Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Durham Diamond Kings

Panini has released a bunch of products this year and I cannot tell much about any of them.  I usually wait until the fall to see what sort of college and USA Baseball products they will drop.  All of the other stuff that they put out I will dabble in, but I am done with putting their sets together after they the whole Donruss set thing back in 2014.  Long story, ask around...

That leaves me with just putting together a few autographs here and there, which is usually the extent of Panini cards in my collection.  So far this year I have done a pretty good job of completely ignoring them almost altogether until a trading partner pointed out that there is both a Blake Snell and a Richie Schaffer autograph in Diamond Kings.

Welp, I went ahead and got both cards. While they are pictured as Rays, both were Durham Bulls at the time this product was released.

 Here's a look at the Snell.

Sticker autograph, uniform logos airbrushed out.  Love those Donruss cards.  It's still a Snell autograph and he is a pretty good Durham Bulls player, so it's a good addition for my collection.  If you are not familiar with Snell, he is the top pitching prospect in the Rays organization.  Really impressive pitcher, just ask Brian McCann.

I am not sure where Shaffer ranks on the prospect lists nowadays.  He had a good season with the Durham Bulls last year, got called up to the Rays, and hit this home run with a memorable celebration. 

After hitting 26 home runs last season in the Minors, Shaffer is having a bit of a down year with the Bulls.  So far he has hit just 5 home runs.  Still, one of my favorite Durham Bulls and an enjoyable player to collect.  Here is his Diamond Kings autograph.....

Similar to the Snell card.  Sticker autograph with some art work and two average pieces of jersey swatch.  While it's clear that Snell is working his way out of Triple A, and will soon be a mainstay in the Rays rotation, it's nice to see him get a few cards before he gets to the Majors.  Same with Shaffer, but I suspect he will be in Durham a little bit longer.  

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