1996-97 Donruss Elite Eric Lindros & Mario Lemieux uncirculated autograph

lindros_lemieuxThe shiny card you see here is from the 1996-97 Donruss Elite Hart to Hart insert set. I purchased it from a dealer recently. However, there is good reason to believe that this card may have “escaped” from the Donruss facility in 1997 and was never circulated in packs.

The first thing that tips me off to this is that the card is supposed to be autographed by both Eric Lindros and Mario Lemieux. However, it is only autographed by Lindros.

lindros_autographThat’s sort of like ordering a ham and cheese sandwich, and getting ham sans cheese. Still, an autograph from the “Big E” is nice to have.

The second indicator that this card was probably uncirculated is that it lacks a serial number on the back.

lindros_lemieux_backAt the bottom center is a blank area where a serial number should be, such as 106/500. According to Beckett, 500 signed copies of this card were put into packs of 1996-97 Donruss Elite.

My theory is that the Donruss company had Lindros autograph the cards first, and had him sign a few more than 500. Someone’s got to sign them first, right? Plus, it would be wise to get whoever was signing first to autograph a few extras, just in case the other player signed a card in a fading marker, smudged one of his signatures, etc., on some of the cards.

The extra copies were apparently not needed, not signed by Lemieux and not stamped with a serial number. The corners on this card are dinged up, so I’m guessing someone smuggled it out of the company and it found its way on secondary market.


Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

5 thoughts on “1996-97 Donruss Elite Eric Lindros & Mario Lemieux uncirculated autograph”

  1. My first thoughts on see this were “great, now I’m gonna have that 80’s song Heart to Heart stuck in my head. And the other was this, some how SFW 30 seconds of the movie Fridays:


    Still, one autograph is better than nothing, but if you tried to move it, I could see someone having reservations as to it’s authenticity.

    1. Hi Pascal, and thank you for your comment. I am not looking to sell or trade this card at the moment, but will keep you in mind if that changes.

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