Yesterday was Panini Day, as I posted up some of the San Diego Padres cards I found during the March Urbandale American Legion Card Show. In this post, I'm going to feature a look at what I consider are some of the better cards of the past few years (or in some cases, decades).
I'll begin with these 2003 Donruss Diamond Kings, in order, Phil Nevin, Ryan Klesko and Sean Burroughs. As you know, Panini has resurrected the Donruss card sets, but as I noted yesterday, I feel their rather lackluster attempt lacks all the warmth and personality the former Donruss line possessed. These Diamond King cards were cool, featuring painted renderings of MLB players, with a pseudo-canvas weave on the cards. Panini's 2014 Donruss also features Donruss Diamond Kings, but they are only player photos, with an inset action photo. Again, all the warmth and personality of this line is gone.
What is there not to like about Stadium Club? Large, action photos? Check. Bordlerless pictures? Check. Bright, glossy fronts? Check. Foil Name plates? Roger (blue, in this case). Baseball stitching embossed onto the card? You betcha! Here's the 1998 Stadium Club cards for Trevor Hoffman, Steve Finley and Wally Joyner. I also included a 1999 Stadium Club Wally Joyner I found. Really, really nice cards!
When it comes to bright and shiny cards, I'm like a dog distracted by a squirrel. My scanner doesn't do these 1995 Leaf cards justice, with Steve Finley, Andy Benes and Bip Roberts, but the Padres foil label just pops off the card, as does the diamond-shaped head shot of each player. On the bottom row are 1994 Leaf Limited Bip Roberts and Phil Nevin. These cards also pop with their own silver foil highlights. Other than Panini Prizm, no one does really nice foil products anymore.
These 1995 Select Andy Benes, Joey Hamilton, Andujar Cedeno and Roberto Petagine are also very clean cards that are nicely done. Borders are nice on cards, but if they're done right like these cards, borderless cardboard can really highlight the card's photo and name plate. I really like the inset player pictures on these cards. As noted on the card, Petagine and Cedeno were traded to San Diego from Houston on Dec. 18, 1994. That trade also sent Ken Camniti, Steve Finley and Brian Williams to San Diego with Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez, Phil Plantier and Craig Shipley shipping to Houston. The Padres also received minor-leaguer Sean Fresh in may 1995 to complete the trade.
And finally, here's a 2001 Fleer Premium Ruben Rivera, and 2002 Fleer Premium Ray Lankford, Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko. While the Rivera card sports a foil picture and name plate, the 2002 cards only have foil on the name and team plates, the black and white borders and the pegged, border-within-a-border, work nicely together to further accentuate the photo.
Stay tuned next time for the final installment of the March Urbandale American Legion card show.