Back when I was a younger man and had a thirst for all things baseball, McDonalds partnered with Donruss to put out a set of cards for the Canadian market which would increase the sale of its sandwiches. The ’90s were a time when sports cards dominated the hobby market and baseball became a rival to hockey in Canadian collector’s minds. With the Blue Jays winning the World Series sales of baseball cards could be purchased at corner stores, gas stations, and hobby stores. Dealers carried commons to fill your sets and displayed insert and rookie cards along side their hockey counterparts. Yes it was a golden time for Canadian boys interested more in baseball than ice skates and hockey sticks.The honeymoon lasted a good four or five years before the Canadian market returned to its usual ways of leaving all sports cards except hockey by the wayside.
The 1992 Donruss McDonald’s set itself consisted of 33 cards which were identified as twenty-six MVP cards (one from each MLB team who they considered to be the team MVP), six Blue Jays Gold subset cards, and one unnumbered checklist card. These cards included stars and semi-stars and the following Hall of Famers: Cal Ripken Jr., Frank Thomas, George Brett, Nolan Ryan, Ryan Sandberg, Robin Yount, Barry Larkin, Kirby Puckett, Roberto Alomar, Ken Griffey Jr., and Ozzie Smith.
The 26 MVP cards were designed after Donruss’ regular issue of 1992 with an added MVP logo and the McDonald’s Golden Arches trademark shown on both sides of the cards. The six Blue Jays Gold cards show front full-bleed photos with gold foil stamping in a rectangular outline just inside the card edges. The backs of all 32 cards show player biographical information and recent yearly statistics and career statistics.
The cards came in a gold foil wrapper inside of which were four cards, three from the MVP set (included in the mix was also the Checklist card) and one Blue Jays Gold card. Packs could be aquired for thirty-nine cents (Canadian) with the purchase of a sandwich or breakfast entree.
Lastly, randomly inserted into packs was a redemption card which could be sent in to receive one of 1000 serial-numbered Roberto Alomar autograph cards.
The Alomar signature card came in a plastic holder and a letter (see the post: The Most Elusive Roberto Alomar Signature for more details).
Assembling this set was one of the highlights of my early ’90s collecting although once the promotion was finished I had a dislike for Big Macs and McChicken sandwiches. I frequented the local restaurant daily replacing my regular lunches with a McDonalds sandwich and a pack of baseball cards. I never found any redemption cards for the Alomar signature but I did accomplish both completing the regular set and gaining ten pounds.