1991 DONRUSS BASEBALL CARDS VALUES

The 1991 Donruss baseball card set was released at the tail end of the junk wax era, and while it doesn’t contain the same star rookies or iconic cards as sets from the late 1980s, there are still some interesting gems to be found. Let’s take a deeper look at the key cards, chase cards, and top performers from the 1991 Donruss offering.

The 1991 Donruss set contains a total of 792 cards issued in wax packs, along with several special inserts. The base card design features a color photo of the player on a white bordered card with their team logo at the bottom. Unfortunately production was massive during this time period, with widespread overprinting dramatically affecting long term values. Still, for fans and collectors of the early 90s, it captures a specific moment in the sport.

Some of the top rookie cards from 1991 Donruss include Paul Molitor’s final season with Toronto (#420), Dennis Martinez’ final season (#438), and Will Clark’s first season with the Rangers (#433). None of these rookies panned out as true superstars long term. The best prospect from the class, Philadelphia’s Curt Schilling, is found on card #647 but suffered through injuries in his early career.

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Speaking of Philadelphia, darling of the 1991 season was outfielder Pete Incaviglia. His mammoth home runs made him a fan favorite, and his card #367 has attracted strong interest from Phillies collectors. Graded gem mint examples have reached up to $75 in recent years. Another power hitter, Cincinnati’s Billy Hatcher, pops on card #358 thanks to his .325 average that season. Both are indicators that performance on the field can overcome the ill effects of overproduction for certain cards.

Heading into the premium priced territory, there are a handful of Hall of Famers and true icons whose cards still hold value despite the era. Nolan Ryan’sfinal season is captured on card #652, with a PSA 10 sometimes reaching $150-200. Fellow hurlers Tom Seaver (#653), Don Sutton (#660) and Steve Carlton (#662) on their 1990 clubs fetch $25-50 in top grades as well. Looking at position players, Rickey Henderson’s mammoth season splitting time between the A’s and Yankees is honored on card #705, valued around $50-75. And George Brett’s legendary career with Kansas City wraps up on #728, a $30-50 card.

One of the biggest “hits” from the 1991 Donruss set beyond the stars above is the Turn Back The Clock insert set. Featuring 30 current players depicted in throwback uniforms from bygone eras, these parallel the more valuable Topps counterpart from the late 80s. The best of the lot honor Willie Mays as a New York Giant on card #TBC-2, sometimes reaching $150 in a PSA 10. Also highly sought are TBC-8 of Nolan Ryan as an Angel ($80-125 mint), TBC-15 of Dave Winfield as a Padre ($60-90), and TBC-27 of Steve Carlton as an Athletic ($50-75 mint).

Another insert set worth discussing is Donruss Leaders. Highlighting single season statistical leaders, the Mickie Mantle card showing his Triple Crown season of 1956 (#L-14) fetches $40-60 in top grade. Reggie Jackson’s 3 home run game in the 1977 World Series is featured on card #L-27 at $30-50. And Dennis Eckersley’s 1990 AL saves title is honored on #L-30, a $20-35 card. For diehard stat nerds and fans of the featured years, these parallel cards provide a fun collectible twist on the base set.

When considering the sheer production numbers, it might be surprising any 1991 Donruss cards retain much value at all. For dedicated collectors of specific players, teams or periods within the sport, there are still some gems to be unearthed. While none will achieve four figure prices, cherry picking stars, rookies, inserts or especially strong individual player performances can lead to $25-150 returns depending on condition, even after 30 years. With its fun retro designs and snapshots from the early 90s, the 1991 Donruss set remains a beloved piece of the junk wax era for many.

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While 1991 Donruss suffers from the same overproduction issues that plagued the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, dedicated collectors can still find value by targeting top rookie cards, Hall of Famers, inserts highlighting iconic seasons, or cards of players who had breakout years. Examples of Pete Incaviglia, Billy Hatcher, Will Clark, and Curt Schilling’s rookies may attract Phillies, Reds, Rangers and Phillies collectors respectively. Mantle, Jackson, Eckersley and other star performances in the insert sets are also strong considerations. With patience and selectivity, it remains possible to build a fun and semi-valuable collection from the 1991 Donruss offering despite the production magnitude of the junk wax period.

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