1998 Donruss Elite Back to the Future is an 8-card set. Cards are double-sided and feature star veterans on one side and new players on the other. The stated print run is 1500 but the first 100 cards in the print run are assigned to the 1998 Donruss Elite Back to the Future Autograph parallel set. That said, these unsigned versions actually have a print run of 1400.
Serial Numbers 0101-1500: Unsigned Variety
See example below.
Serial Numbers 0001-0100: Signed Variety
You’ll notice the version below contains a serial number that would assign it to the autograph set but it doesn’t actually contain autographs.
FACT: The autograph parallel set consists of just 7 cards. Card number 6 (F.Thomas/D.Ortiz) was never signed by either player and as such isn’t part of the autograph parallel set.
Due to problems obtaining autographs from Frank Thomas prior to the shipping deadline, Donruss was forced to make the first 100 serial numbered cards of card number 6 redemption cards.
The cards could be redeemed for signed examples of the Frank Thomas 1998 Donruss Elite base card, which features a Donruss Embossed stamp and a handwritten serial number to 100 to match the first 100 serial numbers of the 1998 Donruss Elite Back to the Future #6. An example of the signed Frank Thomas 1998 Donruss Elite base card made available for this redemption program is shown below.
Due to Pinnacle’s bankruptcy in 1998, this redemption program was permanently halted. Before the bankruptcy, however, 0001-0100 serial numbered examples of 1998 Donruss Back to the Future #6 were trading for as high as $300. While they’re still desirable, premiums have dropped considerably.
FACT: The following card is the result of aftermarket altering.
Since no signed example of 1998 Donruss Elite Back to the Future #6 was ever pack issued, the signatures on the following card were added in one of three ways: In-Person (IP), Through-the-Mail (TTM), or forged. That’s it! There are no other reasons for ink to be on this card.
The signatures on this card look authentic and I assume they’ll pass if submitted to any primarily authentication company. It should be firmly noted, however, that the signatures were added after the card was pack pulled.
FACT: The signatures on this card were added after it was pack pulled.
This example sold on eBay on 1/26/2022, collected 19 bids, and closed at $405. Someone paid handsomely for a card with unauthenticated signatures that were added after it was pack pulled.
This card represents what it could’ve looked like if Frank Thomas returned his cards prior to the shipping deadline. Advanced collectors will notice that Frank Thomas signed his name differently in 1998 as apposed to now. This may be easy to spot for seasoned collectors but could go unnoticed to new ones.
If you’re going to sell something like this, be honest in your item description. There’s no reason for deception.
To see what’s currently on eBay from 1998 Donruss Elite Back to the Future, click here.