Tuesday, May 26, 2009

1987 Donruss Diamond Kings #4

It's the end of a decade at Darryl Strawberry Fields. I suppose there may be a few oddball issues from '87 left, but they're at the back of album and I don't feel like taking them out to check.

Let's say goodbye to 1987 with a bang. I can't think of any better way to go out than with 1987 Donruss Diamond Kings, perhaps Donruss's most recognizable subset ever. What set them apart was that they were paintings (this one done by Perez-Steele Galleries) instead of the usual blurry action or candid shots. I'm not sure what they're exact criteria was for dubbing someone a Diamond King, but they were all damn good ball players, so I'm assuming it was more or less an "All-Star" type distinction.

Darryl was rightly named a King.

This painting, though better than anything I could ever draw, was a disaster. Straw's cap looks like it was run through the washer a few too many times. His right ear (card left) looks like an elf's ear while his left ear is non-existent. His upper lift is swollen. There are four different shades of blue on his jersey.

Gotta give them credit for the "action" painting in the lower right corner, though - they thought of all the details right down to the stirrups.

The back:

It's strange that Donruss referred to the 1986 home run "race" as a home run derby. I looked up the actual home run derby from '86, the one before the All-Star game, just to make sure that's not what they were talking about. Turns out that Strawberry finished the All-Star derby tied for with the most home runs with Wally Joyner... with four home runs!!

Ha! Four. Oh how times have changed.

It's also neat to see a number higher than a million on a card. Strawberry's 1,619,511 All-Star votes led all of the major leagues.

Donruss ending things with prediction - that Strawberry would emerge as a dominating presence for years to come. How right they were.


Jeffrey FX said...

I believe it was in that All Star Home Run Derby that Darryl hit the roof of Olympic Stadium with one of his monster home runs~!

Jason said...

Lots of the 1987 Diamond Kings were really bad. Check out the beak on Dave Winfield!