Sunday, July 9, 2023

The Bootleggiest

Thoughts on 2023 Donruss featuring cards from a @Nachos_Grande break. 
When Panini lost their MLBPA license at the end of last year, it remained somewhat of a mystery as far as to whether they would continue making baseball cards at all. We'd already seen what the company can and can't do with no MLB license (lack of logos, less promotion, etc.) What happens when you take a knockoff brand and remove all of the active big league players from it?

You get... well... this! It's all retired players and prospects, baby. There are some positives about the set checklist, I suppose, like the addition of more Jim Edmonds cards for me to chase.

Instead of Rated Rookies, the Rated Prospect insert set becomes a subset in 2023. I believe this is my first Gordon Graceffo card.

Buybacks and oddball stuff aside, Ray Lankford's last appearance in a set was back in 2012, and that was on a Fan Favorites autograph card. Despite the brutal card design, the checklist is littered with old friends who hadn't been heard from in awhile.

Masyn Winn is one of the Cardinals top prospects and will likely be appearing in St. Louis before too long.

The white bordered cards are the base design, and there are plenty of colored parallels because it's Panini. They also added a take on the 1990 design. I'm glad they didn't colorize this photo.

New Vince Coleman cards? Yes, please! This red bordered parallel is numbered to the year (2023) as per usual.

I'm not sure if the Rated Prospect portion of the checklist is larger than the Rated Rookies typically were, but I know a number of players (see below) make multiple appearances on the checklist as Panini probably had a finite amount of prospects to play with.

Jordan Walker broke camp with the big league squad, so he is one of the few active players to wind up on the checklist.

Panini did the whole Juan Gonzalez reverse negative thing with this Walker variation. As with past Panini Donruss variations, I don't think this is any more difficult to find than its counterpart.

I probably won't buy any packs or boxes from this set, but I will continue to look at picking up the Cardinals cards that I need from it.


  1. I didn’t think they would make baseball cards anymore either but they pulled it off. Donruss doesn’t change much otherwise. I always like the inserts and it appears that Jdom and Griffey are in so I am good


  2. No plans to buy them either but I got no problem with them trying. It's all in the pose. Edmonds looks good while Lankford does not. I can live with the missing logo on the hat since it's tiny but not the plain shirts


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