1999 Upper Deck Black Diamond Hobby Box
30 packs, 6 cards per pack
This set has just 120 base cards, so with 180 in a box I ended up pulling a lot of doubles.
Each top card in my packs had a tiny nick on the bottom border. I'm not sure if that is typical with this product or just bad luck.
I had a real tough time capturing the in person look of these cards. My scanner made them look hideous so I tried with my camera.
Out of the 180 cards in the box, 82 are star cards. When you add in the inserts it ended up being 52% stars. Pretty good ratio.
The Diamond Debut subset consists of 30 rookies. None however are official rookie cards and most are players who did not go on to have memorable careers.
Diamond Debut cards are seeded one in four packs. I ended up with nine DD cards (two were serial numbered). This also explains why there were so many doubles from the rest of the set.
Parque, Greisinger, Arrojo, and Matt Anderson. Ouch. The only other decent players in this subset (besides Jenkins, Drew, and Wood) are Glaus, Washburn, Chavez, and Aramis Ramirez.
This Ruth card has a classic look to it, although it feels completely out of place in a set that contains only rookies and players from 1999.
Now for the inserts...
While the main inserts looks nice enough, I find the effort uninspired and lazy. The red cards like this Giambi are called Black Diamond Double and are serial numbered to 3,000.
But the pictures used are exactly the same as the base set.
You can pull this insert for any of the 120 cards in the set.
The Black Diamond Triple inserts look just like the base as well but are yellow.
These are serial numbered to 1500.
You can also pull a green version of this insert serial numbered to just 150. Unfortunately I wasn't so lucky.
Here's a Travis Lee Diamond Debut Double insert. The Diamond Debut inserts have a slightly lower print run. The red one here is serial numbered to 2,500 (instead of 3,000).
A Jim Parque Diamond Debut Triple serial numbered to 1,000 (instead of 1,500). The green version for Diamond Debut inserts have a print run of 100 (instead of 150).
This Mystery Numbers insert set is pretty cool. The pictures are different than the base pictures, and the print runs vary from 100 to 3,000. This Biggio is serial numbered to 3,000. It is the most common.
The print runs start at 100 (Ruth) and ascend by 100 through the set (ending with Biggio at 3,000 printed). This is a nice concept. Griffey has just a 200 card print run; Wood 300, McGwire 400, Arod 500 etc. This Sosa is serial numbered to 1,600.
Interestingly there's also a Mystery Numbers Emerald version of this set. The print runs are amazingly low. Just 1-30. So there is just one Emerald Ruth card somewhere out there, two Emerald Griffeys...on up to Biggio at 30 printed.
There's a handful of the Emerald versions on Ebay. The general cost is $100-300 bucks. Wow. You'd have to be a hardcore player collector to shell out that much.
My final insert is a Kerry Wood Diamond Dominance card numbered to 1,500. This insert set contains 30 cards (all serial numbered to 1500). Some of the best players include Ruth, Arod, Ripken, Maddux, Clemens, Griffey and many more stars.
There are also Emerald versions of Diamond Dominance. Those are all serial numbered to just 1.
In the final analysis, the base set looks great in person. That was the main reason I wanted a box of Black Diamond. Nonetheless I am a bit disappointed with this box overall. A set this small can't afford to have so many inserts that use the same pictures as the base. It gets boring really fast.
Of the last four box breaks I've posted this one was the least enjoyable.