Thursday, August 4, 2011

2002 Donruss Diamond Kings

Set size: 150 + 10 cards

Front Design: A painted portrait of the player appears in a "matted" shadow-style border, with gold foil printing at the bottom containing the Diamond Kings logo and the player's name, position, and team. The card fronts have a textured "canvas" style feel.

Back Design: A "crowning moment" highlight in the player's career fills half the vertical back, and other appearances by the player on Diamond King insert cards are honored. The card's illustrator receives a short biography in available space at the bottom of the card.

Parallels and Similars: Although not as bad as the 2005 issue, there are several parallels of this set. Previews of the entire set were released (stamped SAMPLE) in silver and gold foil versions. Bronze, silver, and gold foil parallels were inserted in packs. There are also multiple Hawaii and Chicago parallels.

Distribution: Cards 1-150 were released in traditional pack methods, 24 packs per box, four cards per pack; cards 101-150 were short printed. Cards 151-160 were released with the Donruss Rookies set.

Thoughts: This is the first year Donruss issued Diamond Kings as its own release, after being a subset and insert set in flagship Donruss products since 1982. Most of you already know my love of art cards and Diamond Kings in particular (the first art cards I ever saw). I was more than thrilled to discover a complete set was issued for my favorite series. The cards look great and are a perfect example of what a modern painted set should look like. With a full one-third of the set being SPs, it's tough to complete, especially now. I have cards 1-100 and 151-160, but only 14 of the 50 SPs for my Diamond Kings collection.

Additional Images: card back:

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