Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Imaginary Years of Donruss

I always dug the Donruss cards as a kid.  Definitely different from Topps and I always tried to pick up some of the set every summer.  I even went for those blue plaid ones in 1988.  The Donruss run came to an end at some point during the spring of 1998.  There were still some 1998 Donruss products, but the company disappeared for a few years in the late 1990s and early 2000s until Playoff picked up the name in 2001.

One of the gimmicks of the 2001 Donruss product was that Playoff magically created sets for 2000 and 1999 which were inserted into packs.  The Imaginary Years of Donruss even included some of their usual parallels that went into their current year's base set.  Back in 2001 I picked up a box of Donruss, opened it, but that's about as far as it went.

I know that I do not have a complete set of the cards and I have never really made an attempt to add any of these cards to my collection.  However, recently a copy of a serial numbered Ray Lankford card from the Imaginary 1999 Donruss set popped up on Ebay and a friend alerted me to its presence.  I actually had thought about taking a pass on the card and it sat on my watch list for awhile.

Well, I finally pulled the trigger and am know the owner of a Ray Lankford card from the 1999 Donruss set.  That Donruss set that was never really a set.

A look at the front of the card.  This is a StatLine card for his 1998 season.  If you aren't fimiliar with the old Donruss sets, the company picked a stat from either the players career, or the previous season, and then made a parallel numbered to that stat.  They were slightly maddening for player collectors.  Like those of us who collect Ray Lankford cards.  

Here is the back of the card with the serial numbering to Lankford's 1998 hit total.  I think I might have a few Fleer cards similiar to this card, numbered to a statistic, but not any Donruss.  2000 and 2001 were sort of the beginning of these types of parallels, but this was also the end of Lankford's first run as a Cardinal.  He came back to the Cardinals in 2004 for the team's National League Championship team, but nobody made a card of him that season.  

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