Saturday, May 13, 2017

1996 Pinnacle Aficionado

1996 Pinnacle Aficionado #191

Aficionado was a one hit wonder for Pinnacle in the mid-1990's. Well, I'm not sure it was exactly a hit. The base set featured all horizontal photos with a image of the player on the left side. This was done with a silver holofoil with raised black detail. I actually like the design and I was sad to see that it didn't return in 1997. The back of the card featured the previous year's stats on a clean, black background. There is a large black & white photo of the players face on the left side. I will note that these are finger print magnets.

1996 Pinnacle Aficionado #159

There was a subset included called Global Reach. The idea of this set is pretty straight forward, especially when you flip the card over to the back. The front has that same silver holofoil background and raised black detail, this time in the shape of the globe. The back is much more colorful and gives you a little info about the player and the country they are from. In Rey's case, Cuba. I love how they took a baseball and turned it into Earth, especially with the red stitches still intact.

1996 Pinnacle Aficionado Artist's Proot #191

Like with many card sets in the 1990's, a parallel set of the base cards existed. In this case it was the Pinnacle brand Artist's Proofs. The only difference is a small gold logo on the card's front. I don't recall the odds these were packaged and I don't believe a print run was every announced.

1996 Pinnacle Aficionado Artist's Proof #159

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

1996 Pinnacle

1996 Pinnacle #380

It seemed more and more card were going the more "premium route" in the mid-90's and Pinnacle was no exception. I didn't particularly care for the over design of the 1996 set, however I can appreciate an almost full bleed photo. Like most cards of Rey, this one captures him in the field in what appears to him getting ready to snag a ground ball.

Foil #380

I believe the entire set was also released with foil fronts. The card looks a little better in person than the scan, however these are magnet for fingerprints. Not the most engaging parallel, but whatever.

Speaking of parallels, the Starburst parallels use Pinnacle Brand's Dufex technology. They look fantastic in person and I'd love to pick up the Starburst parallel for my collection, however I've never ever seen one for sale. The comes I have seen recently for sale on eBay or even at COMC have been priced much higher than I would've expected. I also still need the Starburst Artist's Proof parallel to complete the 1996 Pinnacle collection.

Friday, February 3, 2017

1996 Leaf Studio

1996 Leaf Studio #14

The Studio brand changed a lot in a little bit of time, and I can't say for the better. What started out as a set that featured posed, black & white portrait like photographs evolved into this in 1996. Not my favorite design, especially for Studio.

Like with many other mid-90's products, this is loaded with parallels. The Press Proof parallels come in Bronze, Gold and Silver and each had varying odds at which you could pull these cards. 

Press Proof Gold #14

I'm still lacking the Bronze & Silver versions so if someone out there has it please let me know. I still can't figure out why these two parallels have been so hard for me to track down!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

1996 Leaf Signature Series

1996 Leaf Signature Series

I remember when this set was released it had everyone going bonkers over it. Boxes and packs were selling at what seemed to be crazy high prices...all because you were guaranteed one certified autograph per pack. In addition to the autograph cards were base cards, such as the one above. Very basic design, bordering on bland for my tastes. I believe there were 150 base cards in the first series.

Gold Press Proof 

Platinum Press Proof

Like with any mid 90's release, parallels were becoming the norm. The base set featured two levels of parallels, Gold (1:12 packs) and Platinum (1:24 packs).

Bronze autograph

Silver autograph

Rey was featured in the first series of autographs. The Bronze auto was the base auto, with gold and silver parallels. While the cards aren't serially numbered, the reported print run was 3,500 for bronze, 1,000 for silver and 500 for gold. It took me awhile to locate the silver parallel, but as you can see I've still yet to acquire the gold parallel.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

1996 Leaf Preferred

1996 Leaf Preferred #117

The 1996 Preferred set is probably most remembered by it's insert set of cards made out of steel. It's a side set that I'm still actively working on completing, however this card of Rey is from the base set. It's got a decent design. Like how they have an image of him fielding the ball on the front and him batting on the back. Rey never was known for his offensive skills so I'd much rather have a defensive image on the card's front.

Press Proofs #117

One parallel set existed, Press Proofs. The silver foil is replaced with gold foil. The Press Proof parallel name would pop up in later Leaf and Donruss sets.

Monday, November 14, 2016

1996 Leaf Limited

1996 Leaf Limited Limited Rookies Silver #9

While Rey didn't make it into the base set of 1996 Leaf Limited, he was included in their Limited Rookies insert set. The card came in two versions, silver and gold. This was another parallel that originally escaped my knowledge of it's existence.

Both of these cards feature a full foil front and looks much better in hand than the scan shows.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

1996 Fleer Ultra

1996 Fleer Ultra #514

Ultra started out as a set boasting multiple pictures of the player, then went on to introduce UV coating and gold foil stamping. Finally in 1996 it lost some of the gaudy "look at me" design in favor for a borderless look with full bleed photos and toned back the goil foil. I personally like the design, though Fleer also used this design for their minor league set, Excel.

Gold Medallion #514

The Gold Medallion parallels just didn't do much for me in 1996 or even today. There is just a thing as too much foil and this is a prime example. Like others, these cards are notorious for showing finger prints so beware when handling. I should also mention that the player image is embossed similar to the Circa Boss inserts from the same year.