I was actually excited to see that Panini was bringing back the Donruss name with it's new lower end baseballs set in 2014. Like a lot of other collectors I was a little disappointed that they decided to have a very reduced base set of only 200 cards. It's one thing Panini has yet to try to do with it's MLPA license and that's try to put out a real flagship set. I'd pondered why Panini didn't try to do what it did with basketball and just put out a Panini Baseball. And I suppose Panini has the option of putting out an even lower end set with Score Baseball, but bringing back the Donruss name also allows to bring with it the Donruss heritage. That means, Diamond Kings, Rated Rookies, Elite inserts, Dominators, ect, ect. Maybe this is just Panini getting it's toes wet. Panini has put out some nice higher to mid range sets featuring Hall of Famers, and Panini has put out it's own version of Chrome too. I guess we'll have to see how big of a hit these cards are, but Panini has done a pretty admirable job with it's baseball products considering they can't use MLB logos or team names. Lets have a look at some of the teasers Panini has put out via their blog.
Panini has also added this Hall Worthy insert. It kind of harkens back to the Heroes of the Hall inserts, but looks nothing like them.
There are also a ton of other inserts Panini hasn't provided images for yet like the No-No's, Breakout Hitters and Pitchers, Press Proofs, Stat Line, Career Stat Line, Rate Rookie base, and The Rookies, but we've got a few months and Panini is always good about putting out teasers and drool galleries on their blog.
You get 3 hits per box with two autos and one relic.
The relic cards are pretty ho-hum, but I wonder if there will be other levels to them.
There are at least three autograph issues in the set.
The Power Plus Signatures, which I think there is also a base insert version of these. This set is obviously taken from those 1985 Action All-Star over-size cards.
There are also these Donruss Signatures. I have no idea if this is based on an old issue, but I don't remember ever seeing anything like this before. But not my favorite of the bunch either.
And last image we got teased with were the Elite Signature cards
Back in the 90's the Elite inserts were some of the most sought after cards in the hobby. Featuring some of the first serial numbered cards and the hottest stars of the day, pulling an Elite was like striking gold.
Panini mashes two inserts together here with the Elite and the Signature Series. As the Signature Series cards were like diamonds. And were some of the first ever inserted autograph cards and they were a tough pull.
Overall I like the designs. This seems like to me a mix between a flagship product and a vintage heritage like product. Something old mixed with some new things. And while I don't think I'll be buying boxes and boxes of this stuff, I'll most likely pick up a few packs to try it out. Anyone else excited for a little Topps competition?