As expected, 2015 Donruss Baseball hit early last night almost two full days before its March 13th release. I have been waiting for this product for as long as I have been back in the hobby and I must say I am happy with what I’m seeing. The product is full of shiny cards, nostalgia-inducing inserts, and lots and lots of airbrushing. As a die-hard Topps collector who is not a fan of the flagship or Heritage, it’s a good day for me but I appear to be alone.
Reading through social media and on popular card forums, there appears to be a huge backlash against Panini and Donruss’ return, despite the previous year’s successful debut. If anything, this year looks even stronger than 2014 and in my humble opinion, despite its setbacks (no logos), has more style than Topps’ flagship. Of course, Donruss could never compete with Chrome or Finest but flagship vs. flagship, I gotta give Donruss their due.
Aside from the no MLB logo debate which I stopped having back in 2008, another familiar criticism with Donruss is the use of sticker autographs, which can take away from the overall look of what is an overall great design. Take for example the Signature Series autograph below, which is a throwback to 1996 Leaf Signature Series and one can only imagine what could have been done by spending extra money for on-card autographs.
As for big hits, there aren’t many that have been pulled yet. There are some nice dual autographs like Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas which will likely hit $300 before all is said and done. Don’t forget the buyback autographs, which will likely be the biggest cards from 2015 Donruss. None have popped up yet but will likely make an appearance before the end of the week.
Overall, if you can get past the air brushed logos (and that’s a huge if to many), you may find a decent product out here doing its best to compete with Topps. Perhaps enough of these solid products will lead to there being two card companies with baseball licenses. There’s nothing wrong with a little competition. Now it’s time to see if Leaf Trading Cards can put out a decent baseball-only release in 2015.