Cheap Wax Wednesday Box Breaks: 1997 Donruss Baseball
1997 Donruss Baseball was split into a regular release featuring 270 case cards, and an update series with 180 cards. The base cards were borderless, and included a silver foil team logo on each card.
Base cards can also be found with two different parallels, Silver and Gold Press Proofs. Silver Press Proofs have 2,000 copies, while the Gold versions were limited to just 500.
Of course, there were also inserts, all of which are serial numbered on the back except for Rated Rookies. No numbered inserts are guaranteed in a box, either. The easiest serial numbered insert to find is Diamond Kings at a moderately tough 1:45 packs.
1997 Donruss Baseball Box Break
Cards per pack: 10
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $40
Pack 1 highlights:
David Cone & Ellis Burks
As you can see right from the get-go, some of these cards were sticking together in the packs. It is unfortunate, but something I have seen my fair share of while opening older products.
Harold Baines, Fernando Valenzuela & David Cone
Ken Caminiti, Troy Percival, Ivan Rodriguez & Jason Thompson Rated Rookies (1:6 packs)
Kevin Brown, Kenny Lofton & Mark Grace
The sweet-swinging Mark Grace played 16 seasons in the big leagues, finishing with a .303 career average.
Mark McGwire CL, Ken Griffey, Jr., Darryl Strawberry, Eddie Murray & Derek Jeter
Ken Caminiti, Brett Butler & Mark Loretta Silver Press Proof /2,000 (1:8 packs)
Jamie Moyer & Vinny Castilla
The soft-tossing Jamie Moyer pitched 25 seasons in the majors, winning 269 games during his lengthy career. He holds the all-time major league record for home runs allowed with 522.
Ozzie Smith, Frank Thomas & Sammy Sosa Long Ball Leaders /5,000
Bobby Bonilla, Chipper Jones & Andres Galarraga
Kenny Lofton & Darin Erstad Rated Rookies (1:6 packs)
Lofton led the majors in steals for five straight seasons from 1992-1996, stealing 325 bases during that time. He also won the Gold Glove Award the last four seasons of that stretch.
Randy Johnson & Greg Vaughn
Eric Davis, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Joe Carter & Jeff Bagwell
Fred McGriff, Fernando Valenzuela, Jason Giambi & Manny Ramirez
There were a lot of home runs in this pack. These four combined to hit 1,498 home runs. Valenzuela was the low man, though he did hit 10 long balls over the course of his career.
Juan Gonzalez, Manny Ramirez & Ivan Rodriguez
Fred McGriff, Chipper Jones & Cal Ripken, Jr. Diamond Kings /10,000 (1:45 packs)
Hideo Nomo, John Smoltz & Mike Piazza
Smoltz was pitching for the Braves in 1995, the last time they won the World Series. He did not fare well in the 1995 series, though, starting one game and lasting just 2 1/3 innings and allowing four runs.
Moises Alou & Will Clark
Harold Baines, Ivan Rodriguez & Marcus Jensen Silver Press Proof /2,000 (1:8 packs)
A quartet of Hall of Famers; Cal Ripken, Jr., Barry Larkin, Mariano Rivera & Andre Dawson
Dawson had hung up his spikes by the time this set was released. He finished his Hall of Fame career with the Marlins, playing in 121 games combined during the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
Craig Biggio & Jose Mesa
Reggie Sanders, Tino Martinez & Omar Vizquel
Pedro Martinez, Dante Bichette & Wally Joyner
I own a full 9-pocket page of this Pedro Martinez card.
Omar Vizquel, Jason Isringhausen, Tony Gwynn & Steve “Rock Of” Gibralter Rated Rookies (1:6 packs)
Cecil Fielder, Mike Hampton, Joe Carter & Moises Alou
Barry Bonds, Andy Pettitte, Albert Belle & Barry Larkin
From 1991 until the end of Belle’s career in 2000, his average season saw him hit .298 with 37 home runs and 120 RBI.
Paul Molitor CL & Tim Wakefield Silver Press Proof /2,000 (1:8 packs)
Jermaine Dye, Jason Giambi & Tim Wakefield
Gary Sheffield, Tony Gwynn, Kevin Brown, Carlos Baerga & Jim Thome
Sheffield made the major leagues in 1988 as a shortstop. He would continue playing the infield through the 1993 season, before moving to the outfield. He did have a cannon out there, recording 17 outfield assists during the 2001 season.
Mo Vaughn, Frank Thomas & Bret Boone
Luis Gonzalez & Chan Ho Park
Barry Bonds CL, Mo Vaughn, Mark McGwire & Ugueth Urbina Rated Rookies (1:6 packs)
Urbina recorded a dominant 1998 season, pitching in 64 games and sporting a 1.30 ERA.
Paul Molitor CL, Andy Pettitte & Dwight Gooden
Kenny Lofton & Eddie Murray CL
Bernie Williams, Tim Salmon, Johnny Damon & B.J. Surhoff Silver Press Proof /2,000 (1:8 packs)
Surhoff put together a very solid 19-year major league career. He recorded 2,326 hits while playing all over the diamond. Aside from pitcher, Surhoff appeared at every position during his career.
Tim Salmon, Johnny Damon & Eric Young
Alan Trammell, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr. & Vladimir Guerrero Rated Rookies (1:6 packs)
Lastly, the Clemens card back. Now this is a card back. Another player photo and a boatload of stats? Yes, please.
Donruss products always make for a fun break. No, I didn’t pull an Elite insert but I love the look of the Diamond Kings. Those aren’t easy pulls, either. I know I have featured some Donruss breaks in the past, but I need to track down the rest of the ’90s run for the line that I haven’t.
This wraps up baseball breaks for the season. Next week we will switch over to football products.
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Want more installments of Shane Salmonson’s Cheap Wax Wednesday? Check out his other breaks in the archives.