Thursday, March 20, 2014

2014 Donruss Base Set

I shared a handful of Phillies cards from 2014 Donruss a few days ago. These were cards I had gotten on eBay. I've now acquired a hobby box on eBay and can form some better opinions.

Details below but I think this is a solid, if dull attempt to recreate the Donruss brand. I'll have a later post on the inserts to the set.

#11 Paul Goldschmidt
The first 30 cards are the Diamond Kings subset. The design is taken from 1984 Donruss. Diamond Kings was a subset of the Donruss base set from 1982 through 1991. After that, Diamond Kings became an insert set, not part of the regular cards. The box only had 5 of the 30. They don't seem to be short printed.

#31 Michael Choice
The next 15 cards are the "Rated Rookie" subset. These are rookie cards as MLB has defined the term, that is, the first card of the player in either the year they made their major league debut, or the year after.  They have the same design as the base cards, front and back, with the addition of the Rated Rookie logo. Donruss seems to have started using this logo in 1984 and used it through 1995.

#133 Hyun-Jin Ryu
 There are also random cards with Panini's Rookie Card logo scattered through the set.

#190 Nolan Ryan
The last 15 cards of the 200-card set are retired players. The only significant difference between these and the other cards is that they don't have a player's union logo on the back.

My opinions:

I really want to like this set, but I'm feeling pretty lukewarm. Without seeing a single card the set already has a built-in problem in that it is not licensed.

Another issue for me. Pretty much every card looks like this:

#159 Pablo Sandoval
or this:

#138 R. A. Dickey
Either the card features a batter swinging or a pitcher during his throw. There are no horizontal cards as the design doesn't lend itself to a horizontal layout. There are very few cards featuring position players on the field and no action shots, like a play at a base, at all. No spectacular catches, no off-balance throws, no collisions at the plate. The pitchers are all in about the same spot in their delivery. No follow-through shots, getting signs from the catcher or mound conferences. About the only exception to this is that almost all the catchers are in gear and maybe getting ready to throw.

#142 Yan Gomes
I'm afraid this makes for a pretty boring set.

The other problem is that the cards are printed kind of dark. I've brightened them up a little in Photoshop but in many of the cards, the photos and background are too dark. The background, when it is anything but red or orange is sometimes just a solid black band like this card.

#200 Don Mattingly
Black baseballs on a dark blue background? Your guess is as good as mine.


night owl said...

The Diamond Kings and Rated Rookies are short-printed at a rate of 1:4 according to

capewood said...

Thanks. I had seen that on your post and meant to go back and correct my post but forgot. Dang.

Hackenbush said...

They don't excite me at all.