Saturday, November 2, 2013

Donruss Elite

I have always been enamored with the Donruss Elite inserts. The were first released in 1991 Donruss and were a very rare pull despite having a very high serial number by today's standards /10,000.  Donruss included these inserts for 8 years. 

I believe I have a couple Rickey Henderson and Barry Bonds Elite cards in my collection but recently picked up 2 Matt Williams Elite inserts.  This first one is from that inaugural 1991 set.  There were only 10 cards in the set. 2 of which are autos of Ryne Sandberg and Nolan Ryan. 

I think this has a pretty nice design, especially by 1991 standards.  The marble border is pretty cool, I like the big shot of Matt in the field with The Elite Series across the top and his name along the bottom.

The back has the serial number printed largely across the top. The bottom corner shows the card number 8 of 8.  There is a nice little write up showing the Giants streak of RBI champs and an explanation that Dick Perez created the marble design.  Personally I could have used a little more Giants hype.

In checking out the values in Beckett, I was surprised a little that Williams books for the lowest amount at $25.  I totally get why Bonds, Brett, Canseco, Dawson and Henderson are higher but a little surprised that Doug Drabek and Cecil Fielder out book Williams.  Another reason why I should pay little to no attention to book value.

The other pick up from the same Sportslot auctioneers is from 1995.

This is a pretty nice design with the die cut borders and shiny silver. This time we see an action batting photo of Williams.  The die cutting almost gets me there but I am still a little more of a fan of the 1991 design.

 The back again displays the serial numbering prominently across the top.  Matt is numbered 53 in this set but this is actually an extension of the prior sets from a numbering perspective.  There were only 12 cards made in 1995 but they kept the numbering going.  Again a nice little write up and this time a second picture of Williams.  These were an easier pull due to a lower production run by Donruss.  You scored one of these inserts in each pack of Series 1 and Series 2 Donruss in 1995.

There is a pretty nice checklist in 1995 and again Williams is alone at the bottom in book value.  The other 11 are: Jeff Bagwell, Paul O'Neill, Greg Maddux, Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds, Kirby Puckett and Fred McGriff.  I might argue that Williams should be on par with O'Neill and maybe McGriff but I wouldn't put up that hard of an argument.

Very happy to add these two "rare" cards to my collection.  If you have any Elite cards, I would love to see a post and/or link to them in your blog.


  1. Nice purchases. Acquiring a 1991 or 1992 Donruss Elite insert is very high up on my want list. They just usually sell for way over what I'm willing to pay for a card #'d to 10,000. But one of these days I'll pull the trigger and buy one.

  2. I have one elite card currently in a box in my dad's basement. I pulled it in a pack from 1993 Upper Deck, Barry Bonds.. hit of the century!

  3. Nice I ended up buying a couple of really cheap boxes of 92 donruss Series 1 and 2 and pulled a Will Clark! That was pretty awesome. Still one of my favorite cards in my non core collection.