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2009 Donruss Limited Football Review

by Tyler (broscards) & Matt (Mattyt777)
January 6, 2010

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For the past decade, Donruss Limited Football (formerly Donruss/Leaf Limited) has become one of most popular football releases of the season. Since 2003, Limited football has changed set configuration five times and has provided the collector between 1 to 4 autographs or memorabilia cards per box depending on the year of release. In 2007, collectors were excited to learn that the Limited release would include 3 autographs or memorabilia per pack (7 cards total) and quickly became an early favorite for product of the year. 2009 Donruss Limited Football has returned to the 1 pack- 3 autographs or memorabilia format which was such a huge success just 2 years ago.

Since 2007, the overall appeal of the Limited Football can be attributed to many factors; possibly the biggest being the decision to change product configuration and provide collectors with more quality hits at an affordable price. For the past 3 years Donruss Limited Football has provided collectors with an alternative to the ultra high end products (ie: National Treasures, Topps Triple Threads and Exquisite Collection) at a fraction of the cost and most importantly without sacrificing substance. The release of 2009 version is no different! While many of the subsets remain the same (ie: Banner Season Materials, Material Monikers, and Limited Cuts), 2009 Limited Football brings collectors many new and exciting subsets and an overall greater value per box.

One of the biggest changes to 2009 Limited Football is the overhaul of the Rookie Material Phenoms subset. In past years, the Phenoms subset consisted of rookie patch autographs numbered /99 or less and included a small piece of event used memorabilia. The 2009 release features a die cut approach and provides collectors with multi colored/multi memorabilia swatches which spell out the name of the team each rookie plays for. The cards look fantastic! Although the set has increased its print run to 149, the cards have become aesthetically more appealing to collectors.

In addition to upgrading the Rookie Phenoms Materials, Panini America decided to expand upon the rookie theme and introduce collectors to the Rookie Materials and Draft Day subsets. These sets feature autographs, oversized patch cards and event worn hats and jerseys of the top rookies from the 2009 draft. The Draft Day set also includes combo cards which pairs players with rival rookies and teammates. Collectors seem to like the additional rookie subsets, because it allows them to more easily obtain autographs and memorabilia cards of many of the hottest rookies including Mark Sanchez, Percy Harvin, Michael Crabtree and Matthew Stafford.

While the majority of changes revolved around upgrading and expanding rookie subsets, Panini made sure not to overlook the NFL veterans. Maybe the best change to the 2009 Limited set is the arrival of Pro-Bowl Materials. These sets pair some of the best players from both the NFC and AFC and includes game used jerseys and patches from the 2008 Pro-Bowl in Hawaii. Possibly the best of this subset is the arrival of Pro-Bowl Lettermen. The subset provides the collector with an opportunity to own an actual game used nameplate letter of stars such as Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees and James Harrison (all of the letters being game-used and 1/1).

Donruss Panini continues to deliver when it comes to giving collectors what they want; better quality at a more affordable price. The release of 2009 Limited Football is no exception. At $85 per box, Limited Football is an affordable alternative to the $400-600 dollar boxes that deliver similar content at five times the price. My only gripe about the 2009 Limited release is the high number of Rookie Phenoms autographs that are redemptions and use of sticker autographs. When/if Donruss Panini decides to make Limited Football exclusively an all “on card autograph” release, rival companies the will have a difficult time measuring up to Limited’s always stellar release!

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