More than 80 draft picks from the 2007 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, along with several other top picks from recent drafts, highlight the checklist of 2007 Donruss Elite Extra Edition.
The product, scheduled for a mid-December release, includes autographs from more than 100 players and celebrities - the majority of them baseball prospects - including 29 players from the 2007 first round and 23 from the supplemental first round.
Donruss recently announced their deal with Vanderbilt University pitcher David Price, the first overall pick in the 2007 Draft, taken by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Price's image will appear on the Donruss Elite Extra Edition packaging and his autographs will also debut in the program.
In addition to Price and the dearth of talent from the '07 draft, some other top prospects are also in the set including Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija, Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs, Dodgers shortstop Preston Mattingly, Diamondbacks pitcher Max Scherzer, Yankees outfielder Austin Jackson, Angels pitcher Jordan Walden and Padres pitcher Mat Latos - named the top prospect of the 2007 Northwest League by Baseball America.
Lefthanded pitcher Brett Cecil of the Toronto Blue Jays, named by Baseball America as the top prospect in the 2007 New York-Penn League, has also signed for Elite Extra Edition.
"We reached beyond the first round and supplemental round of 2007 to add who we felt were important autographs - the players collectors would want to pursue," says Donruss Senior Brand Manager Ben Ecklar. "These are players already making significant contributions at the minor league level, and some who are the verge of breaking out in the early developmental stages of their careers.
"We also tried to target players who may have slipped out of first-round status for whatever reason, but are guys we believe could develop into solid major leaguers down the road - guys like Cale Iorg (Detroit Tigers - 6th round), Will Middlebrooks (Boston Red Sox - 5th round) and Darwin Barney (Chicago Cubs - 4th round)," Ecklar added.
Elite Extra Edition also includes a few NBA draft picks as well as signatures from various celebrities including director/actor Ron Howard and actor Burt Reynolds all signing Collegiate Patches linking them to their university. A handful of basketball and football coaching legends also signed for EEE.
"It would have been easy to just make a pure baseball set, but we wanted to add value to Elite Extra Edition," says Donruss Marketing Director Scott Prusha. "Yes, this release is focused on baseball draft picks and that's what its intent is...but collectors will discover for themselves that there's so much more to the product."
More good news for collectors: Donruss confirms that '07 EEE will include "hot boxes" where collectors will pull more than the four-hits-per-box-on-average that regular boxes yield.
"Our product is meant to be something different for the collector," Prusha says. "And we feel like we've succeeded."