Thursday, May 26, 2022

Bootleggin' with Panini, Part 3

What Panini did to the 1989 set. 

I hit up eBay once again to place an order for just one more needed Panini Instant Retro Rookie card. This time, we travel back to the 2019-20 season to look at what Panini did with the 1989 Donruss design. You know, the rainbow-y one with the Ken Griffey Jr. rookies? Of course, the Rated Rookie portion of that Donruss set was all about the purple borders, and Panini didn't take any liberties here. What they did take liberties with was the player name font on the front, a common complaint I have with any retro-inspired modern set. It looks like some sort of weird space font.

The backs are a bit sad, even by Panini standards. There's no picture or really anything to look at aside from a huge logo. There is a nice nod to the color and weird stripe that ran through part of the backs of those '89s. We see that the print run was a tad bit lower than the set that came after it, which is a bit surprising considering that this was the Zion/Ja year.

It turns out that I already had this card in my collection, so I just needed to dig it up out of a box for this feature. Both cards have plain white backgrounds, which are Photoshopped in to the player's Photo Day photos. I'm starting to like last year's 1990-style set more and more after seeing these.

We likely won't see Panini attempt to replicate the 1989 style any time soon. They would have been on track to include them in the 2023 baseball set, but this is their last year producing MLBPA-licensed cards. Will we see Donruss move to more of a college draft type set for baseball next year? It seems doubtful, but who knows?

There is, I believe, one more year of this set. As of right now, though, it looks like the three cards that I need are a bit out of my price range. I'll continue to keep an eye out, though.

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