The following story appears in the November '07 issue of Beckett Football #212, now available at hobby shops, retailers or www.beckett.com
One week ago, Beckett announced that Donruss had produced the Greatest Card of the 21st Century in the 2005 Playoff Absolute Memorabilia Tools of the Trade Swatch Single Jumbo Babe Ruth. One week later, Beckett ranked the 100 Greatest Football Cards of All-Time and Donruss' innovation was sure to be seen taking up most of the slots.
Here's a look at the other cards that Donruss Playoff (and its brands) had on the list:
5. 1989 Score Barry Sanders RC #257
Once considered a consolation prize by collectors seeking the Aikman RC from this set, this card climbed in value during Sanders' remarkable 1997. The 1989 Score set launched football cards into the stratosphere. It was the first set to give rookies a special design from the veterans in the base set.
13. 1990 Score Supplemental Emmitt Smith RC #101T
In the early to mid-90s, this card served as the most influential, desirable card in the sport. It returned to prominence when Smith surpassed Walter Payton's all-time rushing record.
15. 1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket Peyton Manning RC AU #87
22. 1999 Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autographs Walter Payton/Barry Sanders #4A
30. 1989 Score Troy Aikman RC #270
35. 2002 Donruss Elite Throwback Threads Red Grange/Jim Thorpe #21
This new card stands as a perfect representation of the resurgence of football pioneers in the hobby. Limited to just 25 copies, it includes a piece of Grange's leather helmet and Thorpe's Canton Bulldogs sweater.
40. 1999 Pacific Kurt Warner RC #343
47. 1999 Donruss Elite Passing the Torch Autographs Johnny Unitas/Peyton Manning #1
48. 1995 Select Certified Terrell Davis RC #126
49. 1989 Score Supplement Bo Jackson #384S
The cheapest card on the list was a prime target when the hobby was on the verge of a huge explosion. Bo was America's favorite athlete at the time.
53. 1989 Score Deion Sanders RC #246
57. 1996 Laserview Inscriptions Jerry Rice #21
58. 1948 Leaf Sid Luckman #1
Included in Leaf's history-making set, Luckman's RC was well sought after. It's difficult to find in top condition.
66. 2000 Donruss Preferred QBC Pen Pals Marino/Elway/Favre/Manning #PP92
When Manning calls it quits, this card will have the top four quarterbacks in all-time yards and completions. Too bad there is only 10 of them.
67. 2000 Playoff Contenders Tom Brady RC #144
73. 1998 Playoff Contenders Ticket Randy Moss RC AU #92
76. 2003 Donruss Classics Timeless Triples Jerseys Walker/Thorpe/Grange #TT1
79. 2002 Playoff Honors Run For History Payton/Smith AU #RWH1A
83. 2001 Playoff Contenders LaDainian Tomlinson RC #150
88. 2004 Leaf Limited Material Monikers Jim Thorpe #MM38
93. 2005 Donruss Classics Classic Quads Jerseys Thorpe/Brown/Payton/Sanders #1
100. 2001 Playoff Contenders Quincy Carter RC #162
Carter was one of a group of players available via redemption cards in packs. Each was affixed with a signature and mailed out late in the season. As it turns out, Carter had one of the shortest print runs. This card was once selling for around $500.