Monday, March 8, 2021

What Will I Do With All These Donruss Puzzle Pieces?

It's a question that many of us perhaps have struggled with over the years. You can't avoid them. You probably have a bunch laying around. Or maybe you toss them in the trash every time they come around. The Donruss puzzle pieces. 

I'm not sure when I came across the idea, but I thought it was a good one: Put the puzzles together and then put them in a frame. An intriguing thought, though I never really liked the look of framed puzzles generally. Well, whoever came up with this idea is a genius. Maybe it's because they are baseball-themed instead of some boring pastoral landscape, but I think they look fantastic. Fantastic enough that I have been working on putting together the entire series of puzzles that Donruss/Leaf released from 1982-1991. 

Here are the puzzles I've completed:

1986 - Hank Aaron

1987 - Roberto Clemente

1988 - Stan Musial

1990 - Carl Yastrzemski
1991 - Willie Stargell
1991 - Harmon Killebrew (Leaf)
1991 - Rod Carew (Studio)

I just received the final pieces of the Yogi Berra and Lou Gehrig puzzles, so I'm hoping to get those put together soon. I'll finish the Babe Ruth, Warren Spahn, and second Rod Carew puzzles as soon as I decided to have my orders shipped. If I had kept every piece I had ever accumulated of the Spahn puzzle over the years, I'm sure I could have put like 10 of them together by now. 

The next challenge will be finding a place for these new puzzles, since most of my real estate is taken with other 8x10s and a couple 3 x 5 foot Cubs flags. One of those 8 x 10s is a recent pickup, of the first person I'd put in the Hall of Fame if given the chance:

The legendary Buck O'Neil (from his time as a Cubs coach). 

If you're curious about the framing of the puzzle, it's easy enough and cheap enough to do in my opinion. You'll need a certificate-sized frame (easily found at the dollar store or big box stores). Assemble the puzzle face down, and then glue a piece of letter-size card stock to the back. It will overlap the sides but is pretty much flush top to bottom. For the Hank Aaron puzzle above, which is blue, I used my usual white card stock, but then colored in the margins left to right to make it blend in better. I'm sure these would display well in a binder, too, if space is an issue. Some of mine might end up there someday. The Clemente and Aaron are too awesome to not display, though, so they'll stay for sure.

There are four puzzles for which I have zero pieces:
1983 - Mickey Mantle
1983 - Ty Cobb
1984 - Duke Snider
1984 - Ted Williams

If you have any of these, I'd love to swing a trade. 

Which one player would you put in the Hall of Fame if given the chance?

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Shoot. I had the Snider in a collection I just sold on Sunday. Bummer.
    FYI, I think the frames look great. I bought most of the recent puzzles you showed for my grandfather. He loved to do larger puzzles, but toward the end most were too big and difficult for him to complete. The Donruss puzzles were great for him!

  2. Pretty good idea. If I had any space left on the walls of my card room, I'd try this. The only complete puzzle I have is the Snider.

  3. Those look great! The Clemente was always one of my favorites.

  4. Framing these puzzle are a great idea. I don't have the wall space though, so my collection of 1982 to 1992 puzzles sit in a binder. I'd love to add the 2002 Donruss Originals Ted Williams puzzle to my collection one day.

  5. Those frames are nice. I usually store my pieces in my binders. I’ll look through my stuff and see what I have.

  6. Those look cool. I admit I usually just ignore the puzzle pieces if they turn up in lots.

  7. Love that Aaron puzzle.

    I think if I could put one player in the Hall, I'd go with Dick Allen, or maybe Luis Tiant. Buck O'Neil would be a great choice, albeit for reasons other than pure playing ability. Curt Flood would be deserving on that basis as well.

  8. I have the complete run in frames. Right now, they are down because I didn't do quite a good enough job securing the puzzle pieces and a couple are coming apart in the frames. But it's an easy fix!

  9. I usually just recycle any pieces that I come across.