Wednesday, January 2, 2013

1990 Donruss #365, Diamond King #4, Best of the AL #1, Learning Series #8

1990 Donruss #365

In my collection: 23 regular, 9 DK, 1 Best of the AL, 1 Learning Series

Griffey looks: back-lit

Is this a good Griffey card?: Yes.  Griffey's face is mildly discernible on it, as is his name and baseball information.  Also, it is a card.

The set: The jump from '89 to '90 was bad for Donruss.  I could sit here all day long and try to explain where this set went wrong, but this is really all you need.

The author refers to this set as "The Red Menace" and "The burden of a generation."  Both are pretty funny.  This is terminology that should be attributed to communism.  Maybe AIDS.  Something bad.

Ah, man.  I forgot the Sammy Sosa rookie.  Well, there's a Sammy Sosa rookie in this set.  Trust me.

Here's some of the All-star cards
The Diamond Kings, all Perez-style.  

Kevin's gold tooth and Tommy Herr's background are the real kings here.

HEY, KIDS!  Look!  A guy in a suit!  Is he doing paperwork?  Maybe sharpening pencils?  What an interesting day he must be having.  I wonder if his mortgage is auto-drafted from his checking account or if he pays it by mail.

Also, the puzzle for '90 Donruss was the Yaz seen above.  I am a few pieces short of finishing my first.

Let's end the '90 Donruss info on a high note.  Here is one of the best cards in this set.  If you don't see why, then you don't like baseball cards.  Mike was on the Phillies, so the red border is actually appropriate.  And check out the back - oh, yeah.  Full career stats.  This thing is kinda awesome.

Now, to the Griffey:

Griffey looks shady because he is back-lit.  I'm thinking they caught him late afternoon after practice.  At least it's an improvement over his '89 Donruss picture from blur-town.

Funny thing, though: the card above is not the same card as the one at the top of this post.  Look again:

See that?  Let me show you what I'm talking about.  I stacked my 22 of my 23 copies of this card together.  Now, see those little twin specks that are on every card?

They are not on this card:

The speckles in the border are the same on 22 out of 23 of my #365's.  Only 4.35% of them are different.  That makes it rare and unbelievably valuable.  Condition doesn't even matter at this level of super-rarity.  I think Beckett calls this the "Alternate Speckle" and lists it as "STARS: 1500X TO 7000X BASIC CARDS."  And if they don't, they should.

I made all that up, and maybe I'm nit-picking, but if you know anything about speckle discrepancies in this set, give me a holler (if I get a holler about that, I will be completely shocked).

Here's the Diamond King:

Diamond King #4


This is Griffey's first time getting the Perez treatment.  I could say that the painting looks like an awkwardly-recovered-burn-victim version of the player it depicts and that the background looks like an acid trip if acid trips weren't fun, but I would be describing every Diamond King made during the 80's and 90's.

Hey, look at this thing:

Best of the AL #1


WHAAAA?!  I know.  It's crazy.  And I'm not sure if this looks better than the regular set or just refreshingly different, but I can't stop looking at it.  Cool action photo, too.  Looks like a pitch just got thrown.

Donruss made 2 blue sets, one for each league.  Both contain 144 cards, and the AL one contains a great Sosa rookie.  

Donruss was busy in 1990.  Look at this:

1990 Donruss Learning Series #8

This 55-card set was distributed to elementary schools to teach the children about baseball cards, the fact that baseball cards exist, and colors, specifically red.  I think this is the best picture Donruss put out of the Kid up to this point.  Also, I think he's flirting with me.

The Best of the AL card is the hardest to come by, but it is not terribly valuable.  Actually none of the '90 Donruss cards are worth much at all.  Go get 'em.


  1. I'd never seen or heard about the Learning Series cards before.

    My best guess with the strange border card is that it's from a factory set. I know with other years (1988 and 1991 come to mind) the borders were different on cards from the factory set. They still fit the design scheme, but they're just... different. I believe it actually has to do with the factory sets not containing the "bonus cards" (MVPs) that you can find in wax packs. I know that the factory set checklists are different than the ones you find in packs to reflect the fewer number of cards.

    Anyway, typically there's a variation for every single card in the set as far as I know. Now you get to track down a 1991 Donruss Griffey with an alternate border and (hopefully not?) possibly a 1989 card as well?

  2. I love those blue bordered '90 Donruss cards. How many other blue bordered sets are there? I would think that this one would be in the top 5, if such a list existed (not counting the current "Wal Mart" parallel crap that Topps is doing).

  3. Hi

    I have some interesting Griffey Jr cards of when he was in High School as well as in the monors and an assotment of Griffey Jr Beanie Babies. My email address is or Send me your email address and I can send a list of what I have along with pictures.


  4. Wow, did you ever get those Junior beanie babies? That, I'd like to see.

    1. I did not. They remain dreadfully overvalued. Also from a collecting standpoint that seems like a whole can of worms.

  5. I have the rare 1990 donruss ken griffey card. The specs are onpoint.Any other ways to be sure? Thanks

  6. Got a boat load of 90 s card want to sell cheap