Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Recent Acquisitions: Some Donruss Super Diamond Kings

A collectible from the 1980s that I was aware of but never took part in was the Donruss Super Diamond Kings.  They advertised these on the wax pack wrappers, and you could send in for them.  I guess it never seemed compelling amongst all the other 80s cards that were available to purchase without going through the mail.  But now it's easy enough to pick up a handful of these so that they are represented in my collection.
1985 Donruss Super Diamond King Claudell Washington.
1985 Donruss Super Diamond King Juan Samuel.
I picked up 4 from 1985 and 2 from 1986 on COMC, and a lot of 17 from 1987 on eBay.  I always liked the 1985 Donruss set, which I didn't know about at the time.  I started seriously collecting in 1987 and had a few cards before that.  I never saw Donruss in a store until 1987, but I neighbor kid down the street had a few 1981, 1982, and 1983 Donruss that I had seen at the time.  So I never saw any 1984, 1985, or 1986 Donruss until I started going to card shops and shows.  I've always thought the 1985 design, with a few red stripes on a black background, captures 1980s design very well, reminding me of, say, Max Headroom and the original Cherry Coke can.  Juan Samuel fits in well with that era, as he was part of the Phillies rebuilding after their 1976-1983 postseason run was done with.  Claudell Washington was well-traveled in his career, winning the World Series with the 1974 A's early in his career and then playing with several teams, but I remember him from his 1980s cards with the Braves and the Yankees.
1985 Donruss Super Diamond King Tony Pena.
1985 Donruss Super Diamond King Jose Cruz.
Tony Pena was a favorite who played with the Bucs just before I started watching closely.  His trade to the Cardinals laid some of the foundation for the Pirates 1990-1992 division winners, since that's how Andy Van Slyke and Mike LaValliere came to Pittsburgh.  Jose Cruz was a big player in the Astros division winners in 1980 and 1986, and the Astros retired his number afterwards.
1986 Donruss Super Diamond King Bob Boone.
1986 Donruss Super Diamond King Johnny Ray.
Bob Boone is part of the first-ever Phillies championship team, and will always be appreciated in Philadelphia for that reason.  He wasn't appreciated by management since he was a labor leader with the players' union, and was reportedly traded to California as retaliation.  Johnny Ray was another Pirates All-Star in their rebuilding era in the 80s, who also went on to play with the Angels later on.
A lot of 17 1987 Donruss Super Diamond Kings.
Then here are the 1987 Super Diamond Kings I bought from eBay.  There's a lot of 80s star power here, such as Dale Murphy, Eric Davis, and Jack Morris, as well as local favorite Von Hayes.  Keith Moreland is another former 1980 Phillie, who went on to do well with the Cubs for a while.  Only a couple of these are players I don't remember too well, especially Greg Walker and Jim Presley.

I'm happy to have these as a small representation in my collection of yet another version of novelty sets put out by the big manufacturers in the 80s; these will go alongside my Topps Supers, Fleer Star Stickers, Fleer Minis, Topps Mini League Leaders, Donruss All-Stars and Pop-Ups, Topps Doubleheaders, Topps Coins, and others.  Thanks for reading!

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