Friday, January 20, 2012

2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball Trading Cards Box Break Recap and Review

Every once in a while you get a box of cards that just seems off.  Our box of 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball Trading Cards was weird., mostly with the collation but there are some other issues too.

Panini just signed an agreement with the Major League Baseball Players Association so a Major Leaguer’s card is included in every pack. Since there are 20 packs and 25 players appear on cards, you would expect close to no doubles.  In our box we received 4 doubles and they were in back to back consecutive packs. Another collation issue was we didn’t receive a single base card within the number range of 101 to 150.  Odds dictate that this could happen, but it still seems unusual.  We would love to hear from any of you that have busted this product.  Have your experiences been the same or different?

With the addition of the new license the question becomes “Has the agreement made the cards better?”  In this case, I would have to say no.  Last year there was the possibility of pulling former big leaguer’s autos like Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson and Don Sutton, not the emphasis of this product, but a nice bonus. This year, with the license, no veteran autos. You will have to wait for Playoff Contenders for that. Honestly, this is a prospecting product and the license seems unnecessary.

Now taken as the prospecting product that collectors have come to know, it still works.  This year features more on-card autos, most of them first round draft picks in 2011.

Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball fits nicely into our premium cards category.  Each hobby box contains 20 – 5 card packs with a promise of six autograph cards per box with hot boxes containing 10 autographs. Lets take a look at the cards we pulled from the box.

First from the base set

2011 1st round draft picks
Tyler Anderson, front & back, Taylor Guerrieri

 2011 supplemental 1st round draft piks
 Jeff Ames, Michael Kelly, Blake Snell

 Kevin Comer, Grayson Garvin, James Harris

 Major League Players
 Ichiro, Josh Hamilton, Jordan Walden

 Seeing Double - Pulled from 8 consecutive packs
 BrIan McCann, Curtis Granderson, Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Pineda

From the inserts

Aspirations die-cut
Sonny Gray #/200

Status die-cut
 Dwigth Smith Jr. #/100, Jordan Walden #/25

 Elite Series
 Brad Miller, Abel Baker

 Matt Purke, Sean Gilmartin

Building Blocks Dual
 Jace Peterson & Lee Orr, Aaron Westlake & Dean Green 

Building Blocks Triple
 Anthony Rendon, Brain Goodwin & Matt Purke, Danny Hultzen, Jed Bradley & Tyler Anderson 

Building Blocks Quad
 Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, Levi Michael & Jake Hager

 Bubba Starling, Josh Bell, Brandon Nimmo & Dwight Smith Jr.

The Autographs

 Corey Williams #/940, Angleo Songco #/864, Granden Goetzman #/384

 Austin Hedges #/201, Alan DeRatt Status die-cut #/50, Blake Swihart Elite Series #/99

Overall Look
There is no agreement with the MLB yet, so there are no major league logos.  Some thought this would be a big problem.  In truth sometimes it works, other times, not so much.  The Ichiro is the best example, the Josh Hamilton just kind of seems goofy and the Jordan Walden is the worst of them.   For future releases, it would be great if Panini mimicked what they did handling the Winnipeg Jets cards for Pinnacle Hockey this year.  Players in post game interviews, on the red carpet, even getting off the team bus would be better than these static poses.  And I know there can’t be MLB logos, but what happened to the college logos?  The majority of them seem to have gone away.  Add to that taking the prospects, separating them from the backgrounds and putting them on foil without logos is dull.  What works here is the Elite Series cards, the die-cuts and the really nice Yearbook inserts.

Quality and Variety of Players
From a prospecting level, this is a deep checklist, which is why collectors love EEE.  With 25 Major League players on cards and 30 teams in the MLB, it feels like these cards are late add-ons that could just as easily be held back without affecting the quality of the product.

Do the Hits satisfy?
It is all autographs here and at 6 autograph hits per box with the possibility of 10 autos in a hot box, it is a nice amount of hits.  But the hits are all of prospects.  Not a problem, but, again, odd when you are featuring your agreement with the player’s association for the first time.

Will you keep coming back for more?
This is a product that works best for prospectors so multiple box purchases are understandable. 

3 out of 5

2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball Trading Cards proves the theory that sometimes more is not better, but it still has potential for some good prospecting.

Review box provided by Panini

1 comment:

  1. Looks like accuracy is not a concern. The back of Tyler Anderson's card states he is a right hander!....Who can be bothered by details though.