1989 Donruss Blue Chip Cards

Not too long ago I blogged about Donruss and their trigger-happy designers who created almost a dozen different cards from their 1989 design. One card I left out due to lack of knowledge of its existence was the Blue Chip Cards release.

I checked my trusty Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, did several searches on-line and could find no information on the origin of these cards. The best I can add is that according to Sports Collectors Digest, the Mark McGwire has a book value of $400 dollars.

1989 Donruss Blue Chip Cards is a 12-card set featuring Keith Hernandez, Mike Greenwell, Dave Winfield, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Kevin McReynolds, Mike Marshall, Walt Weiss, Franklin Stubbs, Danny Tartarbull, Jesse Barfield, and Ellis Burks.

You would think that by now someone would have figured out just where did these cards come from and what was their purpose.  Obviously the print run on these is extremely limited considering the lowest book value is $60 dollars for a Walt Weiss and others.

Where is a Donruss historian when you need one?

33 thoughts on “1989 Donruss Blue Chip Cards

  1. SteveTX

    “Where is a Donruss historian when you need one?”

    …or even, just a former employee! Seriously, I’m surprised nobody who comments on this blog is a former employee at either Topps/Upper Deck/Donruss. Or, maybe there are some former employees who read this blog but prefer to lurk instead?

    BTW- You meant Keith Hernandez, right?

  2. JBob

    I remember Brian the Canseco Super collector had one of these in his slideshow. If i remember his advice correctly it was if you ever find one of these cards buy it at any cost. Among canseco collectors its right up there with the 88 topps cloth test from what i understand. I bet you could see a sale of $500 for the canseco no problem.

  3. jl

    Any one else think that these were at one point just released into the hobby to drum up interest in vintage. A few blogs always talks about busting junk wax boxes with no gimmicks, like I said before if these cards are 17-20yrs old they should have surfaced back in the early 1990’s. Think if the blue chips are harder than 1991 elite, we would have heard.

  4. Joe from the D

    To answer your question, the Donruss historian is probably on the unemployment line somewhere.

  5. DamonX

    It’s always fun to go back and see some of the players that were included in these subsets. Marshall/Weiss/Stubbs mixed in with Winfield/Canseco/McGwire, lol!

  6. Based on the “Leaf” marking on the front I would gather these cards were only released in Canada (similar to O-Pee-Chee cards realeased by Topps). I wouldn’t be suprised if they were a send away, food promotion, regional release, or possibly a special subset in “Leaf” factory set (not sure if they were available then).

    1990 was the first year that “Leaf” brand was introduced into the states as its own seperate brand (and one of my all time favorite releases).


  7. Dang. As both a Keith Hernandez and Kevin McReynolds collector, this set has stymied me for a while. This is the first time I’ve ever even seen the design, though, so thanks for that!

  8. Jeff

    Are the write-ups on the card back back bilingual – English & French? If they were made for the Canadian market they have to be bilingual. That is the logo of the Canadian Leaf on the front. I think the last year of the Canadian Leaf was 1988. Funny how there is virtually no information on this set. Could it have been a test set that was distributed years after being made? Or a send-in set?

  9. nobody

    this book say that a blue chip mark mcgwire is 400$ its a 2009 book and that cansesco i like 120 or 250

  10. DJ

    I once bought both Donruss & Leaf versions of this Jose Canseco card in 1998 for $75. I talked the guy down from $150. I ended up with 2 of each versions. I sold the extra Donruss for $225 and the extra Leaf for $300. I have since sold off my Canseco collection. The guy I bought them from also had the 2 McGwire versions & the Ellis Burks Donruss. The story is this…..In 1989 Donruss made many different cards with this border…one of the sets being the Blue Chips set..Eventually that set was scrapped in exchange for the Grandslammers set…these Blue chip cards were to be destroyed but the guy in charge of the press saw a huge monetary potential and snuck out some sets….he held on to them without telling anyone in fear that it would cost him his job….he died before he could capitalize…they were part of an estate sale…..upon reaching the public no one had ever heard of them so at first they were not seen as valuable….then once the story came out, the sets had been broken and only singles have surfaced since…I know of 1 person that has all but the Stubbs and the McReynolds….

  11. hector osorio

    Hey Arthur my name is hector i have a friend that is interested in the stubbs cards and is wanting to talk to you if you can email me about them so we can work something out my email address is hectorosorio_29@yahoo.com

  12. hector osorio

    hey Arthur its me hector again umm if you can call my friend at 626 926 6261 his name is Robert and he wants to talk to you thank you he is really interested in the stubbs.

  13. Wess

    I’m still looking for the McGwire Blue Chip. Is it the last one missing from my personal collection.

  14. Eddie

    Would love to know where you found a price guide for these — I’m looking for a price on a PSA 8 Keith Hernandez 1989 Leaf Blue Chip.

  15. Anonymous

    Its been about 6 years since my last post here…I’m still looking for a McGwire bluechip! Anyone have one? $$$

  16. Matt

    Just like the Aqueous tests, I have seen quite a few and some press quality counterfeits out there and the problem with this set is, unlike the Aqueous Tests, “Leaf/Donruss” will not define a fake as counterfeit and/or pursue any known “Printers” since they scrapped this design… It’s simply considered an “altered” card not illegal. Just a beware.

  17. Hi, I have a few 1989 Blue Chips if anyone is interested. They’re also listed on ebay including 1 McGwire. Does anyone have a picture of the Barfield, Greenwell, Winfield or Burks? I’ve never seen any of those in person let alone a picture of one. Thanks!

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