Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Joy of Junk Wax - 1992 Pinnacle

Running a baseball card blog can be a lot of work. I'm always trying to think of posts I can do that doesn't revolve around scanning a new card or talking about a trade (not that there is anything wrong with those!). Lately I've seen a few people going back and trying to build by hand older sets. Everyone has their own reasons for the sets they decide to tackle. This got me thinking about some older sets that I was first introduced to when I was younger and just getting in to cards.

I started collecting in 1990, the beginning of the junk wax era. I don't have most of the cards from back then (minus cards in my Braves collection and various PCs), but I've grown to respect some of these sets more as an adult. I recently decided to go back to the early 90's and pick a few sets that I really liked to try and build the set. Thankfully many of these boxes can be had for under $20 and in some cases are still sealed. I first thought of Upper Deck...and that will happen soon, but up first is 1992 Pinnacle.

This was Score's first entry into the "premium" baseball card market. Competing with the likes of Fleer Ultra and Upper Deck. I grabbed a sealed box of both series 1 and 2 for $10 on eBay. I kinda wanted the jumbo packs for the 1:1 inserts, but how can you pass up a cool (sealed) box of cards for $5? If you follow my Facebook page then you would have seen I broke open the series 1 box while down at Myrtle Beach for the Memorial Day holiday.

I always loved the sleek, clean look of this set. Yeah the black corner area on the card takes away from the background of the photo, but it's done so nicely. Even 25 years later this design, in my opinion, holds up well.

I'm not a numbers person so I don't care if a baseball card back has complete stats or not. There are enough other sets each year that will feature all the players stats so if I really want to see a certain stat from a certain year I can find it elsewhere. I like the little write ups on the cards. This John Smoltz card is a perfect example of what I'm referring to. 1991 didn't start off too kindly for John. He had a horrible 2-11 record going into the All-Star break, Had Braves manager at the time, Bobby Cox, not been so stubborn, John would have been pulled from the starting rotation for the second half of the season. However Bobby stuck with his guy and was rewarded. As the card mentions, John went 12-2 with a 2,63 ERA after the All-Star break. He would pitch against one of his idols, Jack Morris, in game 7 of the World Series. Even though the Braves fell short of winning it all that year, it remains a remarkable turn around story for John and the Braves.

Insert cards were just starting to be randomly inserted into packs in 1991, however subsets just kept getting more inovative during this time. 1992 Pinnacle had a few, such as Shades and Sidelines. Shades is just a goofy subset featuring a close of up the player wearing stylish sunglasses with a reflection of himself in the lenses. Sidelines featured the players off the field with the spotlight on other hobbies they had. In this case Robin Yount liked to dirt bike. Perhaps this is where Madison Bumgarner got his inspiration from?!

One of my favorite subsets from this set was The Idols. It features a small color image of a then current player, super imposed over a larger sepia colored image of a player they look up to. Here we have the Kid, Ken Griffey, Jr. and his idol, Rickey Henderson. Simple concept and design, but works on all levels.

I mentioned that insert cards were just coming into popularity during this time. I ended up pulling one of the Team Pinnacle cards from the box. These were randomly inserted with odds of 1:240 packs. I don't recall ever seeing a card from the set before I pulled this one. It's a nice double sided card with great artwork. I scanned eBay and COMC cards over the weekend to see if the other 11 cards in the set were cheap or expensive as this set could make a nice bookend to the base set.

In the end I ended up only missing 13 cards from the first series. Oddly enough most of them were in the 90s. One fellow blogger has already chimed in that he had several that I'm missing so I'm already off to a great start. I still have the series 2 box to open next. Once I'm done with that I'll look at making and posting a want list of the commons I'm missing and any inserts I may decide to chase.

The best part of this was sharing the time with my daughters, especially my oldest. She enjoyed opening the packs and I got to explain to her who some of the players were and how I was collating the cards to get them in order. She helped with the collation part which was I was glad as their was a lot of cards and dupes in that box!

If anyone is interested in any players or teams from this set let me know. If anyone else by chance is building the set too let me know as I have plenty of cards you can have.


  1. Well, I'm always game for Jays and Expos

    1. I'll see what I have left over Mike. Shoot me an email, flywheels at yahoo.com

  2. I am a huge Mets fan! That Bobby Bonilla SHADES card looks pretty cool. Did you get any others?

    1. Yeah, I believe I've got all of the Shades subset. Do you need/want that Bobby Bo Shades card? I think I have about 3 of them.

    2. I would totally take one off your hands if you have extras! Thank you!

  3. Opened my fair share of 92 Pinnacle back in the day. Great product. I loved the Team Pinnacle inserts from the 90's. Was able to pick up a bunch of them off of COMC for super cheap a few years back.

  4. Score is underrated in my opinion. Those are nice. Agree on the write-ups.