1993 Lime Rock Dominican Winter Baseball
In 1993, Lime Rock, a company known mostly for it's non-sports and cheerleader cards, issued this set of 165 cards featuring 20-something cards per team for the 1993-94 Dominican Winter League season. As with any set of the winter leagues, it was littered with local Dominican talent, up-and-coming minor leaguers as well as a smattering of major leaguers who either just couldn't sit still over the winter or needed to refine something in preparation for the upcoming season (does that ever actually work?). In any case, the set happened to contain cards of two players I collect, Hensley Meulens and Bernardo Brito (seen here with the Licey Tigres), so naturally, I had to go dig them up!
In addition to the regular set, inserted one per pack was one Diamond Star insert which was exactly the same as the base set cards, but with a gold foil "Lime Rock" logo stamped on the back. In my first box, I managed to pick up couple of Brito, a couple Meulens and a Diamond star insert of Meulens. That left me looking for the Brito Diamond Star. So I hunted around and picked up a second box. More Meulens, more Sosa and Polonias and all the Wilfredo Tejadas you could hope for, but no Brito Diamond Star.
So I did what any completely irrational player collector would do....I picked up a third box. One box later and STILL no Brito Diamond Star! In the meantime, I'd gotten in contact with minor league baseball card guru, Dave Weber, and learned that he dealt in the occasional oddball set, and just happened to have a stock of this set. But as it turns out, he had pretty much every single card EXCEPT the Brito Diamond Star! Flash forward 18 months later, and after making around $45 in Sportlots sales (which seemed to be mostly from selling Red Foleys, Panini stickers and random, no-name minor league singles....sorry Dave!) and one of the sellers I'd picked up two of my earlier boxes from has re-appeared on eBay with another 10 boxes! Keep in mind, I'm still only looking for a single insert card. 36 packs in a box, so 36 chances. I just dropped the PayPal for three more boxes. For one card. Of Bernardo Brito!
And what's really weird about this set is, though I'd seen him called Bernie in magazine and newspaper articles, this little oddball set targeted at the latino market is the ONLY one where he is listed as Bernie Brito on card. Yet in the same set, they list Sammy Sosa as Samuel, and Sil Campusano as Silvestre and one of the Mota boys (it looks like Jose) as Manolo. Weird.
You can view most of the set over at The Trading Card Database. I'll probably be able to finish filling out the scans once my new boxes show up.
At the moment, the want list for my Bernardo Brito collection is comprised of exactly two cards:
1987 Team Issue Cleveland Indians b&w photo card (3-1/2"x5-1/2")
1993 Lime Rock Dominican Winter Baseball Diamond Star #79