This just might be a baseball card to go gung-ho for.
It’s one of three Materials cards from The Ted Williams Collection found in packs of 2017 Panini Diamond Kings — all memorabilia cards with pieces of personally worn material from the Baseball Hall of Famer and Boston Red Sox icon.
This one’s a bit different, though.
Williams was, as this card back notes, “a gung-ho Marine” in the Korean War where he was a decorated fighter pilot. He also served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, losing three seasons of his MLB career immediately after winning the Triple Crown in 1942.
“The Splendid Splinter” has plenty of cardboard in general — and a good amount of memorabilia cards — and he’s got a decent amount of cardboard that shows his military years thanks in part to his Fleer set in 1959, but this just might be a first for the hobby. (He has a 2001 Topps Heritage Time Capsule Relic that shows him in his military uniform but utilizes a piece of a Korean War uniform not used by him.)
In Diamond Kings there are three standard cards in The Ted Williams Collection (each with parallels) and each of them also has a Materials version. This one, listed as “historical” on the company’s checklist, is the most-plentiful standard memorabilia card at 99 copies made. Card No. 1 is the rarest at 25 copies, while card No. 3 has 49 copies. They also have three parallels — Holo Blue, Holo Gold and 1/1 Masterpiece versions. For this military card, there are 25 copies for the Holo Blue card and 49 copies of the Holo Gold.
The easiest version of this memorabilia card has sold for as much as $100 on eBay, though prices have come in a bit cheaper in subsequent auctions. There’s not that much volume on these cards to go around in general — just 174 total between all versions — so if a few military-minded fans target this one there could be more action on this card than you might think.
Diamond Kings boxes include just two autographs or memorabilia cards so they also won’t be the easiest pulls if you’re ripping wax, either.
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