30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A Puzzling Purchase

Donruss puzzles have been a part of my life since the early 80's.  I don't remember opening a ton of 1982 or 1983 Donruss packs, so I doubt I was trying to build complete puzzles of Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb.  But by the middle of the decade, I'm sure I was coming pretty darn close.  And there's not a doubt in my mind that I put together a Roberto Clemente puzzle in 1987.

Since then, I've put together a complete run of (wax pack insert) puzzles from 1982 to 1992 (Ruth, Cobb, Snider, Gehrig, Aaron, Clemente, Musial, Spahn, Yastrzemski, Stargell, and Carew), as well as the 1983 and 1984 Donruss All-Star puzzles (Mantle and Williams), the 1990 and 1991 Leaf puzzles (Berra and Killebrew), and the 1991 Leaf Studio puzzle (Carew).

1986 Donruss The Rookies Hank Aaron Puzzle #NNO
1987 Donruss The Rookies Roberto Clemente Puzzle #NNO
1988 Donruss The Rookies Stan Musial Puzzle #NNO
 1990 Donruss The Rookies Carl Yastrzemski Puzzle #NNO

I was also familiar with the miniature puzzles (standard card size/15 pieces) of Aaron, Clemente, Musial, Spahn, Yastrzemski, and Stargell that Donruss included in The Rookies box sets.

But I had no idea what I was looking at when I stumbled across these jumbo puzzles at the Bay Area Sports Cards & Collectibles Show back in June:

At first glance, you might think these are the standard size puzzles that came in The Rookies boxed sets, but these are much larger (approximately 5"x7") and contain only 12 pieces.

Here's a side by side comparison of the two Hank Aaron puzzles:

Both puzzles feature blank backs... but the larger puzzle utilizes much darker cardboard:

Thankfully... you can find information on just about anything on the internet.  After a few clicks on the keyboard, I discovered that these jumbo puzzles were included with the Donruss Super DK sets from 1985 to 1990Donruss produced these wrapper mail-in order sets from 1985 to 1991, but I didn't find any information on a Willie Stargell super-sized puzzle online... so I think these are the only six puzzles to collect.

***Donruss also produced a 1992 Super DK set which is extremely rare.  Based on this post it wasn't released to the general public, so I'm guessing they didn't produced a super-sized puzzle for Carew.

Well there you have it... another puzzling baseball card mystery has been solved.

Were any of you familiar with these Super DK puzzles?

I'm pretty happy that I discovered these, learned something new, and added them to my Donruss Puzzle PC for only $1.20.  Just like the 1998 Topps Super Chromes I showed off a few months ago, these puzzles were in a vendor's 5 for $1 box.

Stay tuned.  I still have several more purchases from this card show that I need to write about.  Until then...

Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. Can't say I knew about these jumbo puzzles. I have a few of the standard-sized ones in my binders, and it's hell trying to slide one of those into a nine-pocket page without all the pieces falling apart.

  2. I was aware, I might even have one of them. Not sure as that info would be on my old laptop. UGH. I knew they came with the Super DK's, which are super rare to find in the wild and when you do ouch sets can get pricey. None the less I want them all anyways.

  3. I think when I bought Donruss packs I threw out the puzzles. But I was mostly Topps, especially in '87.

  4. Fuji-
    You need to locate another puzzle the missing piece no pun intended is from the 2002 Donruss Originals its another copy of San Diego native of Ted Williams.

  5. I was not familiar with these, which seems crazy. Thanks for sharing. I will have to be on the lookout for them.

  6. I don’t think I ever completed any of the puzzles, let alone a super puzzle.

  7. nick - when the puzzles come right out of the rookies boxes, they're easy to slide into the 9-pocket pages. but like you stated, i imagine once you break them apart and put them together again, it's gonna be challenging sliding them into the pages

    johnnys trading spot - i remember wanting to own the super dk's at one point, but don't think i ever tracked any of them down. i'd like to at least track down the 1985 and 1989 tony gwynn super dk's for my collection.

    elliptical man - i was the kid who saved everything. i'd only build the puzzle with duplicate puzzle pieces

    poison75 - i know. been looking for a complete set (although not on a regular basis) for quite some time now.

    daniel wilson - you've been able to add some really cool oddball stuff to your collection lately. hopefully you'll add these as well.

    the lost collector - i purchased all of the ones you see completed in this post. but i did complete a bunch of the 1987 to 1991 puzzles when i was busting boxes back in the late 80's and early 90's

  8. I wasn't aware of the larger puzzles either - cool pick up. I am looking to complete a full run of the regular puzzles as well, I am down to needing just the 1990 Leaf Berra puzzle and the 1992 Donruss Carew puzzle. Also I think there is a Ted Williams puzzle from 2002 Donruss Originals that I would like to track down. I guess I need to keep my eyes open for these bigger puzzles.

    Congrats on finishing up the run!

  9. I'm partially through Cobb and Snider and need the complete Mantle puzzle. Then I'll have them all.

    Love these big versions. Definitely hadn't seen them before.

  10. arpsmith - i still need the 2002 ted williams puzzle. as for the berra and carew puzzles, i hit up ebay and bought them complete. they were affordable and it was complete with a click of a button

    jeff b - i probably have extra mantle pieces. do you know which pieces you need?

  11. These are some of my favorite cards (the actual cards of the puzzle) and I really liked the puzzles as well. I'm a huge Yaz fan so I have a card page full of these to cards off his cards. I had a friend get the Hank Aaron puzzle signed by Hank Aaron at a St Louis card show back in 1988 or 1989 I think. Cool post and I wasn't aware of the two different sizes.