2016 Donruss Baseball has a feeling of familiarity and a side of San Diego Chicken


2016 Donruss Base

By Ryan Cracknell | Hobby Editor

A lot of the designs may be different and the players are definitely current, but there’s still a feeling of familiarity to 2016 Donruss Baseball. It has a broad checklist that includes a lot of insert and subset names that come from Donruss’ roots and recent history.

Although not a high-end release, 2016 Donruss Baseball hobby boxes still come with three total autographs and memorabilia cards.

The main part of the set has 150 cards. They all have several parallel versions including Stat Line, Pink, Test Proofs (/49) and Printing Plates. Hobby boxes have five parallels including at least one Stat Line and one Pink. Although not parallels, several players have variations as well.

Rated Rookies and Diamond Kings, both Donruss staples, are back. Rated Rookies highlight young players. A top player on each team is enshrined with a Diamond Kings card.

Last year’s set featured a subset based on the 1981 Donruss Baseball design. It’s 1982‘s turn in 2016 Donruss Baseball. These cards, which have a retro look, average out to about one per hobby pack. Players are a mix of current and retired stars. Parallels include Holometric and Holoflow.

There’s no shortage of inserts. Elite Series and Elite Dominators, both hobby exclusives, each fall one per box. Power Alley (1:12 packs) highlight the game’s best hitters. Other inserts include Masters of the Game (1:12), The Prospects (1:12) and The Rookies (1:12). Members of the USA Collegiate National Team are part of their own insert set.

Autographs and memorabilia cards share the same variety as the rest of 2016 Donruss Baseball. Signature Series returns with the bulk of the autographs. These include six parallels that are capped off by one-of-one Black versions.

Preferred Pairings cards come with autographs from two players. Red versions are numbered to 25 or less while Gold cards have no more than ten copies. Black are one-of-a-kind.

Other signed inserts in 2016 Donruss Baseball include New Breed Autographs and Significant Signatures. Autographed buybacks of original Donruss cards are are available. Among them? The 1982 Donruss Cal Ripken rookie card.

Promising Pros is a memorabilia insert featuring rookies, prospects and over-sized swatches. Corey Seager and Kyle Schwarber are among those in the set. Gold parallels come with premium swatches. Signed versions can also be found.

Back to the Future uses swatches from jerseys of a player’s previous team. The 25-card checklist includes Miguel Cabrera and Jake Arietta.

For some, the most intriguing inclusion in 2016 Donruss Baseball features a baseball icon who wasn’t a player. The San Diego Chicken gets a special Silhouette Material insert.

2016 Donruss Baseball at a glance:

Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 8
Boxes per case: 16
Set size: 150 cards
Release date: March 2, 2016

What to expect in a hobby box:

  • Autographs and Memorabilia Cards – 3 Total
  • Pink Parallels – 1
  • Stat Line Parallels – 1
  • Additional Parallels – 3
  • Elite Dominators Inserts – 1
  • Elite Series Inserts – 1
  • Masters of the Game Inserts – 2
  • Power Alley Inserts – 2
  • The Prospects Inserts -2
  • The Rookies Inserts – 4
  • USA Collegiate National Team Inserts – 4
  • Diamond Kings – 4
  • Rated Rookies 4
  • 1982 Base Cards – 24

Comments? Questions? Contact Ryan Cracknell on Twitter @tradercracks.


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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  1. David D 17 December, 2015 at 18:10

    Donruss had so many great designs in their years of offering sport cards. I remember vividly opening up case after case of 84 Donruss cards in my tiny store in Brooklyn, Ohio looking for the “Living Legends” baseball card inserts!
    So many great designs- yet Panini manages to replicate the SAME drawn out ugly design- 3 years running in- supposedly- trying to emulate what once was a proud product. Pass on 2016 Donruss!!

  2. JD 20 December, 2015 at 12:23

    I can’t decide whether the current Donruss sets or the 2006-07 Fleer sets are a bigger insult to the original brands. I hated the UD Fleer sets, but I am starting to think that the new Donruss sets are even worse. And that is saying something because the original Donruss was not nearly as good as Fleer in general.

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