Monday, September 15, 2008

1997 Pinnacle Inside

1997 Pinnacle Inside... the first baseball card in a can. No really, they put a square pack of cards in a big round can. You'd think that a pack of cards rattling loose in a metal container would end up with trashed cards but surprisingly all the cans I've opened have had the cards come out looking minty fresh. That still doesn't answer the key question of "why the hell would you put baseball cards in a can that would be better used for creamed corn". Pinnacle did a lot of weird stuff in the '90s trying to distinguish themselves from the rest of the card manufacturers. Tins, dufex, large sized cards, that sort of thing. The idea behind cans was so cards could be sold at grocery stores stacked up on an endcap like soup or beans. Ok, stop laughing, that was really the idea. The thought behind it was that cans would deter theft, stop pack searching and would attract more eyeballs than a box in the candy display. Obviously theory and practice are two different things. I found a few cans cheap this weekend so I snagged one to open and a few for some player collectors I know. I don't think there's a hard core Juan Gonzalez collector out there (and if there is, I apologize) so Juan Gone was the one to get the can opener.

Yeah, I know. I really need to get a working camera. Maybe I'll get one for Festivus or an un-birthday present. Oooh but look!

First EVAR baseball card in a can!!!1 See I wasn't just bamboozlin' ya. Why it took so long I'll never know. Rectangular cards... round can... it's just intuitive, ya know? Ut oh... here's one of the drawbacks of steel packaging technology:

Tiiiiiiiiiiiiin CAN!

No more mint packaging for Juan. I wonder if cards have an expiration date? It's time to open this sucker. If you happen to find some of these beasts I recommend a side cutter can opener model for opening. Clean cut, no sharp edges and you can stack the lid back on top when you're done. ok here's the pack:

Yeah! Egger rookie! Edgar is in a group of players along with Andres Galarraga and Marquis Grissom who played only a short time with the Braves but I love 'em to death. (Not on the list). This is kind of a love it or hate it card design. It's got three photos pf the player on the card, but it's REALLY busy in a mid '90s kind of way. The foil name is actually pretty readable, but the huge Inside logo on the top right stabs a lot of players right in the head. There are no stats on the back, but there are some cool Studio-style factoids about the player. I'm going to pick out one of these factoids for each of the players in the set. Here's the back of Edgar's card so you can see what I mean:

140 Edgar Renteria rookie
Highlight: 22-game hit streak in '96

104 Rondell White
Mannerism: Big stride as he swings

17 Rafael Palmeiro
Charities: Chairman of Juvenile Diabetes "Walk for a Cure"

What kind of Orioles cap is this?? That thing is awesome!

50 Dean Palmer
Character: Quiet, steady presence on field and in clubhouse

103 Shane Reynolds
First Name: Richard

1 David Cone
Fans: Wear "cone heads" in stands

72 Jim Thome
Style: Wears socks above calves

123 Curtis Pride
Oddity: Fifth deaf major leaguer in history

90 Carlos Delgado
'93 Southern League MVP

Another hat aside: Carlos must be really, really patriotic to risk having his hat getting accidentally stapled to his head because of an errant line drive. I think that's a flag pin of Puerto Rico, but it's too small to tell.

137 Robin Jennings rookie
Born: Singapore

Ok pack. No shiny cards, but a couple of stars and an Edgar rookie. Curtis Pride is a cool card to have as well. Now I need to figure out what to do with the Gonzalez can. Pencil holder? Recycle? Kick it down the street until the neighbors yell at me? I think I'll save pennies inside it until I have enough money for another can of cards.


Kevin said...

I believe the O's cap is a Turn Back the Clock design from the 1930's International League Orioles. There were some awesome minor league teams in Baltimore, featuring guys like Babe Ruth and Lefty Grove before they got sold to the highest bidders.

The jersey is even awesomer:

Cody Eding said...

I remember buying these as a eight year old. They were different, but they were cool at the time. The cans make for attractive pencil holders/desk organizers.

William said...

'97 Pinnacle Inside gave me some great memories from my childhood. I love how, no matter what cards you got in the pack, you could at least pick whichever player you wanted the most, making sure you went home happy either way. I still remember seeing stacks of these next to the checkout line in KMart in 1998...

madding said...

Wow, I had no idea those things existed. I wonder if there was an Ozzie Smith can. Then again, it was 1997, so maybe not...

Offy said...

I was a Juan Gone collector at one point, but I just stopped as his career wound down and allegations stirred up. I don't actively collect him anymore, but I've still got all of the stuff that I collected including a '97 Pinnacle Inside can. :)