Why Are There So Many Errors In 1991 Donruss Baseball?
Like many sets released during the junk wax era, the 1991 Donruss baseball series had its fair share of error cards. While the 1991 Donruss error cards aren’t as popular as their 1990 counterparts, a few are especially notable, commanding excellent value on the market.
This article shall review everything about the 1991 Donruss errors and which card is worth adding to your collection.
The 1991 Donruss set
Donruss’s 1991 baseball card set consisted of 770 cards highlighting rookies, veterans, and players from Major League Baseball. This set was the first time Donruss released a set in two series. Series 1 consisted of 286 base cards and featured blue borders with a red highlight and multi-coloured dots and stripes.
Series two featured 384 cards highlighted on green borders, red backgrounds and similar dots and stripes. It was also the first time Donruss introduced its popular Elite Series, which numbered 10,000 copies.
It also introduced several subsets, which included:
- Diamond Kings (1-27)
- Rated Rookies (28-47/413-432)
- AL All-Stars (48-56)
- MVP’s (387-412)
- NL All-Stars (433-441).
The 1991 Error Cards
Like many produced during the junk wax era, the 1991 Donruss set had its fair share of error cards. This was due to the rushed and careless production practice common during the time. The demand for sports cards was at an all-time high, and competition among the various card manufacturers was intense.
These companies tried to put out as many cards as quickly as possible. Hence, they often overlooked quality control practices, and errors made their way to the final product.
Most experts also believe that some trading card companies manufactured error cards to drive sales. Error cards had proven to be a successful marketing strategy as collectors chased packs to seek out valuable and rare error cards. However, it was more common for an error card to be produced as a mistake.
Error cards in the 1991 Donruss set ranged from misprinted player names, incorrect team logos, wrong stats and many more. While most of them aren’t worth anything today, a few still hold considerable value due to the rarity/nature of the error. Additionally, the 1991 set is essential in the history of baseball card collecting, and collectors look at error cards from the set fondly.
Notable 1991 error cards
A few of the 1991 Donruss error cards stand out from the rest. Here are a few of the most notable from the set.
1991 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr. error card #77
While not particularly expensive, the 1991 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr. error card is highly sought after by collectors. Its low price is due to the nondescript nature of the error and the fact that Donruss did not correct it. It’s a common “no dot after INC” error, and ungraded copies go for about $1 on eBay. Higher grades, such as PSA 10, have been sold for up to $10.
1991 Donruss Jose Uribe #375 Double Error Card
The rarity, type of error, and player depicted make this card (who is also on another famous “error” card), one of this series’s most valuable error cards. There’s an error in his date of birth and the spelling of his last name.
His birth year is listed as 1960, while his actual birth year was 1959. Uribe’s middle name, “Alta”, is also wrongly spelt as “Elta”. This card has been sold up to $2,500, depending on the grade, although there seems to be shill bidding at work. If you are patient you can probably get this card for a couple of bucks.
1991 Donruss Jose Conseco #50
Yet another common error only worth talking about because of the player depicted on the card. The “A’s” in Jose Canseco’s stats line is supposed to be an “AL”.
It was also one of the few error cards in this set to be corrected. Depending on the condition, it goes for anything between $2 to $50.
1991 Donruss Frank Thomas error #477
Here is a breakdown of some of the most notable error cards from the set.
The Frank Thomas error card is also one of this series’s most valuable error cards. This is due to the player depicted rather than the uniqueness of the error, as it’s mundane. This error card sells for anything between $2 (Ungraded) to $50 for a PSA 10. However, it’s worth mentioning that there have been two $200+ sales for this card on eBay over the last few months.
1991 Donruss Nolan Ryan reverse triple error card (Bc-3)
The Nolan Ryan triple error card, is highly sought after by collectors because it has major and minor errors. Cards with single or double errors aren’t worth much. However, his triple error cards can fetch quite impressive figures. The triple error card goes for $5 to $100, depending on its condition.
Other examples of 1991 Donruss error cards from the set
|Roberto Alomar #12||It is missing the trademark symbol on the team’s logo on the reverse side.|
|Ron Gant #10||It is missing the trademark symbol on the team’s logo on the reverse side.|
|Rafael Palmeiro #19||It is missing the trademark symbol on the team’s logo on the reverse side.|
|Pedro Guerrero #25||It is missing the trademark symbol on the team’s logo on the reverse side.|
|Chuck Finley #26||It is missing the trademark symbol on the team’s logo on the reverse side.|
|Ryan Sandberg||Ryan was a Diamond King in 1985, not 1983 stated on the card|
|Jack McDowell #57||Didn’t record his 1990 stats. Was corrected|
|Mike Blowers #63||There’s a typo on the reverse side that says “Collegiate aseball” instead of “baseball.”|
|John Smoltz #75||It lists “Warren, Michigan” as his place of birth rather than “Detroit, Michigan.”|
|Bruce Hurst #83||Wrongly spelt middle name. It is spelt as “Vee” rather than “Lee.”|
|Lance Parrish #135||Wrong place of birth. Clairton rather than McKeesport.|
|Sammy Sosa #147||Wrong date of birth. 11/10 rather than 11/12.|
|Steve Sax #163||Missing an asterisk that shows he was a League Leader on the stats area|
|Tony Phillips #286||Wrong date of birth. April 15th rather than April 25th|
|Corey Snyder #288||It contains a double word typo on the reverse side (…also led led AL of…)|
|Steve Fry #292||He bats right but is depicted batting left.|
|Marquis Grissom #307||Wrongly spelt middle name. “Deon” rather than “Dean.”|
|Colby Ward #330||There is no coma between his city of birth and state of birth.|
|Jeff Reardon #369||Wrong place of birth. He was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, but the card states that he was born in Dolton.|
|Card #386 Checklist||The card comes with both green and blue borders. The Green borders are rarer, although there’s no significant difference in value.|
|Brian Harper #398||Stat box titled “Major League Performance” rather than Career Performance”.|
|Roberto Kelly MVP #400||He is listed as playing two positions. 2nd Baseman is on the front, and Outfield is on the reverse side.|
|Rich De Lucia #426||Wrongly spelt name. Rich Delucia rather than Rich De Lucia|
|Mike Scioscia #436||He has a yellow star beside his name, while every other “all Star” card comes with a white star.|
|Monty Fariss #455||Typo in his name. Farris rather than Fariss|
|Paul Abbott #639||Birthplace and home are reversed on the back of the card|
|Steve Balboni #650||Wrong date of birth, January 5 rather than January 16|
|Matt Williams #685||The last line on the reverse bottom is blank. It was corrected to include the line.|
|Stan Belinda #699||Typo in his place of birth. Huntington instead of Huntingdon|
|Bud Black #719||He is shown wearing a Blue Jay uniform while the card has a Giants logo.|
|Rob Deer #729||The card carries a Tigers’ logo, while Rob was a Milwaukee Brewer|
|Ken Dayley #735||He’s wearing a Cardinal uniform jersey while the card carries a Blue Jay logo. All three of these players were traded late in the season. Hence these are not technically error cards. However, people consider them error cards|
|Dr Dirt and Mr Clean #744||This card has no “Donruss 91” tag like all other cards from this set.|
|Billy Hatcher #763||Line 13 says “…88 World Series, no on had..” instead of “…88 World Series, no one had..”.|
|Andy Hawkins BC12||His position was put on the front of the card Instead of his achievements. The front of the card said “pitcher” when it should’ve been “no hits white Sox”. Was corrected|
|Terry Mulholland BC 14||Reverse side. His teammate’s name on this card is Chris Hayes, but it’s actually Charlie Hayes.|
The value of 1991 Donruss error cards
The majority of the errors in the 1991 Donruss set are common errors. These include things like typos, wrong date of birth or incorrect stats. The underwhelming nature of the 1991 Donruss error cards reflects in their value. An error card’s value is dependent on a few factors. This includes:
- Rarity – Difficult to find cards are generally more valuable than common error cards.
- The uniqueness of the error – Unique errors with an exciting story can drive demand.
The 1991 Donruss error cards fail on both counts. The majority of errors from this set are typos or wrong statistics and Donruss printed millions of these cards.
This has ensured that the value of most error cards from this series is nothing grand. However, a few cards from this set are highly sought after by collectors.
Error cards from famous players and corrected error cards are an example. These cards can fetch you an impressive ROI, especially if they’re in remarkable condition.
Bottomline of 1991 Donruss error cards
While the 1991 Donruss series was met with little enthusiasm when it was released, the set plays an interesting part in how we collect cards to this day.
Additionally, this series has a huge nostalgic factor for today’s collectors. This is because most present collectors grew up collecting this series. Thus, collectors look fondly at cards from this set.
However, as a set produced in the junk wax era, millions and millions of packs were printed, and this supply overload has placed a ceiling on its monetary worth. Notwithstanding, professionally graded error cards of famous players in gen mint condition can sell for fair figures.
So while collecting these cards as an investment isn’t recommended, they’re still an essential part of every collection. If you’re looking for error cards with great monetary value, you can check out our list of most valuable Pokémon error cards.