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1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball Cards

1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball Cards

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Although the three-year printing process can present a confusing experience for inexperienced collectors, the impressive images found in 1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball offer a very intriguing vintage set. Lefty Grove is the top draw among the 108-card release, but the full set features cards for over 30 Hall of Fame players.

1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball was one of two baseball card sets issued concurrently over a three-year period by the National Chicle Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The other being 1934-36 Batter Up. Due to the way the cards were released during those three seasons, it can be viewed as one set or three different releases that are unified by numbers. The official designation for the full set is R327.

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The most noticeable thing about 1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball is the Art Deco style image, complete with vivid backgrounds that are usually ballpark or playing-field scenes. It's a notable contrast from the solid colors and generic backgrounds used on Goudey cards. The only other feature found on the card front is the player's name and a white border.

1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball backs pack a lot of info onto the 2-3/8" by 2-7/8" cards. Following the player's name and card number, write-ups feature either a player biography or a baseball tip, which were all credited to newspaper editor Austen Lake. Also, an ad appears on the back stating that 240 cards were planned. However, there ended up being 108 different numbered cards, with some cards reprinted later in the run featuring the same images, but different card numbers.

Make no mistake, 1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball can be confusing. As the cards came out each year, the front designs remained the same, but the backs were updated. Because of these updates and multiple printings for some cards, many subjects have variations in text and ink color.

Since many of the 1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball cards were printed each year, retired players or those that had been sent down to the minors were not produced again. The best way to tell the difference among the cards is based on a combination of the year referenced in the stat line, the copyright date shown on the card and the ink color used.  Although the copyright date seems like it would be the easiest route, there is a fair amount of inconsistency regarding the actual dates listed on the cards.

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The original 1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball issue included cards #1-24 (Series 1), featuring green ink on the backs. In 1935, all Series 1 cards were reissued and Series 2 (#25-84) was released. Each card from 1935 (#1-84) is found with green ink on the back and cards #73-84 can also be found with blue ink. Finally, in 1936, Series 3 (#85-108) was released. Also, 12 cards from #1-31 and all cards from #73-84 were reprinted. All 1936 cards feature backs with blue ink. The high-number cards, #97-108, are much more scarce in comparison to the rest of the set and include players who had already been featured on cards earlier in the set.

A few errors and variations can be found in 1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball. Hank Greenberg and Ernie Lombardi both had misspelled names early on that were corrected in subsequent printings. The error cards carry a premium. Several subjects, including Al Simmons, Leroy Mahaffey, Heinie Manush and Johnny Babich, also had logos or team names removed from their jersey in later printings.

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Kiki Cuyler is available as a member of the Reds or Cubs because of a trade. The difference is minimal, but the Reds card carries slightly more value. A few other players have similar team updates.

While most collectors are content to collect the 108-card 1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball base set, the most challenging chase for collectors is to obtain all 170 possible front-back card combinations.

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Key Cards

Key 1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball Cards

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#1 Lefty Grove

1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball Cards 28

#103 Bill Dickey

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#54 Hank Greenberg

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#99 Pie Traynor

1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball Cards 31

#105 Ernie Lombardi

1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball Cards 32

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Set Checklist

1934-36 Diamond Stars Baseball Set Checklist

All Series 1 cards were reprinted in Series 2. Cards #73-84 were printed for both Series 2 (Green or Blue backs) and Series 3 (Blue backs). Cards from Series 1 and 2 with an asterisk (*) were printed again in Series 3.

Series 1 - 1934 (Green Backs)
1 Lefty Grove
2 Al Simmons*
3 Rabbit Maranville
4 Buddy Myer*
5 Tommy Bridges*
6 Max Bishop
7 Lew Fonseca
8 Joe Vosmik*
9 Mickey Cochrane*
10 Leroy Mahaffey*
11 Bill Dickey
12 Dixie Walker*
13 George Blaeholder
14 Bill Terry
15 Dick Bartell
16 Lloyd Waner*
17 Frankie Frisch
18 Chick Hafey
19 Van Lingle Mungo
20 Shanty Hogan
21 Johnny Vergez
22 Jimmy Wilson*
23 Bill Hallahan
24 Sparky Adams
Series 2 - 1935 (Green Backs)
25 Walter Berger
26 Pepper Martin*
27 Pie Traynor
28 Al Lopez
29 Robert Rolfe
30 Heinie Manush*
31 Kiki Cuyler*
32 Sam Rice
33 Schoolboy Rowe
34 Stanley Hack
35 Earl Averill
36 Ernie Lombardi
37 Billie Urbanski
38 Ben Chapman
39 Carl Hubbell
40 Blondy Ryan
41 Harvey Hendrick
42 Jimmie Dykes
43 Ted Lyons
44 Rogers Hornsby
45 Jo Jo White
46 Red Lucas
47 Cliff Bolton
48 Rick Ferrell
49 Buck Jordan
50 Mel Ott
51 John Whitehead
52 George Stainback
53 Oscar Melillo
54 Hank Greenberg
55 Tony Cuccinello
56 Gus Suhr
57 Cy Blanton
58 Glenn Myatt
59 Jim Bottomley
60 Charley "Red" Ruffing
61 Billie Werber
62 Fred M. Frankhouse
63 Stonewall Jackson
64 Jimmie Foxx
65 Zeke Bonura
66 Ducky Medwick
67 Marvin Owen
68 Sam Leslie
69 Earl Grace
70 Hal Trotsky
71 Ossie Bluege
72 Tony Piet
73 Fritz Ostermueller*
74 Tony Lazzeri*
75 Irving Burns*
76 Bill Rogell*
77 Charlie Gehringer*
78 Joe Kuhel*
79 Willis Hudlin*
80 Louis Chiozza*
81 Bill DeLancey*
82 John Babich*
83 Paul Waner*
84 Sam Byrd*
Series 3 - 1936 (Blue Backs)
85 Julius Solters
86 Frank Crosetti
87 Steve O'Neil
88 Geo. Selkirk
89 Joe Stripp
90 Ray Hayworth
91 Bucky Harris
92 Ethan Allen
93 Alvin Crowder
94 Wes Ferrell
95 Luke Appling
96 Lew Riggs
97 Al Lopez
98 Schoolboy Rowe
99 Pie Traynor
100 Earle Averill
101 Dick Bartell
102 Van Mungo
103 Bill Dickey
104 Robert Rolfe
105 Ernie Lombardi
106 Red Lucas
107 Stanley Hack
108 Walter Berger

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Trey is a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. In more recent years, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options.

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