #661 Roger Clemens, currently worth up to $4.