Some of you may recognize me as the sicko from the '90 Donruss thread that has devoted an unhealthy amount of time and energy on documenting and discovering errors and variations in the 1990 Donruss set. What has grown into a list that probably now surpasses the 1991 Topps set for most possible variations started out pretty small and basic. On that list that I started with was the #1 card in the set, the Bo Jackson Diamond Kings, just simply listed as "redone i in Diamond Kings."
That was it. I couldn't find any other documentation of it online anywhere. I couldn't find anyone that could explain the variation to me exactly or provide me with an image of what it looked like. No one knew how it got on that original list and no one knew what it looked like. As I opened case after case (after case after case after case...) I kept checking the Bo DK cards. They all looked the same.
Fast forward to just recently when someone on eBay listed one for sale and seemed to be able to explain what it is. At this point I'd like to thank thediscoveredman for doing all of the heavy lifting in this discovery. He explained how it was only visible in UV light and provided pictures of just that. I zoomed in further and connected the two to make it easier for comparison's sake. You can see how the i on the left is fatter and rounder than the one on the right.
This variation occurs in what is known as the Magenta print run. This is sort of where thediscoveredman gets off track a little and where I'm going to hop in just to correct a few minor details. The Magenta print run is what you would imagine it sounds like -- the cards were printed with a much darker border/base color instead of the regular red that 99.999% of the cards were printed on. It's true that the Magenta cards are found in very, very early print runs but this is not where the Harold Baines Line Through Star was found. The very first Baines All-Star cards from the initial print runs actually have the line behind the star. The line through the star came later on in subsequent print runs as Donruss scurried to fix other errors.
I'm not sure what caused the Magenta cards. I'm not familiar enough with the printing process to know if Donruss applied the red to the card stock or if their supplier provided sheets with the red on it. I can tell you that everything else was applied in the printing process (splatter patterns, borders, black background namebox lines, white cursive names, etc.). Perhaps the Magenta cards got two passes of the base red? I don't know. I know I've pulled Magenta packs in boxes with regular red packs.
Also, it's believed that this variation isn't actually limited to just the Bo Jackson DK but can be found on all the DKs. Obviously, I've got some digging in monster boxes to do as well as a UV light source to buy. But at least we finally have an explanation for what this is.