Jul 1, 2012

74. Junior High Countdown: 1994 Leaf Limited

1994 Donruss  Leaf Limited   Mark McGwire     Mint
The Stats
1994 Leaf Limited was a 160 card set distributed in 5 card packs with 20 packs per box.  The SRP was probably $3.99 per pack.

The Design
The front was pure silver foil with the newly developed Leaf Limited logo, sunrays on the side, and team logo in holographic form.  The player portrait was superimposed on the silver foil.  The back was gray in color with a quote, small portrait box of the player, and career stats.

The Rookies
The only rookie was Brian Anderson.

The Inserts
There was insert set, 1994 Leaf Limited Gold All-Stars.  The starters of the previous year's all-star game was the checklist, with each featured on a gold version of their base cards, numbered to 10000.

The Impact
Leaf Limited was the first foray into the expensive side of collecting (high-end for 1994 was $4.00 per pack and up) for Donruss.  It's entry and design was essentially the forefather of the Limited and Elite lines which continue to this day (though not always in baseball).

The Summary
1994 Leaf Limited was the introduction to a new superpremium line by the Donruss/Leaf Inc.  What does superpremium mean in the 'mid 90s?  It means more foil per, less cards per pack, and higher pack prices.   It wasn't SuperLeaf or Donruss Excellent, that's for sure.  It's selling point was that it was limited, only 3000 20 box cases were produced, but at the same time, there were no real parallels or high value inserts or rookies to chase. 

The best cards you could get at the time were the Griffey, Thomas, or Ripken Gold All-Stars.  They were not distinguishable or more desirable than the Donruss Elite series, and in a way, were easier to pull because there were less packs to pull them from with the same numbering.  

I also would like to point out that the cards were easily scratchable and any mark stayed forever.  Limited and condition sensitive aren't the worst characteristics to have in a product, but when there are few other redeeming factors, there's no reason to chase this set now except to have the original version.

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