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More Donruss on the Way from Panini

Fans of television’s “Seinfeld” will well remember the line once uttered by Teri Hatcher’s character, “And, by the way, they’re real…and they’re spectacular!” Within that same memorable episode is the brief but unforgettable clip of George Constanza causing a scene at a funeral reception when he is accused of performing the dreaded “double-dip.” It is easily understandable why people would remember Hatcher’s quote over Jason Alexander’s, but he does precede the tussle with the words, “You dip the way you want to dip … I’ll dip the way I want to dip.”

panini-america-2014-donruss-baseball-series-2-tanaka-rrFrankly, I don’t carry a strong opinion one way or the other on “double-dipping” chips, but it would seem that Panini has an affinity for a type of the practice as they have announced an August release for 2014 Donruss Series 2 Baseball. I’m calling it double-dipping because the release of Donruss earlier this season was such an unexpected success and no earlier announcement had been made that the release was “Series 1.” It is not marked on the boxes or packs or cards. The selling information from the company did not mention a second series nor even tease one. But 2014 Donruss panini-america-2014-donruss-baseball-series-2-abreuBaseball was so well received that it makes sense a company would want to “dip” in a again and see if the results taste just as good.

This is not a complaint nor a criticism. I enjoyed the first release, and my customers certainly went through the packs at a good clip. It makes good sense to go after another slice of the collecting pie in a season where there is so much going on…retirement of a baseball icon, several rookies making huge impacts with several different teams, three no-hitters thus far, etc.

Yes, despite the lack of an MLB license, I believe the Donruss double-dip might be worth a taste.

The Series II release will once again be issued in a 24-pack box with eight cards per pack and 16 boxes per case. Panini is promising more than 50 inserts and parallel cards in every box, and among these will be two autographs and one memorabilia card. The actual base set (a genuine earlier release hit with the collectors in our area) will pick up the numbering sequence with card #259 and carry on through card #358.

In some fashions, the Series II release of 2014 Donruss Baseball will be like a full release all in its own right. The second panini-america-2014-donruss-baseball-series-2-pujols-buybackseries will contain its own batch of Rated Rookies. Collectors who got in on time remember that in the early release Jose Abreu, Masahiro Tanaka  and Yordano Ventura were Rated Rookie available via a special wrapper redemption. They are each in Series II as a Rated Rookie once again, and they are joined by Jon Singleton, George Springer, Oscar Taveras and other recent call-ups. Once again, the Rated Rookies are short prints as are the Diamond Kings, which are set to come in at the rate of six per hobby box.

Also making the release feel like a set all in its own regard (except for the panini-america-2014-donruss-baseball-series-2-ripkennumbering, of course) is the presence of base set parallels. These will include the Stat Line (1 in 12 packs) and Press Proof (1 in 8 packs) parallels. In addition to the Rated Rookies and Diamond Kings other popular insert sets will return in the second series. These will include Elite, Elite Series, Elite Dominator, Face to Face, Elite Series Dual, and Elite Status inserts.

As you can see from the list above, the Elite brand shows up a few times in 2014 Donruss Series 2. Indeed, in this double-dip the basic Elite inserts will come to collectors at the rate of one per pack, while other Elite branded cards (Series, Dominator, Dual, Status) will also be found as inserts within the normal box break.

Speaking of a “normal” box, the pre-release information has the following breakdown for hits in each box:

(2) Autograph Cards
(1)  Bat King or Jersey King
(6)  Diamond Kings
(4)  Rated Rookies
(4) The Rookies
(24) Elite
(2) Elite Series
(2) Elite Dominator
(1) Face to Face
(1) Elite Series Dual
(2) Stat Line Parallels
(3) Press Proof Parallels
(1)  Elite Status Parallel

panini-america-2014-donruss-baseball-series-2-jeterAs reflected in the list above the promised memorabilia “hit” in each box will likely fall into either the Bat King or Jersey King variety. For the first time since 2005 Jersey Kings cards will make an appearance for collectors. These popular relic inserts will also have a Studio patch parallel on canvas stock. The prime patch versions will be limited to just 25 copies. Bat Kings will also have a parallel on the canvas stock numbered to 25.

Once again in this series will be autographed Recollection Collection cards. These were some of the most popular hits in the first series, and the release of Series II will likely gain a good deal of attention as the Recollection autographs will include signatures from Albert Pujols as well as other present-day and past players. Also in the autograph arena will be Turn of the Century autographs with 100 rookies and veterans signing cards. These also will have Status die-cut versions limited to 49 copies. Finally, Passing the Torch returns with autographed cards pairing past and present or rookie and veteran players. This kind of approach to autographed cards is usually a hit with collectors depending on the pairings. The pictured duo of Cal Ripken, Jr. and Manny Machado certainly looks interesting.

Panini uses the phrase “limited print run” when referring to 2014 Donruss Series II, but it is not known exactly what that means. One thing that is known is that the response to the earlier release this year has brought about a “double-dip” that should interest fans of the product line.


About Larry Pauley

Larry Pauley began collecting in the 1960's, opened his first card shop in the KC area during the late 1980's, and today, when not combing flea markets for the next “find,” he runs MLB Memories—a card shop in Nixa, MO, a website at mlbmemories.com, and stores on eBay and Amazon. Track him down @MLBMemories on Twitter or Facebook, or e-mail [email protected].

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