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  #1  
Old 04-27-2019, 02:17 AM
Kaneen Kaneen is offline
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Default Kaneen's Complete Signed 1985-1991 Super Diamond Kings 5x7 Sets

One of the most iconic baseball card subsets of the 1980s was the Donruss Diamond Kings. From 1982 to 1991, the Diamond Kings subset was part of the regularly numbered Donruss set. Each year, one "star" player from every MLB team was selected to appear as a "Diamond King." The cards featured portraits of each player by famed sports artist, Dick Perez.

From 1985 to 1991 Donruss offered a complete shrink-wrapped factory set of that year's DKs in a larger 5x7 version. The "Super Diamond Kings" were available through a mail-in promotion where you sent in some Donruss wrappers and a small fee for shipping. I mailed in for a set in 1985, and immediately fell in love with the larger cards as a great medium for autographs. At the time, I didn't think much about "completing" the sets...I just thought they were cool to get signed. So, for the 7 years they were offered, I picked up the sets and started getting them signed as I had the opportunity during my in-person graphing encounters. It wasn't until a few years down the road that I realized I had lots of them signed, and thought it would be cool to attempt to get them all done. I completed most of these cards in person, and a few through the mail. When I got near the end, I obtained some of the remaining bigger names through private signings, consignments, and the generosity of some fellow grapher friends.

During the years the Super DKs were offered (1985-91) there were 7 sets, with a total run of 185 cards. Most years had 26 cards - one "star" player from each team. However, 3 sets had 27 cards - The 1985 set included an unnumbered card featuring the artist, Dick Perez; The 1986 set featured an unnumbered "King of Kings" card honoring the hit king, Pete Rose; and in 1990, a "King of Kings" card honored strikeout king, Nolan Ryan.

The project took me 31 years to complete. What follows are scans of all 185 signed cards, grouped in order by set year. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did working on them!

Kevin

Last edited by Kaneen; 04-27-2019 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:17 AM
Kaneen Kaneen is offline
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***1985 Donruss Super Diamond Kings 5x7 Signed Set***




























Last edited by Kaneen; 04-27-2019 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:17 AM
Kaneen Kaneen is offline
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***1986 Donruss Super Diamond Kings 5x7 Signed Set***




























Last edited by Kaneen; 04-27-2019 at 03:30 AM.
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:18 AM
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***1987 Donruss Super Diamond Kings 5x7 Signed Set***


























Last edited by Kaneen; 04-27-2019 at 03:31 AM.
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:18 AM
Kaneen Kaneen is offline
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***1988 Donruss Super Diamond Kings 5x7 Signed Set***


























Last edited by Kaneen; 04-27-2019 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:18 AM
Kaneen Kaneen is offline
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***1989 Donruss Super Diamond Kings 5x7 Signed Set***


























Last edited by Kaneen; 04-27-2019 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:18 AM
Kaneen Kaneen is offline
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***1990 Donruss Super Diamond Kings 5x7 Signed Set***




























Last edited by Kaneen; 04-27-2019 at 03:34 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2019, 02:19 AM
Kaneen Kaneen is offline
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***1991 Donruss Super Diamond Kings 5x7 Signed Set***


























Last edited by Kaneen; 04-27-2019 at 03:35 AM.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2019, 02:19 AM
Kaneen Kaneen is offline
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Here are some interesting facts and statistics about these sets:

Since the Diamond Kings were intended to highlight the stars from each team, many of the bigger names of the 80's are included in these sets.

As of this edited post, the 7 sets include 27 Hall of Famers...4 of them have cards in 2 different sets. So a total of 31 cards depict HOFers. Here they are listed by set:
1985 - Ryne Sandberg, Bert Blyleven, Cal Ripken, Jim Rice, Don Sutton, and Tony Gwynn
1986 - Goose Gossage, Tony Perez, Andre Dawson, and Harold Baines
1987 - Ozzie Smith, George Brett, Kirby Puckett, Dave Winfield, and Jack Morris
1988 - Tim Raines, Paul Molitor, Andre Dawson, Cal Ripken, and Alan Trammell
1989 - Robin Yount, Tony Gwynn, and Carlton Fisk
1990 - Ken Griffey Jr, John Smoltz, and Nolan Ryan
1991 - Craig Biggio, Barry Larkin, Roberto Alomar, Ryne Sandberg, and Edgar Martinez

In addition, some of the cards depict guys who would probably be in the Hall of Fame if not for being banned, or suspected of steroid usage - Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, etc.

As of this edited post, there are 10 different deceased players, 2 of them appearing on cards in 2 different sets, so 12 cards total depicting deceased players:
1985 - Dan Quisenberry, Joaquin Andujar, Charlie Lea, and Tony Gwynn
1986 - Rick Mahler
1987 - Chris Brown and Kirby Puckett
1988 - Bob Welch and Ivan Calderon
1989 - Tony Gwynn and Dave Henderson
1990 - none
1991 - Bob Welch

First card I got signed: 1985 Mario Soto (In person), sometime during the 1985 season
Final card I got signed to complete the project: 1990 Brian Downing (ttm) received Jan 30, 2016

Thanks for looking, and enjoy!

Last edited by Kaneen; 04-27-2019 at 03:38 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2019, 06:37 AM
Baseballcrazy62 Baseballcrazy62 is offline
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Very impressive!
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2019, 08:11 AM
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Very nice, thanks for sharing.

Besides the deceased players, who are some of the toughies in this set?
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2019, 09:26 AM
tazdmb tazdmb is offline
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Very cool, what are the toughest cards in the set for you to get? What was the last one?
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2019, 12:55 PM
mrmopar mrmopar is offline
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Nice. I have always enjoyerd the signed DK cards, but have preferred the standard card size for anything signed all along, so I only have a few of the jumbos.

Looking back, it would have been nice to see a Steve Garvey Padres DK, maybe 85 and then have the opportunity to have a jumbo version as well. Hard to bump Gwynn, although Gossage got the nod and McReynolds was an up and coming star, where Garvey was on the decline. At least he got one in 82 with the Dodgers.
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2019, 05:30 PM
bigfanNY bigfanNY is offline
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Very nice sets .. I am in the small ...tiny ...minute.. group that like oversized cards. With 5x7 being right in the wheelhouse. And the 80's had a number of great sets with these being near the top. Thank you for sharing these.
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2019, 08:24 PM
Tom Hufford Tom Hufford is offline
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Outstanding! Congrats on completing this project, I know you should feel a real sense of accomplishment!

Do you have another project in the works?
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  #16  
Old 04-27-2019, 09:04 PM
todeen todeen is offline
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Very cool subset collection. I found it interesting how long it took Barry Larkin to make the DK set, with Chris Sabo getting the nod before Larkin.
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  #17  
Old 04-27-2019, 10:17 PM
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Nice job on completing this project & they turned out great!
Imagine what a similar set would look like with today's players;
I don't believe that you could read the signatures of 10% of them!
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  #18  
Old 04-27-2019, 10:50 PM
Kaneen Kaneen is offline
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Thanks for all the kind words everyone...these cards really are sort of a time capsule from the early days of my collecting journey, both in "modern" cards and in-person autograph adventures.

Lots of great questions posed above...when I get some time (hopefully tomorrow) I'll try to reply to each one.

Glad you guys are enjoying browsing the collection!
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  #19  
Old 04-28-2019, 09:30 AM
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Fantastic collection, I am really impressed. I agree that the larger cards, and especially these ones with the Perez artwork on them, are perfect for autographs.
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  #20  
Old 04-28-2019, 09:41 AM
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Yeah, very neat. Had to feel like such an accomplishment to finish that off.

I was always a fan of the Diamond Kings cards and also the large oddball sized cards of that era..............though I didn't think anybody else was.

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diamond kings, donruss diamond kings, jumbo diamond kings, super diamond kings, super dk



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