It’s been a year and change or so since I started collecting sports cards again. It was a hobby I picked up from my dad and uncle while I was younger, but ultimately grew out of. When The Hobby started to pick up more steam in recent years, I decided to jump back in during the Fall of 2020 and I’ve been collecting pretty heavily ever since.
Perhaps my favorite set to rip is Donruss baseball. Back in 2021, I ripped multiple hobby boxes and it seemed like each one was better than the last. With Donruss baseball 2022 being released last week, I ordered a few hobby’s to rip over the weekend. Below will be a complete breakdown of what I found and what to expect if you’re planning on buying a box.
Donruss baseball 2022 hobby box rip
We peaked very early in the rip. So I’ve had some experience ripping these boxes and generally you’re going to find one memorabilia and two autos per box. Now, that varies of course, but that’s what I’ve found to be the norm. Here’s a breakdown of those pulls from the two boxes, we did alright:
Kevin Smith signature series 21/25 autograph
Connor Seabold signature series 22/25 autograph
Jake Burger base signature series autograph
Chas McCormick base signature series autograph
Fernando Tatis Jr. 1988 Retro jersey patch insert
Jasson Dominguez 1988 Retro jersey patch insert
There wasn’t much heat in terms of autos. The two /25 cards aren’t bad pulls but both Smith and Seabold. According to MLB.com, Seabold is the Boston Red Sox 15th-ranked prospect. Smith is in the majors with the Oakland Athletics after being traded as part of the Matt Chapman deal. Neither player has much upside, though.
The two base autos are more appealing. McCormick is starting for the Houston Astros and is batting .288 early in 2022. He’s got some pop and is in a strong lineup. Burger was a first-round pick in 2017 and is starting at 3B for the Chicago White Sox in 2022. While he wasn’t high on the board, Burger did have odds to win AL Rookie of the Year. He isn’t going to sniff that, but it’s something.
Both jersey patch inserts were very solid. Tatis is injured but it’s Tatis. Dominguez could be the top overall prospect in baseball in a season or two, and is viewed by many as the future for the New York Yankees. It’s not a mammoth pull, but I’ve seen way worse memorabilia pulls.
Okay, let’s get into the good stuff. The best pull from both boxes — and perhaps one of my best raw pulls ever — was a 1/1 Bo Bichette printing plate. I mostly collect through buying boxes and not singular cards. I had never pulled a 1/1 out of a box; the only other 1/1 I’ve had was a buyback Topps Archived Retired Player Johnny Bench autograph. So this was a pretty monumental pull for me. As a card/collectible, the printing plates are alright. It would be cooler if they spruced them up a bit. The idea of pulling a 1/1 in any capacity, for me, is super exciting.
Other than that, here’s a list of some of the other cool inserts/rare pulls from the two boxes:
Fernando Tatis Jr. Unleashed insert 288/999
Ken Griffey Jr. Unleashed insert 771/999
Juan Soto The Hit List insert 792/999
Paul Goldschmidt Dominators insert 202/999
Anthony Rendon Dominators insert 017/249
Miguel Cabrera Elite Series blue insert 173/249
Francisco Lindor America base variation 48/50
Joey Votto On Fire base variation 45/75
I think the Unleashed inserts are some of the coolest cards to collect in the entire hobby. Last year, I was able to collect a handful of them (and a few rare variations), which was one of the big reasons I kept coming back to the set overall. It was a pretty heavy Tatis rip and to find him out of the player pool was exciting. Junior was also a nice get as a ‘90s kid. The Hit List Soto pull ranked high up there among the boxes. It would have been nice to rip another rare insert, like Marvels or Whammy! or Bomb Squad, but there will be more boxes.
Only one Wander Franco. It’s unfortunate but not too surprising. It was a base Rated Rookie, too. So no Wander inserts or auto cards. We’ll keep hunting.
The rest of the rookie pulls weren’t too shabby. The crown jewel of the bunch was a Royce Lewis Rated Prospect 030/349 insert. He’s No. 44 overall on MLB.com’s prospect rankings and is rated the top prospect in the Minnesota Twins system. There was also a /2022 red base variation of Jarren Duran, who is the No. 4 prospect for the Red Sox. Seven of the blue holo inserts were Rated Rookies. So a small percentage overall between the two boxes ended up being blue holo Rated Rookies; there were around 48 total.
Other than that, it was the mostly base cards, which included Diamond Kings and Rated Rookies, plus retro. You’ll find some nice star-spangled and pinstripe cards, plus some holo Diamond Kings and silver holo base cards, which aren’t bad. None of those are anything to write home about unless they end up being rare variations. One difference from last season I dislike is in 2021 there were a lot of holo pinstripe base variations out of 2022. This year, it seems those are replaced by base red variations (non-holo). A little less appealing.
Overall, the rip was satisfying. While the Donruss baseball cards aren’t licensed by Major League Baseball, it’s still one of the better looking sets overall. The inserts are really unmatched and you have a shot of pulling some pretty massive case hits and autograph cards, especially in 2022 with Wander. It will continue to be one of my favorite sets and I’ll probably go back to the well for a few more boxes during the 2022 MLB season. Happy card hunting!