Tribute to 1991 Donruss Elite Series: Bobby Thigpen - Hand Made Edition

Frustrated by box after box of 1991 Donruss without an Elite Series card, my wife and I have taken matters into our own hands.

It includes a facsimile signature and is numbered to 10,000.

Maybe someday I will pull the real deal.


  1. somewhere, I have a Doug Drabek of these. Not exactly one of the "A" list stars.... but it was SO LIMITED!!!!! ONLY 10,000!!!!!

  2. The '91 Donruss Elites were SUPER tough. Limited to 10,000 is big deal when they made probably about 700,000 cases of base that year. And any '91 Donruss card worth between $25-100 like the Elites are means these things are super scarce.

  3. Let's do some math.

    According to, there were six boxes per "rack case." That means Donruss produced about 4,200,000 boxes, in addition to all the other misc. types of packs. Let's even forget those for the time being. Divide that quantity of boxes by 10 elite series cards, numbered to 10,000 (for simplicity's sake), and the odds of pulling a single Elite Series card are about 1 in 42 boxes or 1 in 1512 packs.

    I think I've opened 10-12 boxes. So relatively speaking it doesn't appear that I've been unlucky!

    Not sure I can go another 30 boxes though...

    Thanks for the data Jeffrey! I have always wondered what the printed odds might have been.

    Also, Canuck, even with your Drabek I am extremely envious!

  4. There were no printed odds. I also don't think they were available in rack packs. From what I recall it was wax only. There were rumors of dealers running metal detectors over wax cases to see if there was an Elite card inside. There were 20 boxes in a wax case I believe. They seemed to run about 1 every 5 cases. I don't think I was lucky enough to pull an Elite until '93 or '94. I had a friend that pulled 2 out of 1991 Donruss (Rickey Henderson and Cecil Fielder) but he opened about 50 boxes so he wasn't too overly lucky, just persistent.

  5. if I remember right, I pulled mine out of a cello pack...

  6. I actually sent a card to Thigpen in December to get signed and I have not received it yet. After this long, I doubt that I will. Maybe he doesn't sign now after K Rod broke his record. Maybe I'll send it to you next time.

    I was just going through all of your cards that are posted on the Picasa sight. Wow, there are a lot more than I realized, especially for the Royals. I know that I will be getting a few of those signed this summer, like Dave Owen, Rusty Kuntz, Denny Matthews, Trey Hillman, and Dayton Moore and hopefully some of the younger kids if they get called up. Those are looking real good. I just wish that I was able to help out more with them.

  7. One in every five cases, with 20 boxes per case. Wow. Thanks anon. At those odds I feel even less absurd. More power to Brian for somehow pulling one. Hats off.

    Speaking of pulling one, I am still in awe of your Ripken, Zach. It's really one of the finest cards I've ever seen. And I am glad somebody like you was able to pull it.

    Glad you like the Royals too. Andy Kimball has really been a great source for those, probably 75% or more of them.

    Oh and I really appreciate the original photos you sent too. Those were great. The DeJesus one is in the set for the Royals.

    If you ever find a really really nice shot of Ron Mahay (even just on the Internet somewhere) you know who to call... :)


  8. I actually have the 1991 Donruss Bobby Thigpen card autographed, as well as his Diamond King, MVP, and Highlights card. I used to have a co-worker at Publix who dated his son. If only I was working on the 1992 Topps set then....But if you want to make an Elite card out of any of those with his real autograph, I'd glady trade you.

  9. Jeremy that is awesome. Yeah too bad about the '92 Topps set. It's impressive that you're so far along though.

    So you're saying I should make an elite card using a scan of your "real" autographed card? If so that sounds awesome, I'd love to! Bobby Thigpen all the way!

  10. yeah. I'll e-mail you some scans of the '91 Donruss Bobby Thigpen autographs.

  11. I have now pulled the real deal :)

    And I have a wonderful Thigpen custom :)

  12. Looking back, a pack of 1991 Donruss cost about $1. So basically, you would have to spend $1500 just to pull a card that is worth about $100. Of course, nowadays, packs from the crummy sets in the late 80's and early 90's would cost about a nickel. But back then, it would have been outrageous

  13. When I was 10 I bought a box of series 1 from the grogery store and pulled an Elite Series Ryan Sandberg Auto out of 5000! I didn't think much of it at the time, I traded it for next to nothing I think... I'm bidding on it on Ebay as we speak, but I was always wondering how lucky I was.. Looks like VERY!! Thanks for the info


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