1997 Donruss Limited

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1997 Donruss Limited is a 200-card base set and was released in the July of that year. One of the most bizarrely structured base sets ever, this chrome-stock set is divided into four unique subsets: Counterparts, Double Team, Star Factor and Unlimited. The Counterparts subset features 100 double-sided cards two star players from different teams who happen to play the same position. The Double Team subset displays two star teammates back-to-back on 40 double-sided cards. The Star Factor subset highlights 40 superstars with a different photo of the same player on each side of the card plus unique player statistics. The Unlimited subset features 20 cards matching up of a veteran and a rookie.

Only the "front" side of each card (usually the side featuring the "better" player) was printed on chromium stock. The "back" side (where the card number and legal mumbo-jumbo is printed) is on glossy paper.

According to a press release from Donruss, only 1100 copies of each Star Factor card was produced -- although they are not serial-numbered. And while the exact pack insertion ratios were never issued; judging from dealers who broke cases of '97 Donruss Limited the odds appear to be as follows: Double Team 1:6, Star Factor 1:24 and Unlimited Potential/Talent 1:36.


Wax: 24 packs per box; five cards per pack (MSRP: $4.99)


Insertion Ratios

Cards Total Cards Limited To Odds
Base 200 - ?
Counterparts 100 - ?
Double Team 40 4400 1:6
Star Factor 40 1100 1:24
Unlimited 20 1467 1:36
Limited Exposure 200 varies ?
Fabric of the Game 69 varies 1:20


Base Set

The base set is fractured into the following subsets:

  • C = "Counterparts"
  • DT = "Double Team" (1:6/packs, calculated production run of 4400 copies)
  • SF = "Star Factor" (1:24/packs, announced production run of 1100 copies)
  • U = Unlimited (1:36/packs, calculated production run of 1467 copies)


    Limited Exposure

    Printed using what Donruss called "Holographic Poly-Chromium Technology" on both sides, Limited Exposure is, for all intents and purposes, a Finest Refractor knock-off. The backs of each card have the words "Limited Exposure" printed beneath the card number.

    Like the base set, the Counterparts are the easiest to find, and Unlimited the toughest. According to Donruss, only 40 copies of each Star Factor Limited Exposure exist -- although they are not serial-numbered.

    It is believed that a large number of Limited Exposures (especially Counterparts Limited Exposures) may have been "backdoored" after the 1998 Pinnacle Brands bankruptcy.

    Limited Exposure Non-Glossy

    This 100-card set partially parallels the Counterparts subset. The cards were actually the result of an error at the printing plant whereby the "Holographic Poly-Chromium Technology" of the normal exposure was left off; but the words "Limited Exposure" still appear underneath the card number.


    Fabric of the Game

    This 69-card multi-fractured "Materials" insert uses cards printed on three different non-paper substances: Canvas, Leather, and Wood. Five level of tiers cross the three materials and are serial-numbered to the following:

    • ML = "Major League Material" (serial-numbered to 1000 copies)
    • S = "Star Material" (serial-numbered to 750 copies)
    • SS = "Superstar Material" (serial-numbered to 500 copies)
    • HF = "Hall of Fame Material" (serial-numbered to 250 copies)
    • L = "Legendary Material" (serial-numbered to 100 copies)