The 1934-1936 Diamond Stars (R327) set from National Chicle takes a distant back seat to the Goudey sets from 1933 and 1934 in terms of its hobby profile. As a result, many collectors are unaware of the significant number of team variants in the set, even after consulting with top hobby resources such as the PSA website and the Standard Catalog.
The purpose of this article is to catalog all such variants in a single location where they can be accessed centrally by collectors.
While card front variations for Simmons and Manush are known to many collectors, the Diamond Stars set actually includes five players whose card fronts depict team changes.
#2 – Al Simmons (White Sox and Tigers)
Bucketfoot Al spent 1933-1935 with the Chicago White Sox, and his Series 1 (1934) and Series 2 (1935) printings reflect this. However, Simmons was also included in the Series 3 (1936) printing as a member of the Detroit Tigers. His Series 3 card reflects this by whiting out the team logo from his uniform.
#10 – Roy Mahaffey (A’s and Browns)
Mahaffey played for Connie Mack’s squad from 1930 to 1935, and his cards in Series 1 (1934) and Series 2 (1935) reflect this. He moved to the St. Louis Browns in 1936, and his Series 3 (1936) card omits his jersey logo.
#15 – Dick Bartell (Phillies and Giants)
Bartell played for the Phillies from 1931-1934, and his Series 1 (1934) card 15 reflects this. In 1935 he moved to the New York Giants, which is reflected by the hat and jersey updates on his Series 2 (1935) card 15 as well as his card 101 from Series 3 (1936).
#30 – Heinie Manush (Senators and Red Sox)
Manush played for the Senators from 1930-1935, and his Series 2 (1935) card reflects this. Following the 1935 season he moved to the Red Sox, and his Series 3 (1936) card omits the W from his uniform to reflect this.
#82 – John Babich (Dodgers and Bees)
Babich was a Dodger in 1934 and 1935, and his Series 2 (1935) card reflects this. He spent the 1936 season with the Boston Bees (Braves), and his Series 3 (1936) card omits the team name from his jersey front and sleeve to reflect this.
In addition to the five cards already presented, three other players change teams across the three years of the set. Card backs note the changes within the text of the player bio or stat area.
The table below provides a complete list of back variants and other team changes shown in the set. Entries in red are not true variants since their team changes cut across card numbers. However, they’re included for completeness.
Other team changes
While the Diamond Stars set included seven true team variants, there were other players in the set who changed teams between 1934 and 1936 but did not produce variants, generally because the card was not part of subsequent printings or the transaction occurred after the third printing was already finalized.
Here is a complete listing of all such players. In nearly all instances, reconciling the transaction date with the timing of the card’s release leads to unsurprising results. However, there are three exceptions (highlighted) that will be addressed separately below the table.
- Red Lucas joined the Pirates at the start of the 1934 season, so it’s surprising that his 1935 and 1936 Diamond Stars cards, numbers 46 and 106 respectively, still described him as a Reds pitcher in the bio section. I regard these cards as having uncorrected errors (UER) for this reason.
- Tony Piet did not join the White Sox until June 1935. Nonetheless his 1935 card described him as a “former Pirate infielder now with White Sox.” What this suggests is that the Piet card was part of a mid- or late-season release in 1935. While this may not be surprising, it is notable in that among all 108 cards included in the Diamond Stars set, Piet’s card provides the only evidence of a card created or updated after the season was underway.
I will not focus on other variants in this post. Other hobby resources will be much more complete and authoritative in this regard. Instead I’ll simply list the most notable examples.
- The Hank Greenberg and Ernie Lombardi cards have each player’s name misspelled and then corrected.
- Series 1 cards have green ink backs and reflect 1933 statistics.
- Series 2 cards have green ink or blue ink backs and reflect 1934 statistics.
- Series 3 cards have blue ink backs and reflect 1935 statistics.