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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Masahiro Tanaka 2014 Donruss Rated Rookie #235 Rookie Yamkees
$8.00
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Masahiro Tanaka 2014 Donruss The Rookies #18 Rookie Yamkees
$8.00
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Lot of 2 1984 Donruss:Tony Fernandez's RC #32 & Chris Smith's RC #46 BOTH PSA 9!
$5.50
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1982 DONRUSS CAL RIPKEN JR. AUTOGRAPH ROOKIE PSA DNA AUTO RC
$46.00
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1984 Donruss BASEBALL Factory Sealed Set - Don Mattingly RC
$129.99
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1987 DONRUSS #36 GREG MADDUX RC (LOT OF 3)
$9.99
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ROBERTO ALOMAR 1988 DONRUSS RATED ROOKIE AUTO PADRES INDIANS AUTOGRAPH
$14.99
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2005 DONRUSS ZENITH BASEBALL SET (250) CARDS ROOKIE STARS LOADED
$33.20
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Don Mattingly 1984 Donruss PSA 9 New York Yankees Rookie RC in New PSA Holder
$61.01
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WADE BOGGS RC 1983 Donruss # 586 NrMt+ - Aliz
$29.99
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1989 Donruss Fleer & Classic Orange Griffey Jr. RC
$12.00
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(7) 1987 87 BO JACKSON RC ROOKIE LOT (2) FLEER (1) FLEER GLOSSY (2) DONRUSS +++
$7.99
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1982 Donruss #405 Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles RC Rookie PSA 10 GEM MINT
$142.50
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1987 Donruss Greg Maddux RC Rookie PSA 10 GEM MINT
$77.00
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BRIAN STOKES 2003 DONRUSS RC ROOKIE AUTO 0478 1000 TAMPA BAY RAYS
$9.99
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2014 Donruss Press Proof RC Gold #33 NICK CASTELLANOS 99 Detroit Tigers
$10.99
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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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