Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years

The hobby changed in a big way in 1981. That was the year Donruss and Fleer joined Topps as the major manufacturers of MLB cards. Donruss baseball enjoyed a run of nearly 20 uninterrupted years as one of the sport's premier brands.

Throughout the 1980s, Donruss baseball sets were very consistent. The main designs maintained a lot of the same elements save for switching to black borders every now and again. Once the 1990s hit and there was a demand for better quality, Donruss baseball rose to the challenge. Starting in 1992, there was higher quality card stock even for the low-end release.In 1994, the brand got its first taste of foil stamping.

However, by this time, base Donruss baseball was getting lost in an increasingly crowded landscape. The focus was shifting to more premium brands and insert-driven configurations.

1998 was the final year of Donruss' first run. It disappeared for a couple of years before being resurrected by Donruss-Playoff in 2001, They  had purchased the brand from the now-bankrupt Pinnacle Brands. 2001 Donruss Baseball does have cards for the two "lost years," but these were inserts and not a full-on release.

Donruss-Playoff continued to release Donruss sets through 2005 when their MLB license was not renewed. But the brand wasn't dead.

It returned for a third run in 2014, this time as a Panini product.

Here's a look at all of the Donruss baseball base designs released between 1981 and 2014. It showcases just how much things changed over the years.

Visual History of Donruss Baseball Cards

1981

1981 Donruss Tim Raines 214x300 Image

1983

1982 Donruss Tony Gwynn 214x300 Image

1985

1985 Donruss Roger Clemens 214x300 Image

1987

1987 Donruss Barry Bonds 214x300 Image

1989

1989 Donruss Ken Griffey Jr 214x300 Image

1991

1991 Donruss Frank Thomas 214x300 Image

1993

1993 Donruss Mike Piazza 214x300 Image

1995

1995 Donruss Jim Thome 217x300 Image

1997

1997 Donruss Alex Rodriguez 211x300 Image

2001

2001 Donruss Mark McGwire 212x300 Image

2003

2003 Donruss Chipper Jones 215x300 Image

2005

2005 Donruss Mariano Rivera 213x300 Image

1982

1982 Donruss Cal Ripken Jr 214x300 Image

1984

1984 Donruss Don Mattingly 214x300 Image

1986

1986 Donruss Jose Canseco 214x300 Image

1988

1988 Donruss Tom Glavine 214x300 Image

1990

1990 Donruss Bo Jackson 214x300 Image

1992

1992 Donruss Greg Maddux 214x300 Image

1994

1994 Donruss Albert Belle 214x300 Image

1996

1996 Donruss Derek Jeter 214x300 Image

1998

1998 Donruss Pedro Martinez 214x300 Image

2002

2002 Donruss Albert Pujols 211x300 Image

2004

2004 Donruss Ichiro 212x300 Image

2014

2014 Donruss Mike Trout 212x300 Image

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3215324405704040 1 Image
1982 Donruss Complete Factory set Ripkin Rookie PSA 8
$39.99
3711506975064040 1 Image
(3) Kirby Puckett Rookie Cards Nrmt + or be 1985 Topps,Fleer , Donruss
$9.11
1214479529604040 1 Image
Mark Grace 2014 Donruss Buyback Recollection 1988 Rated Rookie Auto 65 86 Cubs
$29.99
1214448602244040 1 Image
1988 Donruss Unopened Cello pack GREG MADDUX & TOM GLAVINE RC Atlanta Braves HOF
$14.95
4004847214854040 1 Image
2002 DONRUSS ROOKIES NEAR SET (-1) w Chone Figgins RC, Freddy Sanchez RC, C.Lee
$14.99
2215576076434040 1 Image
1988 DONRUSS BASEBALL Set - TOM GLAVINE ROOKIE Card & 1991 Donruss Factory Set
$10.00
3708727341534040 1 Image
2001 Donruss Baseball's Best Albert Pujols SILVER RC BGS 9 Mint SP CARDINALS
$129.99
3312519853184040 1 Image
1987 DONRUSS #191 BARRY LARKIN RC LOT OF 19 NMMT B27737
$17.60
3511099587944040 1 Image
1987 DONRUSS #205 BO JACKSON RC LOT OF 25 NMMT B27735
$26.40
2516561751854040 1 Image
1987 DONRUSS RATED ROOKIE GREG MADDUX ROOKIE CARD #36
$9.99
1913451940244040 1 Image
1987 DONRUSS GLOSSY HIGHLIGHT MARK MCGWIRE SETS ROOKIE HR RECORD 8 CARD LOT
$5.89
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1988 DONRUSS # 644 TOM GLAVINE 4 CARD ROOKIE LOT
$5.29
1913451980174040 1 Image
1982 DONRUSS CAL RIPKEN ROOKIE CARD # 405 NICELY CENTERED CARD
$19.00
4007667904384040 1 Image
1987 DONRUSS ROOKIES #52 GREG MADDUX CUBS ROOKIE
$7.00
4007667904394040 1 Image
1987 DONRUSS THE ROOKIES #14 BO JACKSON ROYALS ROOKIE
$6.00
4007667907164040 1 Image
1986 DONRUSS ROOKIES #11 BARRY BONDS PIRATES ROOKIE
$7.00
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Ryan Cracknell

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Ryan's collecting origins began with winter bike rides to the corner store, tossing a couple of quarters onto the counter and peddling home with a couple packs of O-Pee-Chee hockey in his pocket. Today, he continues to build sets, go after inserts with cool technologies, chase Montreal Expos and finish off his John Jaha master collection. Ryan can be found on Twitter @tradercracks and Google+.

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