Monday, May 13, 2013

The Pack Gambler Retro Break: 1989 Donruss Baseball Wax Box

This months Retro Break is going way back to 1989 and with a familiar product that everyone in the Baseball Card community knows, 1989 Donruss Baseball.
Yes we have pulled all the stops to find a legendary old school box break to run with for our Baseball followers and collectors alike.
I'm sure everyone knows of the most famous card in the set being Ken Griffey Jr.'s Rookie Card but there are a couple other aspects to this product that people seem to forget about. One being the 26 card Diamond Kings set. these cards feature Dick Perez's illustrations of the top players on each team. These were always cool to pull out of the packs as they gave you another side of the player and a cool looking card.

Next up are the famous Rated Rookies. 20 cards in total and featuring some of the best in the game from the 90's including the aforementioned Ken Griffey Jr., Sandy Alomar Jr., Gary Sheffield, Randy Johnson, Tom Gordon and Cris Carpenter. The RR in blue on the cards really standout and have become known now within the most recent Panini cards since they purchased Donruss properties a while back. 

Within the 660 very deep set you will find anyone and everyone from the 1988 year along with some other rookies that didn't make it to the Rated Rookie stature. Chris Sabo, Rob Dibble, Brady Anderson, Craig Biggio, Dante Bichette, Curt Schilling and John Smoltz. Some top caliber players there including a couple of Hall of Famers.

One last note about the product is the collectible Warren Spahn puzzle pieces. Each pack will have 1 piece to the large puzzle to collect and build. Also a card featuring the puzzle in full is within the base set.

So the basics of the Wax Box is 36 packs and 15 cards per pack. Amazing considering the most recent boxes have no more than 24 packs with the most 10 cards per pack. 540 cards you will come out with from one box, you can imagine how heavy the box feels compared to modern day boxes. Very solid and very heavy which is why you won't see these with low shipping rates on eBay or other sites.

So lets see how we did with the Retro box break:

Cards: 480
Diamond Kings: 21 (7 doubles)
MVP's: 20 (7 doubles)
Rated Rookies: 14 - Sheffield x2, Alomar Jr. x3 (5 doubles)
So for a 1989 baseball Wax box what could you expect? We didn't pulled our main sought after rookie of Ken Griffey Jr. but we did end up with 2 Sheffield, 2 Biggio and 3 Sandy Alomar Jr. rookies. We also came away with the full Puzzle set and a couple of decent hall of fame players and other 90's stars. The doubles were very common back in those days as we know and also knowing how deep the set is we knew going in there would be no chance at completing the full set.

The interesting piece of the break was the assortment of the packs. We opened the 1st two bottom rows and the cards pulled from those packs were from the 50-100's numbered only. The top right row of packs provided only 500-600 numbered cards. The last row (top left) were a mix of all numbered cards. We only received 2 cards from the 300's and received 0 cards from the 400's. A very strangle correlation of cards, but again from the 80's and 90's this is to be expected.

On the wax wrappers there was an advertisement for "Large Size Diamond Kings". I have never seen any of these in person nor have I looked for them, and haven't seen any recently on eBay. I always wondered the quality of these once received from the factory. 
Even though the box was less than stellar it was cool to rip open wax packs again. Really brings you back to the roots of starting collecting. You knew even back then the cards were meant for Kids as even stated on the box side panel. We've come along way from 1989 products and look to be maybe getting back to the "For Kids" theme soon. This was one of the first products to start the era of over-production. Doubles were so frequent and almost for every card we pulled but very expected from this product. This was a typical outcome for the next few years within the card collecting hobby, but these were fun times as a kid collecting as well.
As always, most card we pull in our breaks we send into our COMC account. If you are interested in any of the cards we have listed or not shown please let us know at

Thanks again and remember to visit us at 


  1. The articles in this site are of high quality and I really enjoyed reading them. I am happy to visit this site as it has great stuff in it. Thanks a lot.

    1. Thank you Julie for your comments they're much appreciated. Nice to hear you visited our site and liked it as well
      We look forward to providing more enjoyable articles for you in the future. Thanks again

  2. I just started reading your blog and this is great. It is nice to see breaks like this find their way through all of the high end boxes with an auto or GU per pack

  3. I just started reading your blog and this is great. It is nice to see breaks like this find their way through all of the high end boxes with an auto or GU per pack

    1. Thank you very much Patrick. Glad you enjoy it. Love hearing feedback about our posts and extra special about one that is a retro "old-school" break.
      thanks, The Pack Gambler