Thursday, December 13, 2012

30 Year Top 50: 1991 Donruss

#22-Many of the cards featured on my countdown over the past few months have featured card sets with great autographed or relic based inserts.  My set this evening features one of the first and most innovative insert sets, which I credit with the boom of insert cards and sets, during the mid 90s running through current card releases.  Looking back at this set twenty-one years after its release, the idea of a "limited" print run insert set of 10,000 cards, or in the case of the super-short printed Nolan Ryan 7,500, is pretty laughable.  However, this was the first "premium" insert set featured in a baseball card set and was the forerunner of almost every insert set released since.

1991 Donruss John Kruk

A quick glance at the 1991 Donruss set will leave most collectors completely unimpressed.  The card design is clearly a concoction of late 80s or early 90s fame and there are few cards worth seeking out as singles in the base set.  My best plus for the base set cards is that they are fun, inexpensive wax to open.  If you have young collectors in your house these boxes sell for under $10 and can be a great way to share some of the baseball cards of yesteryear.  

1991 Donruss Moises Alou

One of my favorite things about the old Donruss cards was the backgrounds.  I am not entirely sure why, but many of the National League teams' cards were photographed in Busch Stadium II.  Check out this Moises Alou card.  You can clearly see the arches in the back which were located at the top of the stadium.  Always thought that was cool.  They did have a cool odor too.  On to the real business.

1991 Donruss Elite Series Andre Dawson

The 1991 Donruss set was the first appearance of the Donruss Elite Series, or what would late spin off into the Donruss Elite set.  The cards were short-printed at only 10,000 copies of each.  The Nolan Ryan card, as previously mentioned, had a print run of only 7,500.  The cards were extremely popular at the time of their release and have continued to be a popular set of cards to chase down today.  A quick glance at the completed item list on Ebay will show that they can sell for as little as a few dollars for a Matt Williams, to the mid 200s for a graded Ken Griffey Jr. card.  

1991 Donruss Elite Series Barry Bonds 

While this set was released over twenty years ago, I haven't added many of these cards to my collection.  The two cards on my blog tonight are the only pieces of this set that I own.  I really do like them and remember them fondly, but often don't think about seeking them out or asking about them when I am trading.  At this point, collecting the remainder of this set would probably be a job for Ebay.  I will get to work...someday.  

Like the 1991 Donruss Set?  Not in my Top 50 countdown is the....There were two directions I could go here.  I could post about one of the new spin off sets that came out of the 1991 Donruss Elite set.  For example, I always loved the 2002 set.  However, I am going with another Donruss set from the 90s.  The 1990 Donruss set.  

1990 Donruss Diamond Kings Dave Stewart

The 1990 Donruss set was simply awesome.  Even to this day, I love going back through this set and looking at the cards.  There are so many cool players from my childhood and I love the design.  When I open up one of my boxes of cards the red edges of the 1990 Donruss cards immediately stand out.  Just like the 1991 set, the 1990 set has no stand out rookie cards, or cool veteran cards that are must have for your collection.  They are just fun cards to flip through.  

1990 Donruss Todd Zeile

I think that this Todd Zeile card might have been the hot rookie card when this set was first released.  That should tell you all you need to know about the quality of cards and players in the set.  


  1. Oh, heavens.

    I hate both those sets.

    (But I'm not an insert guy).

    1. The red is awesome! (But I'm a Cardinals fan-NC State too)