Tuesday, May 31, 2011

1982 Donruss

Donruss' second baseball set certainly improved upon the original. There were less errors, somewhat better photography and a slightly upgraded design. That is to say that the photographs were still average to poor quality and the design had elements that were fresher but had the unfortunate luck of looking childlike.

The card stock was an improvement on the paper thin 1981 release. It lacked the newness of the previous year, but held its own upon initial release. In hindsight, this year did nothing to topple the Topps monopoly. Topps had the better execution with design. Donruss was well ahead of Fleer in design and flash. 1982 Donruss looked like a second tier baseball card. That's exactly where they were at this point. Big things were on the horizon, but this was a nice stepping stone.

This was the first year for Diamond Kings and this would help elevate Donruss from second rate to second tier. Diamond Kings are still popular today and this is where it all started. The choice for the White Sox initial Diamond King offering was Carlton Fisk. It was the perfect choice. Fisk's 1982 Diamond King cards is one of the most fondly remembered.

The White Sox have twenty-seven cards in this set.

20 - Carlton Fisk DK
39 - Mike Squires
67 - Wayne Nordhagen
104 - Ross Baumgarten
117 - LaMarr Hoyt
143 - Tony Bernazard
165 - Ron LeFlore
193 - Greg Luzinski
230 - Britt Burns
243 - Steve Trout
269 - Lamar Johnson
291 - Chet Lemon
319 - Tony LaRussa
356 - Richard Dotson
369 - Jim Essian
395 - Jim Morrison
417 - Bob Molinaro
445 - Vada Pinson
482 - Ed Farmer
495 - Carlton Fisk
521 - Greg Pryor
568 - Harold Baines
603 - Jerry Koosman
609 - Jerry Turner
619 - Dennis Lamp
631 - Kevin Hickey
637 - Bill Almon

Donruss corrected their oversight from the 1981 set and included a Harold Baines card. What makes this set unique is the inclusion of a few coach cards. The White Sox have one coach card in this set; Vada Pinson.

This is a nice set that often gets overlooked. It wouldn't reach the heights of the 1984 set, but it certainly wouldn't reach the doldrums of later years. This was a set made before Donruss got parallel happy and one can see the inspiration of greatness yet to come for Donruss in this set.


John Bateman said...

1982 Donruss actually had a much better design than 1982 Topps hockey stick design and green color backs

Johngy said...

I loved this set for the inclusion of the coaches cards. I thought those were the coolest.

Steve Gierman said...

Donruss might have had a more ambitious design than Topps or Fleer, but it's not one that sticks out in most people's minds today. I do agree that the effort is better than Topps.

When I rediscovered this set in 2007, I was blown away by the inclusion of a coach card. It's a nice addition to a good set.

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