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

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 1

1983

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 2

1985

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 3

1987

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 4

1989

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 5

1991

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 6

1993

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 7

1995

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 8

1997

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 9

2001

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 10

2003

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 11

2005

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 12

1982

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 13

1984

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 14

1986

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 15

1988

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 16

1990

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 17

1992

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 18

1994

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 19

1996

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 20

1998

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 21

2002

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 22

2004

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 23

2014

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 24

Donruss Baseball Card Designs Through the Years 25
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Author

Ryan Cracknell

E-Mail Author | 
Ryan is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff.   His 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.

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