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Thread: 100 Griffey Rookies Sell EACH DAY & Other Fun Musings

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    100 Griffey Rookies Sell EACH DAY & Other Fun Musings

    For the past few years, I've really been trying to wrap my brain around junk wax production numbers and cardboard scarcity in general. *From 1987 to 1992, we have heard numbers anywhere from 1 to 7 million made for nearly every single card. *I try to visualize what that would look like if*you and I stood*in front of the entire production run of a single solitary junk wax card, and how many of these monster boxes it would take to store them:



    Y'all, 5,000 cards of a single card is a lot. *If you have collected for a while, you know what a 5,000 count box looks like. *It is big, it is heavy and it takes FOREVER to go through. *At a rate of one card per second, you are looking at 83 minutes to get through*one of these. *Now, I want you to really try to visualize what it would look like if two of these boxes were*filled with the exact same card. Over and over and over again. Some of the rare serial numbered cards in the early 90s were numbered to 10,000. *That means TWO FULL monster boxes could have been filled to the brim with one of these "rare" cards, and it would*take you nearly 3 hours to shuffle through them all.



    Still think they are rare? *Compared to regular cards back then...yes. *Ridiculously rare, and probably more rare than in comparison with many of today's cards numbered to 100.

    Now, imagine what it would look like if the entire run of a regular junk wax card filled up 5,000 count monster boxes. *Let's visualize it being this card. *(I've asked a lot of folks what single card is in most everyone's collection and the '89 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr. Rated Rookie came up more than any other.)



    If we are looking at a "conservative" number of 3 million, it would look like this. *EVERY SINGLE 5,000 count monster box shown below would be filled with the exact same card.




    REMEMBER! This isn't just '89 Donruss. This is ALL '89 Donruss GRIFFEY ONLY!!!



    Do you hate 1989 Donruss yet?



    How about now????????????????



    Stop whining. These boxes could have been filled with Rance Mulliniks!





    Work through the pain ... OWN THOSE PAPER CUTS!



    At this point you are begging for a Mulliniks to be thrown in just for variety.



    This would be SOOOOOOO much easier if Griffey just smiled.



    Hmmmmm....why isn't he smiling, anyway? Maybe because he just went through THREE MILLION FREAKING CARDS!!!!



    Wake up, Sparky! Almost done .... (well, maybe not)



    THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Hmmmmm....I wonder what the value would be of an 89 D Griffey if the rest of these mysteriously went up in smoke....



    I wonder what 1989 Donruss tastes like.



    BLECHHHH....these taste almost as bad as the Topps gum!





    ANNNNDDDDDDD....Done. You've made it. Congratulations! You have wasted over half of a year thumbing through these cards if you worked on this project solid Monday through Friday,*9-5 minus the lunch hour. *(Hey, I'm not a slave driver!)

    Lets imagine for a second that these were ohhh, I don't know ... Fleer Ultra cards. *They have been roasting in your garage for a decade, and have stuck together to become*bricks. *You would have enough bricks to make a 2,600+ square foot house out of them. *(True story! *It takes a 2,400 sqft house 5,226 bricks on average to cover the entire outside).



    I know the house above isn't a brick house, but use your imagination. *If you are sitting at home right now, imagine that your home was 2,600 sq ft and imagine the entire outside of the house being built with 1989 Donruss Griffey rated rookie cards. *Using junk wax as firewood? *Forget that! *We should build houses with them instead. *Imagine an entire neighborhood of 660 houses built out of 1989 Donruss. *(I call dibs on the house at 643 Canseco Avenue!)

    You would think that everyone on the planet who collects baseball cards would have at least 10 1989 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr rated rookie cards, right? *Wrong. *Many collectors do not have a single one of these. *In fact, many don't have a single Griffey rookie at all! *It isn't*due to price - some can be had for a buck. *It isn't because of scarcity, either. *Heck, there are about 200,000 Griffey rookies in the PSA pop report (Donruss/Fleer/Score/Topps/UD combined).

    Using the search term "1989 griffey", over 5,900 have sold in the past three months, with nearly 1,000 of these search results having multiple Griffey rookies in the same listing. *Using eBay data, it is estimated that approximately 100 Ken Griffey Jr. rookies sell every.single.day. *And this is nearly 30 years after they were produced! *How is that for a high print run? *Sometimes I bellyache about not being able to find some cards for my collection that are numbered between 25-100 copies. *Psshh. *I could barely build a set of coasters out of those, much less a house.

    There is no real reason for my musings other than to just try to get a grasp on how many cards have been made in the past vs. now. *Here are some takeaways for me:

    - A big house can likely be built using the entire production run of a single junk wax card

    - Approximately 100 Griffey rookies sell each and every day, nearly 30 years after they were produced. *I think it is time to retire the book titled "The hobby is dying." *It is possible that 10 million Griffey rookies exist, and yet they still sell. *Not at the same numbers as they once did, but they still sell.

    - While it is not rare to find cards serial numbered to 100 or less (card companies make these like crazy nowadays), any given card serial numbered to 100 and less really is quite rare*in the grand scheme of things. *Imagine how hard they may be to find when they are nearly 30 years old!

    While it is awesome to have a 1/1, there is also something special about knowing that you have a card only a small handful of other people do as well. *I particularly enjoy having cards numbered to 5 or less, because it is entirely possible to personally know*everyone else who owns the other 4 or less of the print run. *It is kind of like being in an exclusive club.

    This was a fun exercise for me, and I hope you were able to enjoy it as well. *I think above everything else, it sure makes me appreciate the cards I have that are serial numbered that much more - whether they are numbered 1/1 or 1/10,000.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 - Questions about this? PM ME!
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    Senior Member Austin's Avatar
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    Back in the late '80s, early 90s, I never thought 3 million of each card was a lot.

    At the height of the boom, there were well more than 3 million collectors. Some investors hoarded bricks of 100 of these rookie cards, and the hot rookies like Griffey rarely stayed in card shops for long, so unless you pulled the hottest cards from packs, they were hard to find.

    The demand was actually greater than the supply at the peak of the hobby's popularity, and that's why cards like the '86 Donruss Canseco RC topped $100 in '88 and early '89. Because people couldn't find one and would pay that much to get it, even though a million+ were printed.

    Then when the hobby started fading and eBay came out and people dumped all their cards, suddenly the market was flooded with these once hot and in-demand cards and prices tanked.
    Set builder, autograph hunter and fan of the Texas Rangers & '50s-'60s Yankees

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    Had some time on your hands???
    I do agree, I am suprised that they are selling at a rate anywhere close to your estimate.

    Ryan
    Will Clark / Mike Brown Collector
    ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ODDBALL, REGIONAL, TEAM ISSUED, VARIATIONS, AND TOUGH CARDS OF WILL CLARK AND MIKE BROWN





    BIG THANKS TO JBEL4431 FOR THE BANNERS

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    Quote Originally Posted by RStadlerASU22 View Post
    Had some time on your hands???
    I do agree, I am suprised that they are selling at a rate anywhere close to your estimate.

    Ryan
    Will Clark / Mike Brown Collector
    No, but when my brain gets to running, I have to stop and put down my thoughts
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 - Questions about this? PM ME!
    Do you have rare Jose Canseco cards? Let me know! www.CansecoCollector.com

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    Senior Member tramers's Avatar
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    750,000 in my collection = 90% by teams and in alpha order in 3200 count boxes - over 200. just picked up 60,000 87 88 89 Donruss ,85 topps ETC. .
    Culled over 6000 off centered and C/L .

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    Senior Member BenG76's Avatar
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    I am curious of how many of those 1991 Donruss Elite cards are sitting in unopened wax boxes. I bought 4 or 5 boxes a couple years ago. My wife helped me open them and she pulled an Elite card. I remember pulling one myself around 2000 when I bought a few boxes. I have always been curious on the odds on those. Like if they are 1 per case or what

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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenG76 View Post
    I am curious of how many of those 1991 Donruss Elite cards are sitting in unopened wax boxes. I bought 4 or 5 boxes a couple years ago. My wife helped me open them and she pulled an Elite card. I remember pulling one myself around 2000 when I bought a few boxes. I have always been curious on the odds on those. Like if they are 1 per case or what

    I'd be surprised if they were one per case even. Maybe one per two cases.
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
    Current Jeff Bagwell count: 4,637 different cards!
    Also collecting Jerry Stackhouse! 751 different cards!
    Also collecting Jack Lambert and football players from all Texas colleges!

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    Quote Originally Posted by predatorkj View Post
    I'd be surprised if they were one per case even. Maybe one per two cases.
    I'd have to research it some, but I think it's closer to 1 in 5-20 case range.

    ***I kinda did some quick calculations, that if 1million of each card was in wax packs, the it would be about 1 per case, if 2mil per base card, the 1 per 2 case etc. It's late so I'm not sure if that 100%, but that's about where I'm at. I pulled 4 Nolans from 1 box, so that skews the odds

    Ryan
    Will Clark / Mike Brown Collector
    Last edited by RStadlerASU22; 04-21-2017 at 12:43 AM.
    ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ODDBALL, REGIONAL, TEAM ISSUED, VARIATIONS, AND TOUGH CARDS OF WILL CLARK AND MIKE BROWN





    BIG THANKS TO JBEL4431 FOR THE BANNERS

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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RStadlerASU22 View Post
    I'd have to research it some, but I think it's closer to 1 in 5-20 case range.

    Ryan
    Will Clark / Mike Brown Collector
    I really wouldn't doubt it. I think that's why those are still coveted by collectors although prices may not reflect it. Problem is, if you wanted to do a break of say a case or something to try your luck, you'll spend just as much on a case as you would if you just went and purchased one on ebay. Plus, do you really want all those thousands of extra donruss cards taking up space?
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
    Current Jeff Bagwell count: 4,637 different cards!
    Also collecting Jerry Stackhouse! 751 different cards!
    Also collecting Jack Lambert and football players from all Texas colleges!

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    Quote Originally Posted by predatorkj View Post
    I really wouldn't doubt it. I think that's why those are still coveted by collectors although prices may not reflect it. Problem is, if you wanted to do a break of say a case or something to try your luck, you'll spend just as much on a case as you would if you just went and purchased one on ebay. Plus, do you really want all those thousands of extra donruss cards taking up space?
    It's that way with about everything... Singles = better buy than about anything. But it comes down to gambling and the fun of doing it yourself.

    Ryan
    Will Clark / Mike Brown Collector
    ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ODDBALL, REGIONAL, TEAM ISSUED, VARIATIONS, AND TOUGH CARDS OF WILL CLARK AND MIKE BROWN





    BIG THANKS TO JBEL4431 FOR THE BANNERS

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    Senior Member predatorkj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RStadlerASU22 View Post
    It's that way with about everything... Singles = better buy than about anything. But it comes down to gambling and the fun of doing it yourself.

    Ryan
    Will Clark / Mike Brown Collector

    I've gambled before but if I'm gonna gamble, it's gonna be on something worth gambling for. And there has to be a win win for me in it. Like, I'll buy a box of cards if it's a set I'm building anyway so even if nothing nice is pulled, what it equates to is me spending a little extra to advance my set while having the chance to pull something worthwhile. May only end up with an auto of a scrub and a single color "event/player worn relic". But I've also pulled some nice stuff too.
    Collecting Jeff Bagwell all day every day!
    Current Jeff Bagwell count: 4,637 different cards!
    Also collecting Jerry Stackhouse! 751 different cards!
    Also collecting Jack Lambert and football players from all Texas colleges!

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    Quote Originally Posted by predatorkj View Post
    I've gambled before but if I'm gonna gamble, it's gonna be on something worth gambling for. And there has to be a win win for me in it. Like, I'll buy a box of cards if it's a set I'm building anyway so even if nothing nice is pulled, what it equates to is me spending a little extra to advance my set while having the chance to pull something worthwhile. May only end up with an auto of a scrub and a single color "event/player worn relic". But I've also pulled some nice stuff too.
    I'm other saying busting 1991 Donruss is worth it, just a reality of why someone may do it. Dropping $100 to some people to open a case may not be a big deal.

    Ryan
    Will Clark / Mike Brown Collector
    ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ODDBALL, REGIONAL, TEAM ISSUED, VARIATIONS, AND TOUGH CARDS OF WILL CLARK AND MIKE BROWN





    BIG THANKS TO JBEL4431 FOR THE BANNERS

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    Junior Member banjar's Avatar
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    Mouschi, this is your funniest post ever. The little asides in between the endless matrix of empty 5000 count boxes just killed me. RANCE! Who knew I could become a real estate baron by building with bricks of junk cards.

    But I totally second Austin's point. Back in 1989, when so many of us were opening packs as kids, did any of us understand the basic laws of supply and demand? Yeah right. All I knew is that I could go down to the corner gas station and get a pack of 89 Donruss for a buck, usually less, and I would eventually strike gold. At the time we kept hearing nonstop about 52 Mantles, and how baseball cards were a GRRRRREAT investment, and that so-and-so was the rookie card to hoard for your retirement, and all that bullsh*t. We even had multiple garbage baseball card investment magazines, available at every supermarket! Who ever thought about calculating print runs then? If you raised your hand, you're probably lying. All most of us knew is we could get baseball cards everywhere for cheap, and if we pulled the right cards and held onto them, we'd be rich!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So yeah. As a result, even after I dropped the hobby in ~1996 because it was getting out of hand and I had other stuff to do, I still kept countless shoeboxes of crap cards for years to come. I moved them from place to place, through college and into employment, just because. And those damn things are heavy. Along the way I probably loaded my 16 tons just like Tennessee Ernie Ford.

    So when I got back into the hobby in early 2015, I decided to take a hard look at all this. My albums of 91 donruss Juan Gonzalez rookies (almost no reverse negatives) and so forth. I kept about 5% of them for sentimental reasons, but ultimately I just got rid of them. I ended up giving them to my buddy's kids, who were nowhere close to being born when the cards were released. These kids will never recognize the name John Kruk as long as they live, but I thought having so many cards might inspire them to get into baseball, or maybe even collect, or who knows.

    Probably all I really did was saddle these kids with my burden. I'm a bad person. Please help me feel better about myself by sending me your rare Roberto Alomar cards.
    Last edited by banjar; 04-21-2017 at 02:37 AM.
    Collecting Roberto Alomar cards. Got rare ones? PM me and let's make a deal!
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    Senior Member BenG76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RStadlerASU22 View Post
    I'm other saying busting 1991 Donruss is worth it, just a reality of why someone may do it. Dropping $100 to some people to open a case may not be a big deal.

    Ryan
    Will Clark / Mike Brown Collector
    I don't think I'd buy a case to rip for one of the Elite cards. I think last time I got some of those boxes I paid $4 or so a box. It's cheap entertainment if nothing else. I would probably buy a few more boxes for around the $5 or so mark if I saw them though.

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