1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball Cards
Diamond Stars were one of two baseball card sets issued concurrently over a three-year period by the National Chicle Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Due to the way the cards were released over those three seasons, it can be considered to be one set or three different ones that are unified by numbers.
The most noticeable feature of Diamond Stars is the way the player picture is painted in an Art Deco style with vivid backgrounds, usually ballpark or playing field scenes. It's a stark contrast from the solid backgrounds and generic backgrounds used on Goudey cards. The picture is only adorned by the player's name and a white border.
The backs are where Diamond Stars can be confusing. As the cards came out from year to year, the fronts stayed the same, but the backs were updated (although the copyright remained 1934 throughout the period). Therefore, many cards have variations in text and ink color. The easiest way to tell the difference appears in the previous season's stat line. Generally, the write-ups feature either a player biography or a baseball tip, which were all credited to newspaper editor Austen Lake. An ad appears on the back stating that 240 cards were planned; however, there ended up being 108 different numbered cards, with 168 possible front/back combinations.
Since Diamond Stars were updated each year, some cards were not printed again if the player retired or had been sent to the minors. The original 1934 issue included cards 1-24, with green ink on the backs. In 1935, cards 1-24 were reissued, 25-72 were printed with green ink and 73-84 can be found with either blue or green ink. By 1936, some cards from 1-31 were printed again, along with all cards from 73-84 and the final run, 85-108. Cards 97-108 are much scarcer and feature players who had already been featured on cards in earlier series. While most collectors are content to collect the base set, there are some who try to collect all the front/back variations.
Hank Greenberg and Ernie Lombardi both had misspelled names corrected in subsequent printings.
Key 1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball Cards:
1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball Card Checklist
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