Saturday, April 18, 2015

Crackin' Wax - 2002 Donruss Originals

In an ongoing effort to fill in the gaps in my collection, every now and then I will buy up some boxes of packs and bust them.

This time I went with a box of 2002 Donruss Originals. This was the Donruss answer to Topps Heritage, and similar to the Tampa Bay Rays, with no real vintage to draw upon, Donruss decided to take a page from Stanislavsky and introduced the magical "if" as in What if? - an insert that showed players as rookies in years before they first appeared in Donruss sets, as well as some faux-retro sets from 1978, 1979, and 1980.
The sealed box

The "box topper" was a checklist with base cards on the front and a very large number of inserts that basically doubles the size of the set

Here are the 4 base card designs - the fonts on the '86 and '88 cards would vary pretty wild from card to card in this set... I think they did a good job remaining faithful to the original designs, and the card stock is much better.
The backs are pretty fun too - the copy on the Vlad Guerrero card was priceless.

The inserts - hey, a new Kirby Puckett card! The Maddux is one of just two "What if?" cards I pulled, the other was an '88 Craig Biggio.

Now, for the hit . . .
How . Freaking . Sweet . Is . That!?!
I'm not even that much of a Schilling fan, but that is a very cool relic. You can see where the stitches were on the chunk of the ball they used for this card! I think the only Schilling relic card that could top something from the 2001 World Series would be a piece of his bloody sock...

Anyway, these were a lot fun to open - I think I'm going to get another box!


  1. Nice.. love this set. Ripped a few packs myself last year. Wish they would have returned the following year with the odd-year designs.

  2. I've often thought about how much fun it would be to open a box of this stuff. Great set!

  3. This set is very underrated in my book. I have a tough time finding anything from it, so I'd love to bust a box of the stuff one day.

  4. 2002 Originals was one of my favorite sets, and it was a really fun rip. I pulled a Hideo Nomo ball card like the Schilling from his no-hitter and a Johnny Bench Recollection auto from a box back in the day.

    I wish the product would have returned to fill in the odd years, but it sold pretty poorly at the time, and it was an era when there were a million products on the shelf.

    Look for the Aqueous cards - there should be one in the box. They have a slightly glossy feel (similar to old Topps Tiffany cards), and can be really easy to overlook. Talk about a tough and unappreciated parallel!

    1. Oh! I totally did overlook the Aqueous card - neat. The gloss is really the only difference that I could see...