My thoughts on 2014 Donruss Series 2 ...
(In case your wondering, Our Lord and Savior, Jefferson Burdick, was given these Commandments by God Himself one day while he was out on a stroll on the banks of Lake Onondonga. It's in The Bible, trust me.)
The First Commandment of Baseball Card Product Development: Thou shalt not short-print thy base cards in a Flagship product.
Between the 30 Diamond Kings (of which there were already 30 in Series One), and 25 Rated Rookies, over a third of the base set is SPed. And we're not talking one-per-pack SPs either. You only get ten in a 24-pack Hobby box. Which brings us to point #2
2) The base set is way too small for a product like this.
155 cards (100 if you subtract the SPs) for a flagship product. I mean, really? Why even bother with it then?
MEMO to Panini: If you want collectors to keep ripping packs, don't gimmick-up the base set. MAKE THE BASE SET BIGGER!
3) Haven't we seen these guys before?
As I document in the video, many of the same players who had base cards in Series One, also have base cards in Series 2 -- which kind of defeats the whole purpose of a second series, doesn't it?
Look, I see where Panini's thoughts were. Series One was such a hit with collectors, it made sense for them to release a second series -- even though they had no plans for S2 originally. And since there are only so many players who switched teams in the interim, and only so many rookies that got called up, they couldn't just fill out the rest of base set with a bunch of Ham & Eggers.
Hopefully for 2015, Panini will plan out their checklist better and avoid a repeat of this year's repeats.
4) Donruss Elite needs to come back as a standalone product.
In lieu of releasing it as its own distinct product, each pack of S2 has one card from a 100-card Donruss Elite set. These foil-fronted cards are, hands-down, the highlight of Series 2 and it makes you wonder why Panini didn't release Elite on its own. Maybe for 2015 we'll get a proper Donruss Elite Baseball.
Speaking of Elite ...
5) Did we really need four different "Elite" inserts?
In addition to the one-per-pack "Elites," there's also "Elite Dominators" and "The Elite Series" ( continuations of the Series One inserts), and "Elite Series." I get that The Elite Series is the "Donruss" insert and Elite Series is the "Elite" insert, but come on! They couldn't think of anything different? And it's not as if there aren't any Donruss Elite inserts from the past collectors wouldn't want to see back again (Title Waves, Primary Colors, Passing the Torch, Back to the Future, et al), am I right?
6) Tracy Hackler is The Man, and you know it.
For one week, I want to be Tracy Hackler.
Don't get me wrong, I like this product. It's not the "flagship" product I would have preferred -- it's more "Donruss Archives." But for all it's faults, 2014 Donruss Baseball is still better then anything Topps has made this year.
RATING: 3 Gumsticks (out of 5).