Monday, April 24, 2017

Back Packs: 2001 Donruss

I consider my "lost years" of collecting to be in the neighborhood of 1997-2011. During that time, I collected barely any, if at all. Right in the middle of that time period around late 2002 through 2003, I started doing a little more collecting, mainly because I was working two jobs (one of which was at a card shop) and had some disposable income for the first time in my life. So despite this Donruss pack being from 2001, I have no knowledge of this product whatsoever. The pack touts this as being the "20th Anniversary" which technically would be correct, even though this was the first Donruss release since 1998. 

This pack isn't exactly a behemoth, clocking in at only five cards and one "2000 Retro-Active Pack" all contained within one foil wrapper. Speaking of the wrapper, it definitely screams "Texas Rangers" with A-Rod being the cover boy, red as the primary background, a blue star smack in the middle, and small silver stars vertically on each side. 

#1 Alex Rodriguez

Each card has a border around it matching the team's primary color. Also, each card is stamped with a "20th Anniversary" stamp. Something I just noticed as well, each card has stars throughout the background and along the white inner border in each team's secondary color. The logo and nameplate at the bottom have a very similar look to 2000 Fleer Impact. As for this particular card, I'm guessing this was one of A-Rod's early Rangers cards as it's just him against a black background.

#10 Jeff Bagwell

2001 was the first season since 1997 where Bagwell's batting average dipped below .300 and he would finish the season with a .288/.397/.568 slash line along with 39 HRs and 130 RBIs and finished seventh in the MVP voting. The card stock its worth noting feels pretty flimsy. Also, this picture seems a bit off, almost like the image of Bagwell following through on his swing was super-imposed on a background with a Cubs catcher.

#49 Adam Piatt

Perhaps the least notable name I pulled out of this pack of five, Adam Piatt only lasted four years as a back-up outfielder in the majors, the majority of which where with Oakland. The most action he saw in a season was 61 games split between Oakland and Tampa Bay. In the 2001 season, he only logged 36 games and put up a .211/.300/.284 slash line.

#204 Chipper Jones FC

At first I though this was some type of insert card but come to find out, it's actually part of the base set. Cards 201-220 are part of the "Fan Club" subset. The design is quite different in that the photo is cropped to fit inside a home plate. The stars in the background are gone, replaced with vertical lines in the primary background and two stripes with the primary color of the player's team on each side. This particular card has a red 20th anniversary stamp on it unlike the normal base cards that have a silver stamp. I'm not really sure that makes much of a difference though.

#111 Chuck Knoblauch

After orchestrating a trade from the Twins to the Yankees in 1998, Knoblauch was on the downhill side of his career come 2001. Primarily a second baseman, he was moved to left field when his defense started to slide and he developed problems throwing the ball to first base. 2001 would be his last year in the Bronx, hitting a meager .250 with 9 HRs and 44 RBIs in 600 plate appearances. 

Here's the aforementioned "retro active" pack. Since this was a retail pack, it contained one card labeled as Donruss 2000. Hobby packs contained cards labeled as 1999 Donruss. Regardless, there's only one card in here so it's tantamount to opening a one card pack from a cereal box. Anyway, here's what's inside ...

#2 Alex Rodriguez

And wouldn't you know it, another card of A-Rod, this time representing the Mariners. The design on this isn't bad and I like the concept of getting cards from the "lost years" but maybe those could have been insert cards instead of a bonus pack. I'd say this was a nice comeback effort from Donruss but it felt kind of generic and heavy on star power (and I don't mean star players). Donruss would hang on for a few more years, putting out one final release in 2005 before MLB limited their licensing options. Panini would eventually acquire the brand in 2009 and it would stay stagnant until a third relaunch under the Panini banner in 2014. 

For 50 cents, this was a fun rip but I wouldn't really pay any more than that for a pack.


  1. LOVE that Chipper card. What will it take to pry that from your hands?

    1. I think I might be able to work something out with you for it, especially considering I have some additional Braves cards that need a good home.

  2. You buy a couple packs of that stuff and you are an Arod super collector.