Donruss was celebrating their 20th Anniversary and decided they needed box toppers in their 2001 Baseball Product. I must have purchased at least 10 boxes of Donruss in 2001 because sitting in front of me are 6 of those box toppers. I know I've sent a couple of these out in trade packages and there are at least two more floating around in my collection somewhere. What are these box toppers you are referring to Mr. Play at the Plate? Well, since you asked, and I went to the trouble to scan some of them, I'll tell you. They are junk wax Donruss cards that have been graded by Beckett. How better to celebrate an anniversary than to encapsulate some of the most over-produced cards in hobby history? Let's have a look shall we?
Honestly, I have nothing against any of these players. I thought Barry was a fine player. That doesn't mean I think his 1987 Donruss card needs to be graded by Beckett. But, hey, it's a 7!! If that doesn't get your hobby blood flowing maybe this will...
That's right!! It's another 1987 Donruss Barry Larkin. Only this time, we scored an 8.5!! Really, I don't know what I was thinking buying all that 2001 Donruss. Or all the other stuff I was buying. *Sigh* (Population: 2165 Graded Barry Larkins--one 10s, 83 9.5s)
The last scan I have is this 1990 Donruss John Olerud that hits 7.5 on the completely up-and-up Beckett Grading scale. (Population 1315 Graded John Oleruds--zero 10s, one 9.5)
I also have two 1989 Donruss Randy Johnsons that I didn't scan. Both have a grade of 8. (Population 4453 Graded Randy Johnsons--zero 10s, 322 9.5s)
A part of me understands why people would like to get certain cards graded. I have a small coin collection, none graded, but encapsulating those make more sense to me. Anytime you touch an older coin, the oils from your skin, even clean dry skin, can cause damage. I don't understand why you would want to grade ANY card from the junk wax era. Even the Griffey Jr. rookies that aren't 1989 Upper Deck. There are 12 1989 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr. that have graded a 10. That's out of 11,416 graded.
My personal preference is to be able to touch my cards. Even the ones I have in toploaders are easy to remove and scan or hold. I won't bother discussing the problems with Beckett and their grading. Or any of the other companies. That is touched on from time to time by bloggers much more qualified to speak on such matters. Everytime I run across these cards in my collection, I have to ask myself, "what were they thinking?"