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Sunday, January 8, 2012

1988 Donruss: Worst Set Ever

After a streak of 4 consecutive sets running from 1984-87, Donruss laid on egg big time with its disastrous 1988 baseball card set.  First of all, the design sucked.  Blue and boring and tacky, these cards just didn't LOOK as good as the last few Donruss issues had.  The rookie card selection was not the best...for years collectors chased the Mark Grace RC to some degree, but when it became obvious he would never hit with power and never make the Hall of Fame, interest in his Donruss rookie card decreased.  There are rookie cards of good players such as Ron Gant and Matt Williams and Ken Caminiti but none of those guys will make the Hall of Fame.  The two "jewels" of the set are the Tom Glavine and Roberto Alomar rookie cards.  Even those cards have low values of a buck or two even in prime condition because of the biggest problem that plagued this set....OVERPRODUCTION.  As a Youtube reviewer I saw said about this set: "There is probably a printing press somewhere still churning these out they are so overproduced".  This was the first of many overproduced and awful sets from Donruss, however the following year at least had the Ken Griffey RC which maintained a fair amount of interest for a number of years.  On a sacle from 1 to 10, I give this set a "1".


  1. Hey just found your blog. Welcome to the community, you'll get used to the smell.

    I agree with you somewhat about this set, but worst ever might be a bit of an overstatement. I was at my childhood collecting height in 1988 (I was 12) and the Donruss set was highly sought after due to the Gregg Jeffries rookie that was "short printed." Yes there are still a blue million of those short prints, but for us at the time it was still great.

    I think 1990 Donruss (and Fleer for that matter) were much worse as far as sets and 90 Donruss still had its moments with the Olerud rookie. It's all a matter of perspective because to me 1981 Donruss was a horrible excuse for a set, but I never collected back then so I have no attachment to it.

    1. The 1990 Donruss was indeed a complete disaster of a set. Half the people in that set didn't seem to have careers lasting longer than a month at the major league level. What has always vexed me about the '88 Donruss was that it promised so much at the time that it failed to deliver. Production of Donruss had been low for years leading up to that so a lot of us felt ripped off when we bought cards early in that year from a company that had become noted for its low production only to have them print like 20 billion of each card, 10 billion for the short prints. And the rookie card selection seemed good at the time - who knew that Jeffries, Ron Gant, and Mark Grace would fall so short of the HOF? By 1990, my expectations for Donruss were more in line with the garbage they were producing. What a horrid set though and the 1991 Donruss set, both series, are complete junk as well with Series 1 cards looking like they were recycled from some of the tens of millions of 1988 Donruss nobody wanted. Thanks very much for your great comment!