Sunday, March 07, 2010

Cards That Really Don't Look Like Cards: 1997 Flair Showcase Diamond Cuts

Through the advent of new technologies that add extra shine, fancy die-cuts and other fan-dangled gimmicks, there's cards a plenty out there that don't at all resemble the baseball cards from yesteryear. Here's one.

1997 Flair Showcase Diamond Cuts

1997 Flair Showcase was a landmark release. It had a three levels of base sets. I guess you could call the uncommon and rare levels parallels, but I've never really seen it that way. It had tons of foil. And the foil actually looked good.

But what 1997 Flair Showcase will forever be remembered for is the introduction of the 1-of-1 with the Masterpiece parallels. They set a new standard for the hobby that hasn't looked back.

In all the years since 1997 when this set was first released, I'd never come across the Diamond Cuts inserts. They were clearly lost in the shuffle of all Flair Showcase's other gimmicks and beauty. These are some funky looking cards. Die-cut in the shape of facing diamonds, the card also features prominent holo-foil giving the top background a diamond look. The name plate and Flair Showcase logo both contain additional gold foil.  There's also a full-body player photo and a glistening baseball diamond on the card's bottom portion.

Card backs are fairy generic with a diamond photo in the background, a small photo and a generic-reading bio.

Diamond Cuts definitely don't resemble anything close to traditional baseball cards. Nonetheless, they work. For all the techno-gimmicks going on on this card, it's not overwhelming. Often, cards that take on too much look like Franken-cards that resemble something that belongs to be sewn onto the crest of a bowling shirt or like a nameplate that belongs on an office door. 
Diamond Cuts were inserted 1:20 packs. Most of the cards should be found for a couple of dollars with none going more than $5 or $6. Here's the checklist:

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Albert Belle
3. Ken Caminiti
4. Juan Gonzalez
5. Ken Griffey Jr.
6. Tony Gwynn
7. Todd Hundley
8. Andruw Jones
9. Chipper Jones
10. Greg Maddux
12. Mark McGwire
13. Mike Piazza
14. Manny Ramirez
15. Cal Ripken Jr.
16. Alex Rodriguez
17. Frank Thomas
18. Mo Vaughn
19. Bernie Williams
20. Matt Williams



I love all the old 90's inserts.They show a lot of imagination.

oldschoolbreaks said...

I loved these! I have 4-5 of them somewhere. Someday, I'll finish the set. I thought the Hot Gloves set from that year was nice too.