Saturday, May 26, 2001

Test Post: 2001 Donruss

The Subject:
One box of 2001 Donruss (Paid $48)
24 packs per box, five cards plus one "retro-active 1999" card, per pack (MSRP $1.99)

Base Set

Number % of set
Singles 113 of 220 51.37%
Doubles 3

Broken Down by Short-Print Scheme

Name Ratio Production Number % of set Significant Players
short set 5:1 ??? 111 of 150 74.00%
Rated Rookies ??? 2001 1 of 50 2.00% A. Pettyjohn
Fan Club 1:24 ??? 1 of 20 5.00% Sosa


Name Set Size Ratio Production Number Significant Players
Career Stat Line 220 ??? varies 1 L. Walker /271

Season Stat Line 220 ??? varies NONE

Inserts *

Name Set Size Ratio Production Number Significant Players
BGS Graded ??? one-per-box ??? 1 1989 Griffey, Jr. "BGS 7"
"1999" Retro-Active 80 one-per-pack ??? 22
"1999" Retro-Active Rated Rookies 20 ??? 1999 1 A. Soriano
"1999" Retro-Active Career Stat Line 100 ??? varies 1 R. Furcal
"1999" Retro-Active Season Stat Line 100 ??? varies NONE
Elite Series 20 ??? 2500 NONE
Elite Dominators 20 ??? 25 NONE
Longball Leaders 20 ??? 1000 NONE
Longball Leaders Seasonal Sum 20 ??? varies NONE
Production Line 60 ??? varies 1 C. Delgado /664
Production Line Die-Cut 60 ??? varies NONE
Rookie Reprint 40 ??? varies 1 B. Bonds /1987
Rookie Reprint parallel 40 ??? varies NONE
Diamond Kings 20 ??? 2500 NONE
Diamond Kings Studio Series 20 ??? 250 NONE
All-Time Diamond Kings 10 ??? 2500 NONE
All-Time Diamond Kings Studio Series 10 ??? 250 NONE
Diamond King Reprints 10 ??? varies NONE
Diamond King Reprints parallel 10 ??? varies NONE
"1999" Diamond Kings 5 ??? 2500 NONE
"1999" Diamond Kings Studio Series 5 ??? 250 NONE
The Rookies Coupon 1 1:72 ??? NONE
Baseball's Best Coupon 1 1:720 ??? NONE

Autographs/Game Used

Name Set Size Ratio Production Number Significant Players
Autographed Diamond Kings Reprint parallel 10 ??? varies 1 R. Yount (redemption)
Autographed Rookie Reprint parallel ??? ??? varies NONE
Autographed Diamond Kings ??? ??? 50 NONE
Autographed All-Time Diamond Kings 10 ??? 50 NONE
Jersey Kings 10 ??? ??? NONE
Jersey Kings Studio Series 10 ??? 50 NONE
Bat Kings 10 ??? ??? NONE
Bat Kings Studio Series 10 ??? 50 NONE

*The odds of finding an insert are 1:6/packs

The Bottom Line:

First off, given some of the dogs ('88 Ellis Burks "7s", '91 The Rookies Darryl Kyle "7.5s", etc.) that some people have been pulling, I guess I should feel lucky that my BGS graded card was an '89 Griffey, Jr. rookie. It was graded Near Mint "7," however, upon careful inspection of the card, I can not possibly see how this card could have received anything less than an "8." Yes, the centering was way off (30/70 L/R), but I couldn't see anything on the corners, even under a magnifying glass, that could justify a sub-grade of "7."

Now, onto the base set. By now, just about everyone knows how I feel about gimmicked "rookies," so I won't bore you with another one of my long tirades. But I will say that if Playoff really wants to be taken seriously among baseball collectors, they need to start doing some serious marketing research. Gimmicked "rookies" have their place, but they don't have to be in EVERY FRICKING PRODUCT! Especially $1.99/pack base brands. Especially $1.99/pack base brands with twenty-year Pedigrees (like Donruss). Oh well, unlike many of the other players in the "Rated Rookies" subset, at least Adam Pettyjohn is a real rookie. One down, forty-nine to go!

You would think that with all the inserts, autographs and game-used cards, I would have at least pulled more than three. Don't get me wrong, the three that I did pull were pretty nice looking. However, it was one less than I was promised. As for the "Retro-Active" cards, the "pack-in-a-pack" gimmick is one of the silliest things I think I have ever seen in all my years in The Hobby. Not as bad as the "card-in-a-card" Pinnacle gave us a few years ago, but right up there. I did pull a "1999" Alfonso Soriano Rated Rookie out of one of these packs, but I doubt that anyone with half a brain will accept this as a "legitimate" rookie card.

As for the collation, three doubles out of a box this small and getting gypped out of an insert won't exactly crank up the Gumstick ratings.

Hopefully, with the price of wax resembling that pigeon that got struck by Randy Johnson's fastball and traditional collectors (you know, the kind of folks who actually buy and collect base brand products) avoiding this product like Black Death, the weak secondary-market performance of 2001 Donruss will send a strong signal to Playoff. Maybe, just maybe, next year they can produce a set worthy of the "Donruss" name.

Box Rating: 2 1/2 Gumsticks out of 5.
Product Rating: DUD (Zero Gumsticks)

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