Sunday, March 16, 2014

2014 Donruss Box

I have been a little intrigued over the past week or so by some of the posts other bloggers and collectors have made about the 2014 Donruss set.  The design of the set and different card elements within the set are very reminiscent of the old 1980s Donruss set.  The only real draw back is the whole Panini thing.   It's not a state secret that I am not a huge fan of the Panini, non-licensed, card releases.  Well, I decided to go for it and picked up a box of 2014 Donruss from Big D's Card Shop in Raleigh.  Here's a break down of the cards:


The base set of the 2014 Donruss cards have a white border which was common on the earlier 80s Donruss sets.  The logo at the top is also an older design of the Donruss logo.  The colored lines on the logo are new, but the card has a good early 80s feel to the card design.  The baseball design on the side of the card is almost identical to the 1987 Donruss cards.  


Many of the elements from the back of the old Donruss cards are also visible on this new relaunch.  Not perfect, but close.  The number in the corner in a baseball, the full name, and blurb at the bottom are all consistent with the 1980's Donruss cards, but the stat box used to show five years of stats, not just one, and the player's contract information was posted in between the stats and the blurb on the bottom of the card.

The 2014 Donruss set is a 200 card set and the box was really well collated.  I did not complete the whole set, but some of that had to do with short printing.  Really I had very few dupes out of my box and could easily spend a small amount of time on Ebay or COMC and have the rest of the set finished quickly.  The biggest pieces missing from my set come from the first 30 cards which are the Diamond Kings cards.  Just like old times....



These look a lot like the original Diamond Kings cards.  I am not sure if the Diamond Kings cards are advirtsed as a short print, but I only pulled five of them, plus a jumbo Diamond King.  The other cards at the beginning of all the Donruss sets?  Don't scroll down...


The Rated Rookie.  There is a good mix of prospects in this set and these cards seem like they might also be slightly short printed.  Some of the pictures seem like they might be Minor League pictures too which is totally cool in my book.  I am taking this Billy Hamilton card as a picture from the Louisville Bats.  Way cool.  There are also is a picture of Chris Archer wearing a Durham Bulls uniform.

Overall the 2014 Donruss base set is excellent.  If you did not collect baseball cards during the 1980s this set may not be for you, but the good vibes generated from cards is well worth the price of the box of cards.  Yes, I bash Panini for not using logos, but I was not even looking at that while I was opening these cards up out of these packs.  I saw that Adam Dunn card and thought about him oleing some ground balls at first base.....


and not the fact that I could not see the White Sox logo on the front of his jersey.  Of course there is so much more to the 2014 Donruss set than just the base set.  Let's look at some more cards.




There are Rookie cards.  The Rookie insert kind of look like the 1988 Donruss cards, but that's a stripe and not a plaid design.  I love the Beckham card on the right.  Durham Bulls uni?  I vote yes.  Again, these cards were a part of the early Donruss years right down to the little logo in the corner.  



There are some elite themed insert sets complete with serial numbers.  A classic of the early 1990s.  The scanner did not do these cards enough justice.  The have a cool foil finish.  Both sets are serial numbered out of 999.  I believe that there are autographed versions of these cards.  



There are also the usual jersey cards.  The Moore card is cool.  I am not sure about Jordan Lyles, but why not.  It's got a pinstripe.  There are also some cool autographs...


Really like the Gausman autograph.  He seems like a really good pitcher and the Cobra is also cool to land.  There are a few Donruss autographs that I will have to chase down now that I have opened my box.  Namely, Kolten Wong.  

The set is not a complete throwback to the 1980s and 1990s Donruss sets.  Panini also borrowed a few elements from the first Donruss relaunch which took place in 2001.  The cards were definitely a 2000s set with autographs, serial numbers, and a lot of foil and gloss.  Here are two cards that fit the 2000s Donruss mold:


The Press Proof cards actually started in the late 90s, but they became really prevalent in the early 2000s.  Pinnacle used the Press Proof concept across their card brands beyond Donruss which made the concept get old really fast.  Search out Press Proof on Ebay and your screen will be littered with a rainbow of different colored Press Proofs from Donruss, Donruss Elite, Leaf, Leaf Certified, Leaf Cuts, Playoff, Playoff Prestige, etc, etc, etc, etc.  


Panini also used the Stat Line cards.  Slightly cooler than the Press Proof cards, but still a product of the 2000s Donruss relaunch.  Player collectors really like these cards, I have dozens of these for Ray Lankford, and they create a good chase.  


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