2018 Donruss Baseball and Panini America’s Debut of Shohei Ohtani (Preview Gallery)

February 07, 2018

Ohtani Main

The fabled Donruss Baseball franchise has been an essential part of the collecting landscape for almost 40 years. But when 2018 Donruss Baseball arrives in hobby shops across North America in early March, it will include something no other Donruss launch in history ever has: Japanese baseball sensation Shohei Ohtani. The outstanding pitcher-outfielder will bring his immense two-way talents to America this season — and his first Panini America autograph and memorabilia cards will be featured in the company’s landmark baseball release.

Arguably the most highly anticipated international player since Ichiro, Ohtani sat down with Panini America officials last week for a productive, enlightening and entertaining signing session during which he signed all of his autographs (including some with elaborate inscriptions requiring translation) for inclusion in 2018 Donruss Baseball. But in addition to his first autograph and memorabilia cards, Ohtani also will appear in the product’s Whammy!, Foundations, Dominators, Mound Marvels and Out of this World insert sets. He will have on-card autographs in Private Signings and Rated Prospects Signatures, and will also appear in Signature Series, Promising Pros Materials and Promising Pros Materials Signatures.

And while the headline-making inclusion of Ohtani is perhaps the biggest reason to get excited about the new 2018 Donruss Baseball release, there are plenty more, including . . .

  • On average, each hobby box (eight cards per pack, 24 packs per box, 16 boxes per case) will deliver three autograph or memorabilia cards, four inserts, five base parallels, one Variation parallel and 60 cards from the following: Retro 1984, Diamond Kings, Rated Rookies and Variations.
  • With a deep 2018 Rookie Class, find the first Rookie Cards of tomorrow’s stars in Rated Rookies.
  • Chase new-addition inserts such as Long Ball Leaders and Out of this World.
  • Twice as many Variation players as last year featuring stars of today and yesterday.
  • The Signature Series, Significant Signatures and Retro 1984 Signatures autograph inserts will feature a rainbow array of parallels that includes Blue (numbered to 99 or less), Red (numbered to 25 or less), Gold (numbered to 10 or less), Green (numbered to five or less) and Black 1/1s.
  • The ultra-rare and entertainingly illustrated Whammy! chase returns, along with key brand staples such as Diamond Kings and Rated Rookies.

We’ll have plenty more on 2018 Donruss Baseball and the company’s first Ohtani cards in the coming weeks right here on The Knight’s Lance. But until then, enjoy this extended sneak peek, including the world-premiere preview of Ohtani’s first Panini America autographs: