Following the success of the 1991 Score Mickey Mantle promotion, it seemed only fitting for Score to pay tribute to another iconic Yankee in their 1992 release. This time, it appears, more planning went into creating and marketing chase cards since Score had unique inserts in their Series 1 and Series 2 cards, while that Mantle promotion was exclusive to Series 2. However, this article will focus exclusively on the Series 1 Joe DiMaggio Yankee Clipper autograph inserts. I’ll start with some of the advertising material followed by a rundown of the packaging, which both give insight into the autograph set’s production numbers before highlighting all the cards and some recent sales.
1992 Score Baseball Advertisements
This first advertisement for 1992 Score Baseball highlights the release and encourages fans to “Get all the action!” The ad reads that the 1992 Score baseball release has 893 cards across two series, 16 cards to a pack, and more than 100 rookie prospects. It also highlights the Joe DiMaggio insert and that 2,495 have been inserted into Series I packs.
This next magazine ad focuses explicitly on the Joe DiMaggio inserts and refers to him as America’s Living Legend. The ad shows DiMaggio signing the cards in the middle, surrounded by each of the five specific cards. Beneath the photo, the ad highlights the “spectacular” five-card insert set and that he signed 2500 cards. Score also shares that they printed 150k unsigned DiMaggio Yankee Clipper cards and that they could all be found in Series 1 packs, including 442 regular cards that would be available in late 1991.
1992 Score Baseball Series 1 Packaging
The 1992 Score Baseball Series 1 box highlighted the Joe DiMaggio autograph insert cards and to see the details about how to win on the wrappers.
The front of the 1992 Score Baseball Series 1 pack has a little circle on the bottom left corner highlighting the ability to win autographed Joe DiMaggio cards and to see details on the back of the pack.
The back of the pack has similar details as the 1991 Score packs that held the Mickey Mantle promo.
The pack highlights the ability to get DiMaggio cards in two ways, instantly or in a sweepstakes drawing. Winning instantly meant pulling a card from a pack. Score inserted 2495 autographed and 149965 unautographed exclusive Joe DiMaggio cars in Series 1 packs. They also wrote that five different cards complete the full DiMaggio set.
The sweepstakes offered five autographs and 25 unautographed Joe DiMaggio cards awarded to folks who send in a 3’’x5″ index card and selected in a drawing to be held on July 15, 1992.
I suspect the odds of pulling a DiMaggio card were printed beneath the tab at 50 gagillion to one.
The 1992 Score Joe DiMaggio Yankee Clipper Autograph Production Numbers
A lot of guides will write that Score produced a total of 30k unautographed cards, but it’s clear from the ads and wrapper that it’s 30k of each of the five cards. Also, some collectors have written that DiMaggio signed each of his cards 2500 times, but it’s 2500 total cards.
Now let’s dive into the individual cards. Each feature colorized vintage photos on the front and back and was signed and numbered on the back.
1992 Score Joe DiMaggio #1 The Minors
The first card in the series highlights Joe DiMaggio in his San Francisco Seals minor league uniform. The back shares that he was a hit right from the start of his pro career, hitting .340 at 17 in the Pacific Coast League.
A “The Minors” autographed card sold for $780 on eBay in June 2022.
1992 Score Joe DiMaggio #2 The Rookie
The second card in the 1992 Score Baseball DiMaggio set highlights his rookie season. The back of the card highlighted his high expectations in 1936 at 21. That season he led the Yankees to the pennant with a .323 batting average, 29 HRs, 125 RBIs, 132 runs, and 15 triples.
The cards were all printed and distributed in equal numbers, but the last graded example in PSA’s Auction Prices Realized database was from an eBay sale in January 2022, when one sold for $405.
1992 Score Joe DiMaggio #3 The MVP
The 1992 Score DiMaggio MVP card is the first with a portrait-oriented back. The card highlights his 1939 MVP season, during which he won the batting title with a .381 average, leading the Yankees to a fourth straight World Series. He won his second MVP award in 1941 and his third in 1947.
Goldin sold a PSA-graded 1992 Score Joe DiMaggio The MVP autographed card in May 2022 for $804.
1992 Score Joe DiMaggio #4 The Streak
DiMaggio’s “The Streak” card is the most popular in the five-card series, highlighting his 56-game hitting streak. It features a gorgeous landscape image on the front, and the back explains that his hitting streak was stopped only because of a pair of great fielding plays by Cleveland’s third baseman.
PWCC sold a PSA 9 graded 1992 Score Joe DiMaggio The Streak card for $885 in January 2021 on eBay.
1992 Score Joe DiMaggio #5 The Legend
The final card in Score’s Yankee Clipper series highlights Joe DiMaggio’s entire career. The back of the card explains that he led the Yankees to 10 AL pennants and nine World Championships before his retirement in 1951.
The only completed sale I could track down was for a BGS/JSA graded card in March 2016 for $260. However, if one came to market today, ~$750 would be my expected sales price.
A Few Final Notes and Recommendations
It’s a little tough to gauge PSA’s Population report, but they’ve graded no more than 150 1992 Score Joe DiMaggio autographed cards. SGC’s pop report appears to add around 30 more to the total graded count, and I’m sure Beckett has slabbed at least 10. Combined, that’s certainly a lot less than 2500! Now, how many are lost forever in garbage dumps, locked in packs in warehouses, or ungraded collections? Who knows!
Despite being tough to track down, this card series is an excellent collection in honor of one of baseball’s all-time greats.
I’ll be highlighting 1992 Score Series 2 inserts at a later time. The Franchise Autographs will be featured in a future article, so keep an eye out here on the blog for it. And I’ll highlight the 1991 Rookie of the Year Chuck Knoblauch 1990 Score Buy Back Autographs in the Post War Cards Newsletter.
And if you’re interested in other early junk wax-era chase cards, you’d probably be interested in the following articles:
- The 1990 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson Autograph Was The First Major Chase Card
- The Chase Continues: Exploring Upper Deck’s 1991 Autograph Heroes Series
- The Golden Era of Inserts: Exploring the 1991, 1992, and 1993 Donruss Signature Series Cards
- The 1991 Score Exclusive Mickey Mantle Card Promotion
Unfortunately, I haven’t written bout DiMaggio very much, but his streak does get mentioned in my article about the 1941 Baseball Card Sets. He also has rare cards in two sets I’ve highlighted on the Oddball Archive; the 1948 R346 Blue Tint set and the 1971 House of Jazz set.