Hand-painted collectible baseball card
Piecing together the history of Donruss baseball cards is a decades-long puzzle. It starts in the 1940s, with the Leaf Confectionery Company in Chicago... makers of Rain-Blo Bubble Gum and Whoppers' Malted Milk Balls. In 1948, Leaf issued its first set of baseball cards, an iconic colored collection featuring the likes of Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth.
The Donruss company was founded in 1954, manufacturing candy and Super Bubble Gum in Memphis. In the 60's and 70's, they were producing trading cards for TV shows and pop-culture like the Addams Family, the Dukes of Hazzard, and Graceland's own Elvis Presley.
In 1975, Fleer (makers of Dubble Bubble in Philadelphia) sued Topps over the monopolization of Major League Baseball cards. After a long battle in the courts, a ruling in 1980 opened the door for both Fleer and Donruss to produce their first sets for the 1981 season... retailed in wax packs with sticks of bubble gum.
Furious at the outcome, Topps brought it before an appellate court, and successfully overturned the ruling. However, the Fleer lawyers found a loophole in the contract, stating Topps had exclusive rights to sell baseball cards with gum or candy. So, Fleer started distributing its cards with stickers, and Donruss created their Diamond King puzzle pieces.
Portrait artist Dick Perez painted the illustrations used for the new Diamond Kings set in 1982, and Donruss chose to make Babe Ruth their first puzzle. A year later, in 1983, the Leaf Candy Company was purchased by Huhtamäki Oyj of Finland... who also acquired Donruss and merged them together under the Leaf name. Although the Donruss brand was used to market the product, the backs of cards were now copyright marked with Leaf, Inc.
I've taken the 1990 Donruss Nolan Ryan "King of Kings" card No. 665, and created my own puzzle with the image of the 1948 Leaf Babe Ruth. Babe has the highest career WAR (182.5) of any player in baseball history... making him the true King of Diamond Kings.
Here's what you'll receive with this order
- My original baseball card artwork.
- Depending on the art, your collector card(s) may be marked with an edition number.
- These art cards are protected inside an Ultra Pro One Touch magnetic card holder... customized with my matching Rosen signature label.
- Depending on the design, some cards may be signed on the back. If not, don't fret... your package will include bonus items that are personally autographed by me.
You may reference my growing checklist of collector-owned cards.