Thursday, January 25, 2018

1996 Pinnacle Select Certified

1996 Pinnacle Select Certified #112

Pinnacle's Select Certified was the epitimy of high end baseball cards in the mid-90's. Exclusive to hobby shops the summer of '96, this was one of the first sets that had multiple levels of parallels. Blue (1:50), Red (1:5), Artist's Proofs (1:18), Mirror Blue (1:200), Mirror Gold (1:300) and Mirror Red (1:100) gave collectors like myself a challenge if we wanted to "chase the rainbow.

1996 Pinnacle Select Certified Artist's Proof #112

1996 Pinnacle Select Certified Blue and Red #112

1996 Pinnacle Select Certified Mirror Blue #112

The Mirror parallels back in the day were very hard to come across and if you pulled a star player, you could easily flip it for big bucks. Think of the Mirror parallels as Pinnacle's Refractors in a sense. Notice on the back these cards are labels Mirror Blue/Gold/Red just above the "autenticator" logo Pinnacle Brands used for awhile.

1996 Pinnacle Select Certified Mirror Red #112

It took me awhile before I could find this card at a price I didn't mind paying. The same can't be said about the Mirror Gold parallel...the last card I need in this set.

1996 Pinnacle Select Certified Interleague Preview #6

This was the only insert in the set and it matched up similar players from both leagues. This may be one of the first cards I remember seeing Ordonez and Jeter paired up together. Certainly not the last card however as the two of them would be paired on numerous cards over the next handful of years. By the way, the scan doesn't do this card justice as the front is covered in a silver holofoil.

1996 Pinnacle Select Certified Interleague Preview Sample

I don't recall if this Sample card was distributed in copies of Tuff Stuff magazine back in the day, but that is where I got a number of promo cards once. The card front is identical to the main release. The worlds SAMPLE are stamped across the back.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

1996 Pinnacle Select

1996 Pinnacle Select #173

Select was a new higher end version of cards for Pinnacle in 1996. Back when they were new they were exciting, now they just seem to get lost in the shuffle of mid 90's cards. I don't really care for hte wood grain on the front of the card. The back is equally boring.

1996 Pinnacle Select Artist's Proof #173

The obligatory parallel set was a continuation of Pinnacle's Artist's Proof cards. Nothing new here. I seem to remember these cards being a hard pull, perhaps one per box.

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 Proof #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

Gold 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 paralle and even longer to find 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.