2001 Donruss Baseball
Donruss is back!! I know that I've been getting down on the manufacturers for producing too many products so you might expect that I wouldn't welcome another manufacturer into the baseball card market. But truthfully, I'm not against a new manufacturer making baseball cards. I would just like to see each manufacturer make less products. In the case of Donruss and Leaf, they were always one of my favorites and I was sad to see them go when Pinnacle closed up shop a few years ago. I've also been a big fan of Playoff for their innovative football card designs so when they bought the remains of Pinnacle I hoped that it would mean they would get a chance to try a second sport. While their first attempt, 2001 Donruss Baseball, is not a great product, it does show us promise for what I hope will be a big return year for some of my favorite products of the late 90's.
I read some comments on a newsgroup the other day that said Playoff made a mistake by trying to make a baseball card set like their football card sets. I think that comment was way off. Playoff has made Donruss Baseball. Plain and simple, this is the Donruss Baseball that we knew in 1997 and 1998 with the added flair of 2001 gimmicks. Donruss is a base set. The $3+ pack price might be a bit high for a base set, but it still holds some value by providing short printed rookie cards, numbered inserts and parallels, autographs, and game used memorabilia cards. They did try one trick that had moderate success in a football card product, the pack within a pack idea. Each pack of 2001 Donruss has a one card pack inside it containing either a 1999 Donruss card (hobby) or 2000 Donruss card (retail). These are actually cards that would have been, but it's a neat idea because they've got the players in the uniform they wore for that season.
The inserts and parallels include some old favorites (Diamond Kings and Stat Lines) as well as a number of reprint cards celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Donruss. They've done a great job of merging autographs and memorabilia with inserts, especially Diamond Kings. On top of all of this Playoff has repurchased a large number of old Donruss cards, had them graded by Beckett, and inserted them as hobby box toppers. I was fortunate to find a Tony Gwynn rookie card, my only complaint being that it was just a BGS 7. Overall it was great to see Donruss back on the shelves and I look forward to seeing more from our "new" baseball card manufacturer.
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