Instant buyer’s remorse.
It was based on the price of the pack, but that’s what I felt immediately after I pulled the trigger on a hanger pack of 2022 Panini Diamond Kings. I was recently in Target and they had hangers and blasters of 2022 Diamond Kings. The sign on the hook for the hangers said $14.95; Silly me, I figured the hangers were just put in the wrong place because the last time I bought DKs (in 2020) they were $9.95 for a 20 card hanger.
Wrong-o, the pack was $14.95.
Despite the painful-for-me 75 cents per card price – I am nothing if not consistently cheap – I went ahead and bought the hanger anyway. This is what pack deprivation does to a guy.
The first card was of Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes:
I like the base cards, the design works well with the whole digital simulation of a painted card theme. I’m also much more forgiving of the unlicensed cards when they’re presented in an artsy way… for the most part, anyway.
I’ll also point out that Panini is not immune to the 21st century visual design issues of not taking contrast between colors into account. Putting the reddish city name in front of a green grass background does not make for legible text.
The backs are standard Panini stuff in terms of content and overall layout, but these are pretty nice looking. For my own intentions with a set like this, the card back could have a large card number, the player name and the set name and I’d be good. I’ll count my blessings that these card numbers are easy for my middle-aged eyes to read.
As usual there are legends like Babe Ruth. I know a complaint about Diamond King in past seasons is that the same photos will carry over from one set to another. I did a quick search on Diamond Kings and Babe Ruth and didn’t see this photo in previous years, but like I said, that was a quick search.
This Ryne Sandberg is pretty nice.
This Johnny Bench card is a candidate for “favorite card of the pack”.
I also got a Trey Mancini for my Orioles collection. There’s something a little jarring about having sponsors in the background when there aren’t logos anywhere else, but that’s nit-picking.
According to the checklist, rookies come in four designs which seem to be harder pulls as we go along. I got several of the “Rookies I” design, which is OK if a little busy.
I got two cards from the retina-searing “Rookies II”. This looks like a scientist peered into an electron microscope and discovered the world’s most infinitesimal pitcher.
I pulled just one of the houndstooth-for-no-apparent-reason “Rookies III”… which I might like better if the photo weren’t black and white. I don’t see the need of a B&W image of a 21st century player, that’s Honus Bonus stuff.
There’s also a “Rookies IV” design, but I didn’t pull any of these… Spot-checking on eBay doesn’t turn up many, and there are no images on TCDB.
As for inserts, I got this “Elegance” insert of Shohei Ohtani, which isn’t bad.
There’s also this Maestros card. I like the Jazzy motif, which looks better in person because of the gold foil
Every pack came with a “framed” parallel, which don’t interest me… but to be fair parallels in general don’t interest me.
I also got an “Artists Proof” parallel but I didn’t bother scanning it because it’s just a base card with a foil stamp.
On the whole I like this year’s cards, I got some cards to send to trading buddies and a few to add to my own collection… but THERE IS NO WAY I AM BUYING ANY MORE OF THIS THROUGH RETAIL CHANNELS. I’ll go back to obtaining singles here and there through various means.