Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

Want Lists are located here. NPB Baseball Want List is located here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Diamond King cards you didn't know about

I go to fairly extensive lengths to create my want lists. I do my best to be as complete and accurate as possible, spending hours researching Beckett and SCD guides, Beckett's website, and other online sources to come up with the best lists possible. I know my type collection list is always going to be out of date (even Beckett is several years behind on team issues and minor league sets), and sets and cards for the Women In Sports collection randomly appear from nowhere, through the expected major multi-sport releases, random team sets, and occasional insertion of a player or two.

You'd think for a release like Diamond Kings, it would be fairly simple. Diamond Kings were first issued in 1982, and there was a set made every year through 2005. Done. A Diamond Kings major release was done starting in 2002, with its own inserts to track. Done.

However, some cards fall through the cracks. I knew about the Hall of Fame Heroes set (seen on the right in the image above) fairly early, having picked up both the regular and jumbo-sized cards over time. A similar issue by Leaf was made in 1987, which I didn't know about until I found one at a card show a couple years ago. Donruss' kid-focused issue Triple Play sets of 1992 and 1993 had Gallery of Stars, which I knew about from opening packs in the early '90s.

Even after finding all these sets, I still discover new cards all the time. I found the Dave Stieb card above sitting in a dime box, and realized I didn't even know of its existence. And that got me thinking - what else am I missing like the Stieb? Are there other Leaf "Canadian Greats" cards I haven't checked into yet?

  • 1985 Leaf has the Stieb card shown above, #251, and Tim Raines, #252.
  • 1986 Leaf features Jeff Reardon, #214, and Jesse Barfield, #254.
  • 1987 Leaf includes Floyd Youmans, #65, and Mark Eichhorn, #173.
  • George Bell, #213, and Tim Wallach, #255, are in 1988 Leaf.
  • Along the same lines are the two King of Kings cards: Pete Rose (1986 #653) and Nolan Ryan (1990 #665).

So there are seven more cards I didn't know about! And that reminded me of the puzzle cards:

  • (1982) Babe Ruth (no card issued)
  • (1983) Ty Cobb #653
  • (1983 HOF Heroes) Mickey Mantle #43 (in HOF Heroes set)
  • (1984) Duke Snider #648
  • (1984 Action All-Stars) Ted Williams (no card issued)
  • (1985) Lou Gehrig #635
  • (1986) Hank Aaron #602
  • (1987) Roberto Clemente #612
  • (1988) Stan Musial #641
  • (1989) Warren Spahn #588
  • (1990) Carl Yastrzemski #588
  • (1990 Leaf) Yogi Berra (no card issued)
  • (1991 Leaf) Harmon Killebrew (no card issued)
  • (1991) Willie Stargell (no card issued)
  • (1992) Rod Carew (no card issued)

The puzzles themselves are not too expensive. You shouldn't pay more than $2 for any given complete puzzle (including the Ruth set)! The card numbers refer to puzzle images included in the named set - so even if you don't want the puzzles, there are base cards in the set that picture the art.

While the above aren't exactly "Diamond King" cards, they're all Donruss sets featuring the artwork of Dick Perez, which means they count in my book for the collection.

It's always fun doing research!


  1. I love the old Diamond Kings. I just found a stack from around 1992 while going through some old boxes and they brought back good memories. I seem to recall pulling like 5 copies of the Griffey from that set out of packs. :)

  2. I'm happy every time I see a Diamond King - even the late '80s base cards. I remember when '92 came out in the first series, people were measuring the thickness of packs because they were an "extra" card in the pack, and being a "limited" chase insert they were quite valuable in their time.