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1997 Donruss Preferred

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1997 Donruss Prerferred Frank Thomas blue tin


The 1997 Donruss Preferred set was issued in one series totaling 200 cards and distributed in five-card "tins" with a suggested retail of $4.99. The set features color player photos on an all-foil, micro-etched card stock. Similar to 1996 & 1997 Finest, the set is fractured into 100 Bronze, 60 Silver (1:3/packs), 30 Gold (1:12), and 10 Platinum (1:48) cards.

More than anything, the set is probably best remembered for it's unique packaging. Each five-card pack was distributed in a collectible "tin" box.

The only notable Rookie Card is Brian Giles.


Hobby: 24 "tins" per "tin box;" five cards per "tin." (MSRP: $4.99 per tin)

Retail: 24 blister-carded "tins" per box; five cards per "tin." (MSRP: $4.99 per tin)


Insertion Ratios

Cards Total Cards Numbered To Odds
Base 200 - ?
Bronze (short-set) 100 - 5:1
Silver 60 - 1:3
Gold 30 - 1:12
Platinum 10 - 1:48
Cut to the Chase 200 - ?
Precious Metals 25 100 ?
Staremasters 20 1500 ?
X-Potential Power 20 3000 ?


Base Set

The base set is fractured into Bronze (B), Silver (S), Gold (G), and Platinum (P) cards.

1 Frank Thomas P

2 Ken Griffey Jr. P

3 Cecil Fielder B

4 Chuck Knoblauch G

5 Garret Anderson B

6 Greg Maddux P

7 Matt Williams S

8 Marquis Grissom S

9 Jason Isringhausen B

10 Larry Walker S

11 Charles Nagy B

12 Dan Wilson B

13 Albert Belle G

14 Javier Lopez B

15 David Cone B

16 Bernard Gilkey B

17 Andres Galarraga S

18 Bill Pulsipher B

19 Alex Fernandez B

20 Andy Pettitte S

21 Mark Grudzielanek B

22 Juan Gonzalez P

23 Reggie Sanders B

24 Kenny Lofton G

25 Andy Ashby B

26 John Wetteland B

27 Bobby Bonilla B

28 Hideo Nomo G

29 Joe Carter B

30 Jose Canseco B

31 Ellis Burks B

32 Edgar Martinez S

33 Chan Ho Park B

34 Dave Justice B

35 Carlos Delgado B

36 Jeff Cirillo S

37 Charles Johnson B

38 Manny Ramirez G

39 Greg Vaughn B

40 Henry Rodriguez B

41 Darryl Strawberry B

42 Jim Thome G

43 Ryan Klesko S

44 Ruben Sierra B

45 Brian Jordan G

46 Tony Gwynn P

47 Rafael Palmeiro G

48 Dante Bichette S

49 Ivan Rodriguez G

50 Mark McGwire G

51 Tim Salmon S

52 Roger Clemens B

53 Matt Lawton B

54 Wade Boggs S

55 Travis Fryman B

56 Bobby Higginson S

57 John Jaha S

58 Rondell White S

59 Tom Glavine S

60 Eddie Murray S

61 Vinny Castilla B

62 Todd Hundley B

63 Jay Buhner S

64 Paul O'Neill B

65 Steve Finley B

66 Kevin Appier B

67 Ray Durham B

68 Dave Nilsson B

69 Jeff Bagwell G

70 Al Martin S

71 Paul Molitor G

72 Kevin Brown S

73 Ron Gant B

74 Dwight Gooden B

75 Quinton McCracken B

76 Rusty Greer S

77 Juan Guzman B

78 Fred McGriff S

79 Tino Martinez B

80 Ray Lankford B

81 Ken Caminiti G

82 James Baldwin B

83 Jermaine Dye G

84 Mark Grace S

85 Pat Hentgen S

86 Jason Giambi S

87 Brian Hunter B

88 Andy Benes B

89 Jose Rosado B

90 Shawn Green B

91 Jason Kendall B

92 Alex Rodriguez P

93 Chipper Jones P

94 Barry Bonds G

95 Brady Anderson G

96 Ryne Sandberg S

97 Lance Johnson B

98 Cal Ripken P

99 Craig Biggio S

100 Dean Palmer B

101 Gary Sheffield G

102 Johnny Damon B

103 Mo Vaughn G

104 Randy Johnson S

105 Raul Mondesi S

106 Roberto Alomar G

107 Mike Piazza P

108 Rey Ordonez B

109 Barry Larkin G

110 Tony Clark S

111 Bernie Williams S

112 John Smoltz G

113 Moises Alou B

114 Will Clark B

115 Sammy Sosa G

116 Jim Edmonds S

117 Jeff Conine B

118 Joey Hamilton B

119 Todd Hollandsworth B

120 Troy Percival B

121 Paul Wilson B

122 Ken Hill B

123 Mariano Rivera S

124 Eric Karros B

125 Derek Jeter G

126 Eric Young S

127 John Mabry B

128 Gregg Jefferies B

129 Ismael Valdes S

130 Marty Cordova B

131 Omar Vizquel B

132 Mike Mussina S

133 Darin Erstad B

134 Edgar Renteria S

135 Billy Wagner B

136 Alex Ochoa B

137 Luis Castillo B

138 Rocky Coppinger B

139 Mike Sweeney B

140 Michael Tucker B

141 Chris Snopek B

142 Dmitri Young S

Rookie Subset

143 Andruw Jones P

144 Mike Cameron S

145 Brant Brown B

146 Todd Walker G

147 Nomar Garciaparra G

148 Glendon Rusch B

149 Karim Garcia S

150 Bubba Trammell S RC

151 Todd Greene B

152 Wilton Guerrero G

153 Scott Spiezio B

154 Brooks Kieschnick B

155 Vladimir Guerrero G

156 Brian Giles S RC

157 Pokey Reese B

158 Jason Dickson G

159 Kevin Orie S

160 Scott Rolen G

161 Bartolo Colon S

162 Shannon Stewart G

163 Wendell Magee B

164 Jose Guillen S

165 Bob Abreu S

166 Deivi Cruz B RC

National Treasures

167 Alex Rodriguez B

168 Frank Thomas B

169 Cal Ripken B

170 Chipper Jones B

171 Mike Piazza B

172 Tony Gwynn S

173 Juan Gonzalez B

174 Kenny Lofton S

175 Ken Griffey Jr. B

176 Mark McGwire B

177 Jeff Bagwell B

178 Paul Molitor S

179 Andruw Jones B

180 Manny Ramirez S

181 Ken Caminiti S

182 Barry Bonds B

183 Mo Vaughn B

184 Derek Jeter B

185 Barry Larkin S

186 Ivan Rodriguez B

187 Albert Belle S

188 John Smoltz S

189 Chuck Knoblauch S

190 Brian Jordan S

191 Gary Sheffield S

192 Jim Thome S

193 Brady Anderson S

194 Hideo Nomo S

195 Sammy Sosa S

196 Greg Maddux B


197 Vladimir Guerrero B

198 Scott Rolen B

199 Todd Walker B

200 Nomar Garciaparra B


Cut to the Chase

This die-cut parallel is, just like the base set, fractured into four different groups. Bronze is the easiest to find, Platinum the scarcest.

Precious Metals

Randomly inserted in packs, this 25-card set is a partial-parallel. Each card is printed with one-half ounce of real silver, gold, or platinum embedded into the card. Only 100 copies of each card were produced.

1 Frank Thomas P

2 Ken Griffey Jr. P

3 Greg Maddux P

4 Albert Belle G

5 Juan Gonzalez P

6 Kenny Lofton G

7 Tony Gwynn P

8 Ivan Rodriguez G

9 Mark McGwire G

10 Matt Williams S

11 Wade Boggs S

12 Eddie Murray S

13 Jeff Bagwell G

14 Ken Caminiti G

15 Alex Rodriguez P

16 Chipper Jones P

17 Barry Bonds G

18 Cal Ripken P

19 Mo Vaughn G

20 Mike Piazza P

21 Derek Jeter G

22 Bernie Williams S

23 Andruw Jones P

24 Vladimir Guerrero G

25 Jose Guillen S



Tin Packs

Each five-card Hobby and retail pack came packaged in one of 25 collectible tins, and are available in the following versions.

  • Blue
  • Gold (numbered to 1200, Hobby only)
  • Fanfest Edition

Note: The Fanfest Edition tins were distributed exclusively to dealers who setup at the 1997 All-Star Game Fanfest (sponsored by Pinnacle Brands) in Cleveland. The Fanfest Edition tins are identical to the standard Blue tins, except that the Donruss logo is in gold ink.

Tin Boxes

Each 24-tin Hobby box was packaged in one of 25 oversized tins, which parallel the smaller tin packs and are available in the following versions.

  • Blue (serial-numbered to 1200 lids)
  • Gold (serial-numbered to 299 lids)

A few months after the initial release, Donruss issued an additional supply of '97 Donruss Preferred exclusive to Hobby accounts. Everything regarding this second "wave" of Preferred product was identical to the first, except the lids of the tin Hobby boxes had gold borders (as opposed to blue). All "Gold Tin Boxes" are serial-numbered to 299 lids.

The retail version of 1997 Donruss Preferred was packaged in a plain corrugated cardboard box, with 24 blister-carded tins per box. Unlike The Hobby version, Donruss Preferred did not sell very well at the retail level. It is believed that the leftover retail tins were repackaged for the Gold Hobby edition.

Tin Checklist

NOTE: The 25 Tins are not sequentially numbered. They are checklisted here in alphabetical order, for your convenience.

Jeff Bagwell

Albert Belle

Barry Bonds

Roger Clemens

Juan Gonzalez

Ken Griffey Jr.

Tony Gwynn

Derek Jeter

Andruw Jones

Chipper Jones

Kenny Lofton

Greg Maddux

Mark McGwire

Hideo Nomo

Mike Piazza

Manny Ramirez

Cal Ripken

Alex Rodriguez

Ivan Rodriguez

Ryne Sandberg

Gary Sheffield

John Smoltz

Sammy Sosa

Frank Thomas

Mo Vaughn


Each Staremasters card is serial-numbered to 1500 copies. Promotional samples of this set were distributed within wholesale dealer order forms prior to the products release (one card per order). The Samples parallel the regular Staremasters inserts except for the bold "SAMPLE" text running diagonally across both front and back of the card. In addition, Sample cards are numbered as "PROMO/1500" on back rather than the typical serial numbering of the true insert cards.

1 Alex Rodriguez

2 Frank Thomas

3 Chipper Jones

4 Cal Ripken

5 Mike Piazza

6 Juan Gonzalez

7 Derek Jeter

8 Jeff Bagwell

9 Ken Griffey Jr.

10 Tony Gwynn

11 Barry Bonds

12 Albert Belle

13 Greg Maddux

14 Mark McGwire

15 Ken Caminiti

16 Hideo Nomo

17 Gary Sheffield

18 Andruw Jones

19 Mo Vaughn

20 Ivan Rodriguez

X-Ponential Power

This 20-card set features two power-hitting teammates from 10 different teams. Each card is printed on thick acetate stock with gold holographic foil. The cards are die-cut, and when the two teammates are placed side-by-side, their cards form the letter "X." Each card is serial-numbered to 3000 copies.

1A Manny Ramirez

1B Jim Thome

2A Paul Molitor

2B Chuck Knoblauch

3A Ivan Rodriguez

3B Juan Gonzalez

4A Albert Belle

4B Frank Thomas

5A Roberto Alomar

5B Cal Ripken

6A Tim Salmon

6B Jim Edmonds

7A Ken Griffey Jr.

7B Alex Rodriguez

8A Chipper Jones

8B Andruw Jones

9A Mike Piazza

9B Raul Mondesi

10A Tony Gwynn

10B Ken Caminiti