17 March 2012

5 more boxes. I'm coming to get you Bernie...


This can't end well....




 Box 1 (8 total) Results

Regular sets

Set 1
163/165 (missing 66, 142)

Set 2
115/165

Set 3
8/165

Set 4
1/165

1 Jose Lima #143 wrong back error

Diamond Star sets

Set 1
35/165 (including a Tony Pena with a damaged Lime Rock stamp)

Set 2
1/165


NO BERNIE BRITO DIAMOND STAR!


Box 2 (9 total) Results

    Collation in this box seems a bit different.  In several packs, I've run across consecutively numbered cards next to each other.

Set 1
159/165 (missing 27, 51, 79, 109, 142, 161)

Set 2
108/165

Set 3
7/165

Set 4
2/165

2 Jose Lima #143 wrong back errors

Diamond Star sets

Set 1
34/165

1 Jose Lima #143 wrong back error

NO BERNIE BRITO DIAMOND STAR!


Box 3 (10 total) Results

Set 1
164/165 (missing 142)

Set 2
118/165

Set 3
5/165

2 Jose Lima #143 wrong back errors

Set 1
35/165 (including a Jose Cano with a damaged Lime Rock stamp)

Set 2
1/165

NO BERNIE BRITO DIAMOND STAR!


Box 4 (10 total) Results


      Eleven packs into box #4 (11 total) and we have Bernie!  To add insult to injury, not only did it take me some 4+ years, and 10 1/2 boxes, to find this card after I started searching for it, when I finally get one, not only is it off center, but after scanning and attempting to crop and straighten the image, I find that it's even slightly diamond cut!  Is that some sort of cruel irony?

     My more modern scanners just don't scan reflective surfaces well, so I had to go old school and do a bit of deep closet archaeology.  To capture the glory and the sheer, devastating awesomeness that is this card, I actually had to find all the cables, download antiquated drivers and software to hook up this museum display of equipment:


    That is a UMAX Vista S-12, complete with PCMCIA SCSI adapter, next to an IBM ThinkPad iSeries 1500, running Windows 98 (not even Second Edition, just plain old Win98).  The scanner is probably from 1997-98 and the laptop is from 1999 or so. 



    These cards fall one per pack.  There are 36 packs per box.  I had to go through 371 packs to find this card.  Holy crap!  Actually seeing the number is the slightest bit disturbing.  At 9 cards per pack, that's 3339 total 1993 Lime Rock Dominican Winter Baseball cards I've waded through and 371 Diamond Stars (potentially two complete sets, if not for duplicates).  I've only managed to sell 403 of these in the past 4 years, and trade a handful more.  Discarding the cards that were found damaged, that leaves me with some 2900 or so cards left, plus one unopened box (though the shrink wrap is gone and the Lime Rock seal is no longer intact) and 15 stray packs.

     Overall, pack collation was pretty good for this set.  I never got the same card twice in a pack.  I never got two identical packs.  Being fairly glossy cards, on both front and back, there is a tendency for cards to stick together.  A little flexing and crackling and they do come apart.  Rarely is there any paper loss due to the sticking.  Unfortunately, the cards were not very evenly cut, so there is a tendancy for bent corners on cards that, being stuck to the cards around them, might protrude a little beyond the end of the stack.  As the cards are black all the way to the edges, there is also a tendacy for a little white to show whenever there is a ding or the occasional peeled corner.  So if anyone was ever to grade any of these, there would be very little chance of ever getting a perfect PSA 10 or SCG 100.  The three most difficult cards in these boxes seem to be the corrected version of #142, the Raul Mondesi rookie prospect card, the Diamond Star version of #142 and the Diamond Star Bernie Brito.

    At least my search is over.  Never again will I be tempted to buy another box, open another pack.  I'm left with only one remaining card to complete the Bernardo Brito Baseball Card Experience...assuming that card even exists.  



     Each pack contains an offer card between the last card and the rest of the cards.  For some reason, despite these not being part of the set, Beckett list the offer card in their system.  These are the two offer cards, one for magazine subscriptions and one for a 1994 Raiderettes calendar and video:



10 March 2012

Oh Bernie, Where Art Thou? (update)

My three new boxes of 1993 Lime Rock Winter Baseball arrived today, so I rushed home at lunch to rip into a box. Wouldn't you know it? I'm now 0 for 4 on picking up that Bernie Brito Diamond Star!

Interestingly, there are a couple of errors I've now seen repeated in the set. Of course, there's card #3 of Victor Silverio which is actually a photo of Miguel Batista, but there is also at least one consistent wrong-back error with Jose Lima on front and Raul Mondesi on the back. In this box, I actually got the Diamond Star version of that same misprint! I think there's at least one more wrong-back, which may also be Mondesi/Lima, but I'll have to double check. I also encountered one Diamond Star with what appears to be a sort of inverse version of the Lime Rock logo with the gold in the exact opposite of how it was normally applied to the card. I'll get a scan up later.


In any case, expect to see my stock of these cards replenished on Sportlots this evening.

---------UPDATE---------

Ok, make that 0 for 5! (but I picked up three more of those Lima/Mondesi errors and even another Diamond Star of the same error! AAARRRHHHHH!!)

********UPDATE - 2*********

The way these packs are collated, from the bottom, there is a base card, the offer card (there are offers for magazine subscriptions for Inside Sports, Card Collector's Price Guide, Sports Card Trader and Baseball Digest or the a 1994 Raiderettes calendar) and then the Diamond Star insert. Just to add insult to injury, every so often, that last card (the one I see first as I rip open the foil pack from the seam on the back) is a base card of Bernie Brito. Mocking me. Because you KNOW, if I get a base card of Brito, I won't be getting a Diamond Star of Brito in the same pack. These Lime Rock monsters were diabolical.

/////////UPDATE - 3\\\\\\\\\\

Found yet another misprint....a Diamond Star with no gold foil at all. The impression of the logo is clearly visible where it was stamped, there's just no foil over it. Halfway through box 6. Still no Golden Bernie.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ UPDATE 4 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

Well, as it turns out, there are two version of the box:


However, all the packs and cards are still the same.

But, as is my curse, box #7 refused to yield  the much sought after Bernie Brito Diamond Star. In the next week or so, if all goes well, I should have another 5 boxes arriving. The adventure continues!