Cardboard Wars – Barry Bonds

God, was there ever a better year for collecting baseball cards than 1997? From Bowman Chrome, to Totally Certified, to Donruss Signature, life as a collector could not have been better. One of the big products of the year that many collectors balked on was ’97 Donruss Signature. I remember card shop regulars forking over close to $20 dollars per pack (unthinkable at the time) and pulling Todd Greene and Mark Grudzialanek autographs. I was sixteen at the time but seeing the hurt in their eyes at the realization that they would have to explain this to their wives, well…it officially made me a man.

Don’t get me wrong, Donruss Signature had some ridiculously nice players in their checklist but it was so hit and miss that I just bought a pack of Pinnacle Certified & Bowman Chrome with my $20. Man, I would give anything to return to 1997 again, for a variety of reasons.

1997 Donruss Signatures

You are looking at history, maybe. Donruss created the first-ever autograph per pack product, which in the long run probably hurt the business. I mean, look how worthless autographs have become today. Unless you pull some 20-year old phenom or a Hall of Famer from your box of cards, you piss and moan till the sun comes up. In 1997, pulling an autograph from a pack of cards was a feat almost almost as rare as winning the lottery. Donruss put an end to it with this release.

2006 Topps Sterling

This is another “run of the mill” super high-end product thousands of collectors will never get a chance to bust open. The card is a “one of one”, features Barry’s immaculate (and improved) signature, along with 3 pieces of a game-used jersey, plus a bat. This is worth big time Beckett value, if you can find someone to buy it from you.

So, what’s it gonna be?