The crazy backgrounds of Donruss Diamond Kings

Warning! Crazy backgrounds! All these paintings were done in the 80s and early 90s by the official Baseball Hall of Fame artist, Dick Perez. One has to wonder what was going through Dick’s mind when he created these backgrounds. He finishes up a portrait and now has to add a background. Perplexed what to add, he drops in a crazy geometric pattern. Or some squiggly lines. How about making it look like an Atari game?

These backgrounds should be made into sweaters.

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I would like to see photos of Dick Perez’s house in the 70s and 80s. I bet he had totally psychedelic wallpaper in every room.


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unlikelymoose
8 years ago

I looked at these cards before I read your post and I was marveling in retrospect that they look like sweaters from the 1980s. Then I read your post. I’ll give Donruss and Dick Perez credit.

It is very nice that they kept the format almost exactly the same through most of the years. Take the border from that year’s card set, paint a rubbery-face portrait facing forward with neck and shoulders. Make the background crazy. Include a miniature full-body action shot in the corner. Keep the logo at the top (the exact same logo). Keep the name plate at the bottom with the same font treatment. Bam. Diamond King series. I think this repetition and continuity really adds some level of credibility to the series and is the root cause for its fame. In today’s age of countless crazy tactics it is quite remarkable to see the insane consistency Donruss made with this series.

Sean M. Starowitz
8 years ago

This is really rad Matt…..Thanks for sharing!

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