First Look: 2015 Diamond Kings baseball cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

After a decade-long break, the standalone Diamond Kings brand of baseball cards is back and it’s bringing with it one of the biggest names in sports history.

Panini America revealed the first glimpses at a revisited DK set on Tuesday as 2015 Diamond Kings is set to return in late April packing two autograph or memorabilia cards in every 12-pack hobby box. But among its biggest inclusions? Diamond Kings will mark the first appearance of Babe Ruth in a Panini product.

Yep, that guy.

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Each hobby pack will include eight cards with 16 boxes per case — all including a mix of base cards, parallels and hits in the first Diamond Kings since Donruss/Playoffs finale MLB season in 2005.

Among the memorabilia sets will be Base Materials, Hall of Fame Materials, Timeline Materials and Framed DK Minis Materials — and Ruth will have a place in all of them, according to the company, as well as a cut autograph in a Diamond Cuts set. Along with Ruth, past greats such as Warren Spahn, Richie Ashburn, Harmon Killebrew and Stan Musial will have a place. Also to be found will be Masters of the Game Materials cards with some of the biggest names possible — Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby among them.

Hall of Fame Heroes will showcase autographs as well as memorabilia pieces in the product with new inductees Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson found alongside the likes of Frank Thomas, Cal Ripken Jr., Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Ryne Sandberg and Barry Larkin to name a few.

For modern-day as well as past stars, there will be pairings with kings of the diamond in a 20-card set called Timeline Materials. Among the duos will be Ruth and Lou Gehrig, Rookie of the Year winners Jose Abreu and Jacob deGrom, MVPs Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout as well as former teammates Masahiro Tanaka and Ichiro Suzuki.

For autograph collectors, there will be Sovreign Signatures cards where modern players sign on board. Among those so far are Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Miguel Cabrera and Stephen Strasburg. Today’s rookies will have autographed memorabilia cards in this one with Rusney Castillo, Brandon Finnegan, Dalton Pompey, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson signing on.

A basic set size and a preliminary checklist were not announced.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

 

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9 comments

  1. Joe 24 February, 2015 at 19:01

    Diamond Kings was one of my favorite produce but in my opinion it killed itself with the multiple parallels. Base card had 4 or 5 paralells. Then there was the framed base card that had 4 or 5 paralells. Than there was the framed and unframed memorbilia, autograph or memorabilia with the autograph each with 4 or 5 paralells. It was just to much and it stopped being fun. Nothing kept its value. Hopefully they tone down the parallels. But we know they most likely won’t.

  2. Richard 24 February, 2015 at 19:57

    So, does the COA on the Ruth actual say the piece was used by Ruth, or is it still the generic
    meaningless COA they’ve been using for a while. Unless it states that its used by the specific player
    in a MLB game, it might as well have been made from the curtains in the club house.

  3. Richard Deien 25 February, 2015 at 03:46

    As much I like the idea of the return of Diamond Kings returning it’s not the same without the major league logos. This set has always highlighted the player as well as team in which the player plays for. Huge turn off in my opinion… MLB please give this company a MLB license! Make it about the fans and not the money. With fans the money will come!!!

  4. Martin 25 February, 2015 at 20:34

    It does not say the article did Dick Perez paint the diamond king cards? He did a wonderful job on the Donruss Diamond King Cards years ago. Everything he does is just incredible he is such a talented artist.

  5. ryan 25 February, 2015 at 21:34

    Actually I know a guy that went to the Las Vegas convention, and talked to someone from Panini. They told him that they paid 4 million dollars for a Babe Ruth jersey, now yes they should write that on the COA. But world cant be perfect.

  6. Richard 26 February, 2015 at 14:19

    If this was the first product with these useless COA’s I’d agree that things are not perfect.
    But this is an ongoing problem that many have complained about for quite some time.

    There was a Ruth Jersey sold a few years back for over $4 million because it was the earliest known.
    I imagine you could do an awful lot of Jersey cards from it, but there is a better way to spend that
    kind of money.

    You can buy a Ruth canceled check with PSA/DNA and full letter COA for about $5000.
    That would translate to about 800 checks for the cost of the Jersey.
    I’m willing to bet a product that gave you 1 Ruth auto per 10 cases would sell better than
    1 Jersey per case.

    Of course I have no idea just how many Ruth checks are out there, but I hope you get my point.

  7. Ron J. 28 February, 2015 at 14:01

    I agree with Joe. Used to love D.K. but too many parallels killed it for me. Completing a set was a major task too. Cards look great though. May have to buy a box or two if the price isn’t too steep. That was another thing that slowed my collecting down. Prices are ridiculous. Thanks for a good web site. Wish I could use the forums. Every time I try it tells me I need to be a member or log in even when I am logged in.

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