Friday, October 22, 2021

2005 - what a year that was

it was in 2001 when i finally realized that i would likely never own a copy of every steve garvey card. that was the year that fleer, in their platinum release, included steve garvey buyback autographed 1987 cards in their rack packs. the cards were numbered to just 15, and i don't think i have ever seen one for sale on ebay or anywhere else.  

so, it wasn't an issue for me in 2005 when i counted a total of 387 cards issued for garvey by donruss, fleer, leaf, topps, and upper deck - many of which were low numbered parallels. still, i tried to find as many of them as i could, and i spent a lot of time and money in doing so. these days, the hunt continues (although it is fairly casual) as i have only added 128 of the available cards to my collection. that includes the cards i am going to show in this post; cards that i've added over the last year or so.

first up is a 2005 donruss greats souvenirs signature card
this card is not numbered, but carries a print run of 100. it's been a doozy to find. there are six total souvenirs cards of garvey from this release, and i now have them all. there is the base, the materials bat relic (print run of 1,200), the signature (shown above; print run of 100), the signature and materials jersey relic (print run of 250), the signature and materials bat relic (print run of 100), and the signature and materials combo jersey and bat relics (print run of 100). for whatever reason, this version with just the signature has eluded me for over fifteen years.

a whopping 56 cards of garvey in 2005 come from the donruss studio portraits release. these cards are all serial numbered from 60 all the way down to 5. i have 20 of them, including these four recent additions:
as you can see, the differences are in the borders and the color tone of the image. you might think that those middle two are from the same card, but you would be mistaken. that's because there are variations on the back! see for yourself:
the variations were based on different donruss products, and these four represent estrellas, leather & lumber, throwback threads, and zenith, respectively.  that means that those middle two are both "red" parallels, but one is the leather & lumber red and the other is the throwback threads red. make sense? it shouldn't really.

topps was not immune to parallel-itis back then, either, although they did not go to the extremes that donruss did.  here's a topps all-time fan favorites gold refractor of the garv
it's numbered to 25, as you can see on the back
there was a regular refractor that had a print run of 250, plus an autograph and an autograph parallel that is numbered to 10. of those i am only missing the autograph /10. and then there are the printing plates of which i have none.

note that i haven't shown any cards from donruss' diamond kings release which also included a huge number of garvey cards - 56 of them to be exact. i don't think there are enough colors, emojis, or foil variations that topps or donruss could come up with to top the number of parallels that they churned out in 2005, but i suspect i will be asked to "hold their beer" in the next couple of years.


  1. I got back into baseball cards in 2005 and I specifically remember those Studio Portraits cards being a nightmare. Seemed like it came in about 100 different variations and colors. Also I had no idea there were Fan Favorites gold refractors until now!

    1. i was much more in tune with the fan favorites than the studio portraits back then. i think i only had one of the studio portraits then.

  2. I completed the Studio Portraits set. It was not easy and now that so much time has passed, it would probably be impossible to do at this point. I do have a lot of dupes. In fact, you are fully aware we bid battle in the past. I won some, you won some, others won some. I was going pretty hard, but there was a stretch where I needed to readjust priorities and the 4 DK plates that were sold as a set on ebay was one item I really wanted, but couldn't afford at the time. Thankfully I recovered and it wasn't until this past year or two that I finally gave up on trying to get all but the 1/1s. It's been less stressful as I lose new Garvey after new Garvey like never before. I am just not willing to pay that much now for most of them. The ones I really want do sting though, as just about every single one is driven up into unreasonable areas of cash expenditure!

    I am probably the reason for your Fleer Platinum woes. When I learned of that card, I wanted to own them all! Not numbered, but embossed, the advertised run was 15 as you mentioned. I have not seen one for sale in a long time and I'll keep the number I own private for now, but I will say I did NOT get them all.

    1. i don't recall seeing any of the fleer platinum cards, but i was more focused on certified materials in 2001. same in 2005; i don't think i paid a lot of attention to the studio portraits unfortunately.