I've been trying to put forth a little more effort (and a little more hobby fundage) towards my Mattingly collection lately. It's a lot easier for me to chase and seek out newer cards for my modern day player PC's (Kimbrel, Freeman, Robertson and Rizzo). Their cards fall into my current collecting period and deal in terms, brands and sets that I can understand.
Mattingly cards that I require for my collection (which yes, include any and all Mattingly cards.....ever!) do include modern release issues, but a lot of these are highly priced autographs, relic cards and parallels. The bulk of missing Mattingly cards, for me, completely span the 15+ year Hobby Ice Age that I unknowingly suffered through from about 1993 until 2011. A quick glance through a Beckett for these years is enough to make my head spin. There were so many brands and sets and inserts and....God only know what else produced during these years that included Donnie Baseball! I know that I will never conquer them all, but I aim to make a pretty good dent whenever I can.
Just such an opportunity came up for me when I was able to snag this '95 Diamond King for less than $5. Coming during the preface of my Hobby Ice Age, the Diamond King insert is definitely something I am familiar with. DK's were a frequent pull for us back in the day and, unfortunately, reached a saturation point where they elicited minimal excitement from us whipper-snappers.
It looks like Donruss stepped up their DK game after I checked out:
A basic design for an incredible rendering of The Hit Man from Mr. Perez. I love this card and it even appears to be in pretty good shape. I'm not quite so sure how production quality rated back in '95, but the centering on a card like this is key due to the very discernible (and comparable) borders. Fortunately, it looks like we're good to go with these golden beauties - looking good, Donnie!
Here's the back:
AH! It's even numbered! The extremely high production for this "limited edition" card gives me a little chuckle when compared to modern day serialized statistics - I'm sure it does for most of you, too. That being said, it does add a little dose of 'special' to an already impressive card. I'm glad they added another nice color shot of Mattingly on the back in those wonderful home pinstripes.
The write-up on this DK is superb. While Mattingly's career highlights are easily summed up in '84, '85 and '95 for sportswriters, I feel like Donruss pays some wonderfully balanced homage to Mattingly's value as a Yankee and one of the game's best for more than a decade. Every time I read about his ill-fated postseason debut in '95, I can still feel the bitter-sweet joy of childhood dreams born and destroyed within a matter of months....to be followed by huge "what-if's" the following October.
But for now, I digress. What a great card to add to my Mattingly Collection! I hope to be adding more as often as possible.
Thanks for reading and keep collecting!