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Steal of a Deal: 97-98 Donruss Limited Joe Thornton & Mark Messier Unlimited Limited Exposure Parallel

March 16, 2011

It has been quite a while since my last Steal of a Deal post, but in fairness, it has also been quite a while since I have bought anything that I feel fits the title well enough.

Today’s Steal of a Deal comes via an eBay buy of mine from about a month ago.  While scouring through some 2008-09 Upper Deck Masterpieces listings, I came across a seller who had a number of cards from that set up for auction.  I put in bids on some of the cards that I needed and then went to see what else the seller had available.

That simple click of my mouse led to one of my favourite purchases of 2011 to date, a 1997-98 Donruss Limited Joe Thornton/Mark Messier Unlimited Subset Limited Exposure Parallel.  A mouthful in terms of a title for a card, I won it for a measly $2.25.


Back when the set was released the previous incarnation of Donruss announced that only 40 copies of the Unlimited subset portion of this parallel set were produced.  I am well aware of the fact that the 40 copies number is difficult to trust given the lack of serial numbering, coupled with the selloff of Donruss’ assets following their bankruptcy in 1998 (which would have included additional copies of cards held back as potential replacements). 

With that said, there can be little question that this is still a fairly rare card.  I can honestly say that in the thirteen years since the product’s release I have only ever come across one other copy and needless to say the price was so high that I decided to take a pass at that time.  Finding it after this long, at this low of a price made this addition to my Thornton collection that much sweeter.

A quick search of eBay also reveals only a handful of cards from the Unlimited subset of the Limited Exposure parallel set are available, including a copy of this card at a substantially higher price than I paid, reinforcing my belief that I got this for a steal.

Admittedly, I do feel that a very major reason that I was able to get such a deal on this card lies in the listing itself as the title and description of the card were, in a word, lacklustre.  Outside of indicating that the card was a 1997-98 Donruss Limited Joe Thornton Rookie, there was no further detail given about the card.

Essentially I had to take a chance and trust that what I was seeing in the photo included in the listing would actually be what I received.  The 97-98 Donruss Limited set reminds me a lot of Topps Chrome and given that the picture had a very refractor-like look to it as opposed to the dull look that scans of the regular cards can have, I had a pretty good feeling that it was the Limited Exposure version. 

Unfortunately the Messier side of the card, which shows the words “Limited Exposure” under the card number (as seen below), was not even referenced in the title or description, and predictably was not included as a photo for the item.

With that being the case, I had to sit and wait for the card to actually arrive in my mailbox before I could know for certain that I would reap the rewards I was hoping for.  Obviously that ended up being the result, but the added suspense beyond seeing my bid show up as the winner made the win that much more exciting for me.

What sort of great deals have you come across lately?  Share your finds by sending an e-mail to bb_bros [at] hotmail [dot] com, posting  a comment or connecting via Twitter (@bb_bros) or Facebook!

Until Sunday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!



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