Sunday, May 31, 2009

Random Pack Breaks: 2002 Donruss Originals

One of the things that really irks me about this hobby is that when one company strikes something that's a hit, everyone else soon follows. In the early part of the decade, Topps really struck gold with the full-on launch of their Heritage line (although there were hints of this before) so guess what? Everyone else started recycling their own "classic" designs. The thing with Topps is they have a long history. Fleer and Donruss didn't start making baseball cards regularly until 1981. That's way too early to be mining nostalgic designs.

2002 Donruss Originals really took the idea of recycling designs by including several from the 1980s. It led to a big checklist with very few original subjects as players were on multiple cards showcasing the variety of designs. Although I think Donruss was on a solid streak between 1982 and 1987 as far as designs go, none feel all that special to me. Yet here's a set dedicated to celebrating mediocrity.

This pack of 2002 Donruss Originals came in a three-pack repack - one of the few ways I can get baseball packs near where I live (although it's still a two-hour drive to the city). So let's tear in.

36. Adam Dunn, Reds

209. Harmon Killebrew, Twins

102. Mike Piazza
373. Vladimir Guerrero

68. Darin Erstad

The highlight for me is definitely the Vlad as it's an Expos card that I needed. Amazingly, the picture makes the 1988 design acceptable. A lot has to do with the colors on his jersey going well with the border.

What strikes me is how far a crisp photo goes in making Donruss' designs better. Like Fleer, they made a lot of ugly picture choices during the 1980s including a ton of boring portraits that were downright ugly. All five of the photos from this pack are solid but nothing fancy. But they're in focus and not blurry, something the Donruss team had troubles getting ahold of 25 years ago.

All in all, a good pack but nothing too fancy. Any hit off my Expos lists is always appreciated. If anyone needs any of these, give me a shout.

1 comment:

mmosley said...

I loved 80's donruss so 2002 origibals is fun to see. I agree with you about the crisp photography.

I would love to have the Piazza. I'll take a look at your expo want list this week.