Wednesday, June 21, 2006

9200 Pujols Rookie Diamond Kings? I don't think so.

At least, 10,000 of these.

So Beckett says that there are 9200 copies of Albert Pujols' 2001 Donruss Rookie Diamond King, and 46,000 copies of his 2001 Donruss The Rookies card. It says so right there on page 33 of the July 2006 issue. And if Beckett says it, it must be true. Right?

Not so fast. I have documented on this site my eternal quest to complete a 2001 Donruss master set and only added the Pujols RDK last month. With all due respect to Beckett, I find it hard to believe that there are 9200 copies of the RDK out there. In fact, let me prove it to you.

Only 1000 of these.
The only way to get a Donruss The Rookies set was through a redemption card that was inserted into packs of '01 Donruss at the rate of 1:72/packs. Each The Rookies factory set came with one of five Rookie Diamond Kings -- Pujols being one.

In addition to The Rookies, Donruss also inserted into packs (at the rate of 1:720), a card good for a Baseball's Best factory set. Baseball's Best was a "Tiffany" style set that featured the complete 220-card Donruss set, the complete 105-card Donruss The Rookies set, as well as all five Rookie Diamond Kings. At the time of the product's release in May 2001, Donruss said that only 1000 Baseball's Best redemption cards were inserted into '01 Donruss packs. Granted, Donruss wound up making more that 1000 Baseball's Best sets, but let's take them at their word that they inserted only 1000 Baseball's Best redemption cards into packs.

Now, if there were only 1000 Baseball's Best cards that were inserted into packs of 2001 Donruss, and they were inserted at the rate of 1:720, and if the insertion ratio for The Rookies card was 1:72, that must mean that Donruss inserted 10,000 The Rookies redemption cards.

1000 X (720/72) = 10,000

This means that Donruss produced a maximum of 10,000 Donruss The Rookies factory sets. 36,000 less than what Beckett says.

But, Donruss would up producing more than 1000 Baseball's Best sets -- they made 1597. Unbeknownst to collector's, Donruss produced three different versions of the Baseball's Best set: 999 "Bronze," 499 "Silver," and 99 "Gold." Now, let's assume that Donruss issued 1597 redemption cards, instead of the 1000 they initially said they would. This would also increase the number of Donruss The Rookies redemption cards, but still not anywhere near the 46,000 level Beckett claims.

1597 X (720/72) = 15,970

So that settles it. There are anywhere between 10,000 and 15,970 Donruss The Rookies factory sets, and 2000 to 3194 Albert Pujols Rookie Diamond Kings (15,970/5 = 3194). BUT... Remember, as we've seen with the Donruss Albert Pujols RC, NOT ALL REDEMPTION CARDS GO FULFILLED! Especially for a set that, unlike the base set Pujols, cost $24.95 for shipping and handling to redeem.

How scarce is the RDK?  I couldn't find a picture of one, so here's the DTR instead.
46,000 The Rookies factory sets and 9200 Pujols RDKs? Sorry Beckett, not buying it. Unless Donruss did with The Rookies what they did with Baseball's Best -- that is, dumping additional factory sets directly to Hobby dealers without the coupon -- the production figures don't add up. On the other hand, 4600 Donruss The Rookies sets and 920 Pujols RDKs, those are figures this collector can accept.

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