Tag Archives: 1991

Preview – 1991 Score

Beckett Set Notes (verbatim from Beckett set page)

The 1991 Score set contains 893 standard-size cards issued in two separate series of 441 and 452 cards each. This set marks the fourth consecutive year that Score issued a major set but the first time Score issued the set in two series. Cards were distributed in plastic-wrap packs, blister packs and factory sets. The card fronts feature one of four different solid color borders (black, blue, teal and white) framing the full-color photo of the cards. Subsets include Rookie Prospects (331-379), First Draft Picks (380-391, 671-682), AL All-Stars (392-401), Master Blasters (402-406, 689-693), K-Men (407-411, 684-688), Rifleman (412-416, 694-698), NL All-Stars (661-670), No-Hitters (699-707), Franchise (849-874), Award Winners (875-881) and Dream Team (882-893). An American Flag card (737) was issued to honor the American soldiers involved in Desert Storm. Rookie Cards in the set include Carl Everett, Jeff Conine, Chipper Jones, Mike Mussina and Rondell White. There are a number of pitchers whose card backs show Innings Pitched totals which do not equal the added year-by-year total; the following card numbers were affected, 4, 24, 29, 30, 51, 81, 109, 111, 118, 141, 150, 156, 177, 204, 218, 232, 235, 255, 287, 289, 311, and 328.”

Box Contents

36 packs with 16 cards + 1 Magic Motion trivial card each


$13.00 both boxes (four-box lot on eBay for a $10.50 bid + $15.50 s/h)


Junk wax glory – 1991 Score.  Here are both the Series 1 box and a poly pack.  Green is the color for Series 1.

Here are the Series 2 box and pack in a lovely purple-pink.

Insert List (taken from Beckett)

Mantle cards – 7 cards – 1:??
Mantle Autographs – 7 cards – 1:??


I collect serial-numbered autographed and relic inserts from the 90s, and 1991 Score is ground zero for these cards.  (Some might say that 1990 Upper Deck is where it all started, but I don’t collect the early Upper Deck cards for reasons I’ll cover sometime later.)  The fun begins in Series 2.  Series 1 is just another innocent junk product.  Series 2 is where the inserts can be found.


By the numbers: 1991 Donruss

Products from the late 80s and early 90s are called junk wax for a reason.  They were produced in ridiculous, almost inconceivable amounts.  Exactly how much was produced of any given set is hard to calculate.  To determine a print run requires one of two things.  One, an estimate from the manufacturer.  Or, two, both a serial-numbered card and an insertion rate.  Most products from the junk wax era have neither.  An exception is 1991 Donruss.

In 1991 the Donruss flagship set included the Elite set.  A total of 8 cards were included in the basic Elite set, and each was numbered to 10,000.  Two other Elite cards, the Signature and Legend single-card sets, totaled 12,500 cards.  That is a grand total of 92,500 cards in the full press run of the 1991 Elite insert set.

What was the insertion rate of the Elite cards in 1991 Donruss?  Well, nobody knows for sure.  The figure has been estimated by the folks over at BaseballCardPedia at around 1 Elite card per 75 boxes.  With 36 packs per box, the overall odds of finding an Elite card in a pack of 1991 Donruss is 1:2,700.  Wow.  Those are long odds.  What does that mean for the total production of Donruss?

1991 Donruss
Total boxes: 6,937,500 (92,500 Elite cards * 75 boxes / 1 Elite card)
Total packs: 249,750,000 (36 packs / 1 box)
Total cards: 3,746,250,000 (15 cards / 1 pack)

That is nearly 4 billion cards.  What can you do if you place 4 billion cards end-to-end?  Lots, because 4 billion 3.5-inch cards cover a total distance of over 220,000 miles.  That distance would allow one to…

  • travel between New York and San Francisco over 80 times (2,600 miles).
  • circle the Earth at the equator almost 9 times (25,000 miles).
  • almost reach the Moon (240,000 miles).

Let’s go with another measure – surface area.  Each card measures 2.5″ x 3.5″.  With those dimensions, 4 billion cards would cover an area of 27 million square yards.  That area would cover…

  • a football field over 4,200 times (160′ x 360′).
  • Central Park in New York City nearly 7 times (843 acres).
  • Key West over 1.5 times (3,370 acres).

The 1991 issue of Donruss had a crazy production run.  That’s why you can pick up a box of this stuff for $10 or less without trying on eBay.  Buy two or more boxes, and you can get the price down to $7.50 without searching too hard.  This truly is junk wax.  Don’t be fooled though – buying enough to get an Elite card is no picnic.  Keep in mind that the least expensive Elite cards can be bought for under $10.    They are numbered to 10,000 after all.

Break – 1991 Donruss 2


base cards: 318 of 384 – 82.8% complete (222 doubles, triples, or quadruples)
Bonus Cards insert set: 11 of 12 – 92% complete (3 doubles)
Elite insert set: 0 of 10 – 0% complete

Selected Base cards

405 – Eddie Murray – MVP (front and back)
Eddie looks particularly surly on this card.

429 – Turner Ward – Rated Rookie (front and back)

437 – Ozzie Smith – NL All-Star (front and back)

451 – Cecil Fielder (front and back)
Cecil is listed at 6’3″ and 230 pounds.  No way.

471 – Barry Larkin (front and back)

744 – Dykstra and Murphy (front and back)

763 – Billy Hatcher – World Series (front and back)

Selected insert cards

BC-18 – Bonus Cards – Eddie Murray (front and back)


  • base cards
    A few things are worth noting here.  First, this series 2 box didn’t give nearly as much of a set (82%) as the series 1 box (96%).  Second, the series 1 cards have blue borders but series 2 is green (weird).  Third, just like series 1, series 2 has middle names and nicknames.  I still dig it.  Case in point – Osbourne (Ozzie) Earl Smith.
  • subsets
    There are a few subsets: Award Winners, Rated Rookies, and All-Star (NL only in series 2) cards.  There are some other random subset cards with very stupid themes.  I have shown a card of Dykstra and Murphy (Mr. Dirt and Mr. Clean).  I think this kind of thing is lame.
  • insert cards
    I struck out on Elite Series again (no stunner).  The other insert set consists of Bonus Cards.  Just like the series 1 box, I got 14 inserts.  About 1:2.5 packs seems like a good insertion rate for these cards.


My biggest complaint about series 2 of 1991 Donruss is that the cards are a different color from series 1.  That’s weird.  I can’t imagine many collectors liked this design.  Otherwise, I like the set much more than you might expect from a junk wax product.

Other blogs’ breaks/rips of 1991 Donruss 2

pack rip on Pursuit of Red Sox

pack rip on The Pursuit of 80’s(ness)