Why Panini Could Rule Baseball Someday

I am a collector who loves flash. I make no attempt to hide my love for Topps’ Refractor technology and Pinnacle’s Dufex parallels from the late-90’s, which brought so much life to otherwise dull card board.

That being said, nothing to this day has impressed me more than 1998’s Donruss Crusade line, an insert that just may be the most beloved of all-time, for a card not signed or featuring a relic.

Below is one of the best looking Crusade cards I have ever seen. It features a young, less obnoxious Manny Ramirez sandwiched between those two weird lions. See one in person and you’ll know why it blows the competition away.

Jose Canseco was included in 1998’s Crusade checklist but unfortunately it features a lousy photograph. Even if I wanted one, the big spenders would never allow me to take one home considering the final selling prices on these cards.

Looking at this great Donruss card makes me wish they were still in the game. No, not the guys from 2008 that produced Threads and Prime Cuts but the old school Donruss responsible for Crusade and the historic 1991 Donruss Elite series.

With Upper Deck out of the way, it would make sense for Panini to find a way to obtain rights to produce baseball cards again. If only the design team responsible for Crusade and other 90’s Donruss classics were still around. It would make for one hell of a battle for card supremacy against Topps.

The only thing collectors love more than an underdog is Donruss Crusade.

Donruss Being Panini?



  1. 2 problems

    1. the printer that perfected the process used on that card is no longer in business.

    2. topps has a 5 year exclusive with MLB properties, so if anything is going to happen with panini and baseball it will be after that time period. And if topps resigns with mlb properties, and i don’t see why they wouldn’t, then it’s an even longer wait.

    Panini isn’t producing anything with mlb logos in the forseeable future.

  2. After what I have seen this year publically and behind the scenes, there is nothing anyone could say that would make me believe we will get five straight years of Topps exclusives.

    As for the printers, good point. It should not be that hard to find another, though.

  3. Prusha has said on record that they can’t do it for the crusades. The only printer that could do Dufex is who they used in 2005 Zenith, and that mostly likely won’t be done again.

  4. I dont think anything as good as this will happen again.
    and Im with you on the Canseco thing Mario, as my favorite player also has a lousy shot.

    one day the whole set will be mine!
    heres what I have so far.. (minus 4 Ive received in the mail since)

  5. While the printer that Donruss used in 1998 may be out of business, what about the printer used for the 2006 Upper Deck Special F/X? It’s not exactly Crusade-like in terms of card stock used, but the fronts of the cards feature similar technology used during the printing process.

  6. a couple months ago i found a kerry wood green version at my local flea market for a dollar! best find to this day. There is currently a jose canseco green on ebay if your interested mario,
    and jesse, i saw your video on youtube last night!

  7. I pray that one day Panni does bring back Donruss. Every year that would be the box I’d get first. Not matter what box you bought you always got something many things #’ed. So paying 85.00 you could bust a box and get something in almost every pack,

  8. These are without a doubt the holy grail of inserts. I have a green and purple Jose Canseco but I need the red..Can anybody get one?????

  9. chris- thanks for checking it out! glad people are watching it 🙂 the only comments so far are why am I putting my crusades on the carpet? so I had to say something at the beginning.

    did you say you had a Larry Walker red? I emailed you a while ago but didnt hear from you.. do you still have it?

  10. and if they cant get the machine to be made its worth getting one.. the UD shadowbox card is a big win this year, and other card companies should take note

  11. jesse-i watched the video again today when you posted it on waxheaven and ssaw the carpet comment bubble on the video and didnt remember that last night. haha ive put mine on the carpet before…uh oh

  12. I remember pulling my one and only Crusade: 1998 Leaf RCS Purple Kerry Wood. I sold it about three years ago and was shocked sold for like $40. I miss it now. Ha.

  13. Well, Donruss tried to bring back the Crusade insert a few years ago and thankfully, it didn’t damage the reputation of the 1998 set.

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