|Sweet broken bat, anyone?|
Everybody loves to poo-poo 2015 Donruss the same way they did Panini's 2014 offering, but not me, pal. God help me, I like it. Yeah, I said it. Come at me, bro.
I like the centering, the inserts, the checklist, the parallels, the logos, the faithfulness to the brand's history - all that. And I honestly don't see why there is so much hate for this solid set of cards. I'm maybe even a little defensive about it, and, well, it's pretty much all your fault.
I mean, I like these cards. That a problem? Oh, you take issue with an Ichiro Marlins card? And Longoria's awesomely huge Brundlefly specs? And Boggs? You have a problem with Wade freakin' Boggs whose America-beard once killed Hitler and brought a puppy back to life? Because I don't.
These cards are awesome. Why don't you see that?
"Oh, I hate 2015 Donruss. I hate that they made us all believe again by giving us the classic Donruss card backs complete with full names like they used to do. That's just the worst. Waaaahhhhh." That's you. That what you sound like.
Did I mention that was meant to be read in a girly voice?
Well, it was.
How many classic brands does Panini own the rights to now? Like, 30? And because they own such a small market share while everyone buys Topps (again, you), they can't afford to bring back every brand the people want. So what do they do? They give us those brands as inserts. That is hella-clever. And how do they do it? Perfectly. Take that well-executed Donruss Elite logo off the card and what do you have? Obvious Donruss Elite cards. There's a term for that: well-played.
How does no one else seem to recognize the awesomeness going on here?
This card back is a problem? THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL CARD BACK. Yeah, caps mean yelling. I'm yelling.
Oh, a gorgeous holofoil tribute to Tony Gwynn? You gonna bitch about that now? Not beautiful enough for you? THESE CARDS LOOK AMAZING. I'm considering getting that "Gwynn 19" logo they used tattooed on my forehead. It's that classy. Tattoo classy, the highest form of classiness.
I haven't seen a jersey card this great-looking in years. Really. Show me a better-looking jersey card. Heck, show me a jersey card from the last five years that doesn't look like every other jersey card produced in the last five years. It's tough. Some relics are big, some are small - that tends to be the only difference. Panini has given us an excellent and attractive jersey card.
Don't hate. Participate.
Now I know you don't hate Diamond Kings. This was a staple of the Donruss brand. And they look good. Moreover, we get current DK's in blue and All-Time DK's in...burnt sienna (?) like this McGwire here. In the blurb on the back they liken his forearms to Popeye's. Of course Popeye was on spinach and McGwire was on something that more likely ended in the letters -one, but that Popeye reference is the kind of sparkling wordplay you can only get from Panini. Topps would have said something like, "Mark hit a lot of home runs because big. Also, huge."
Panini wins again.
They even brought back "The Rookies," same logo and everything! It's awesome! And it's a solid-looking card. Red, white, and blue against a black & white background? Oh, you don't like red, white, and blue? Maybe go back to North Vietnam, then. We're a Donruss country.
And wait, is that a Pete Rose card? A PETE ROSE CARD!?!?!?!
Think about THAT shit.
Oh, no! An homage to the classic '81 Donruss design! Now my day is ruined. PSYCH! That card is fantastic. And so is the return of Studio as an insert full of beautiful black and white portraits THE WAY STUDIO IS SUPPOSED TO BE. They even did a great job on the logo.
Why do you hate this? Not enough shiny for you? Alright:
Are you eyes okay? Or did you just get blinded by Panini's advanced proprietary printing technology? Oh, and look! Dominators are BACK. The Elite Series is BACK. Press Proofs are BACK.
The Donruss Preferred design is BACK. Some weird USA Baseball insert is ALSO HERE. Longball Leaders is BLUE.
And also THESE.
And THIS! My God, THIS! It's not just one of the regular inserts with a sticker on it. It's a whole entire new design with a sticker on it. And it looks like a million bucks! Is that an ocean sparkling with the light of a mid-day sun in the background? Probably not, but you could've fooled me. This card's magic is almost immune to scanning, but take my word for it - this is the prettiest damn auto I've pulled from a pack in years. Truly.
AND THE REST:
Yeah, yeah, you miss the logos. Because how are you gonna know what team Rickey Henderson played for without a big, cursive "A" and maybe an elephant or something on the card? I mean, it's IMPOSSIBLE, RIGHT?
I joked around a lot here, but I genuinely love this set. Yeah, I suppose the base design could have been better, but that's not enough of an issue for me to ruin the collecting experience. Ripping packs of this brand is fun and the inserts are fantastic. Panini has gotten me genuinely excited about their future offerings.
Not to mention that it is on our best interest as collectors to have competition in the market.
Now go and give this set a chance.