1997 Pinnacle Certified

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1997 Pinnacle Totally Certified hobby box


Renamed from "Select Certified," 1997 Pinnacle Certified is a 150-card set released in the summer of 1997. Designed to compete with Topps' Finest brand -- so much so that, like Finest, each chromium-stock card featured a removable protective "peel" -- Pinnacle Certified was available exclusively in Hobby stores.

The set includes a 30-card Rookie subset and fifteen Certified Stars. Randomly seeded into packs as a late addition is an exchange card good for a card of Jose Cruz, Jr. Although this card is numbered as part of the base set (#151), it is not considered a "true" rookie card nor is it considered part of a complete set.

Due to the popularity of this product in the secondary-market, and their financial troubles, Pinnacle Brands made five separate print runs of '97 Certified. After the first run sold out, Pinnacle produced an additional two runs before Certified went live. Afterward, another two press runs were ordered. It is believed that the Mirror Gold Certified Team inserts were exclusive to press runs 2 & 3, and the mysterious Mirror Blacks were only in the fifth and final run.

The only significant "true" rookie card is Brian Giles.

Totally Certified

Totally Certified is a 150-card parallel brand version of the 1997 Pinnacle Certified set. Similar to Topps Chrome, the checklist and design is identical; however, the photographs are different and the cards are printed on etched-foil. Each three-card pack contains two Platinum Red cards (each serial-numbered to 3999 copies) and one Platinum Blue card numbered to 1999. Only 999 twenty-box cases were produced, and each waxbox is serial-numbered.


Pinnacle Certified: Six cards per pack, 20 packs per box. (MSRP $4.99) Hobby exclusive.

Totally Certified: Three cards per pack, 18 packs per box (MSRP $6.99) Hobby exclusive.


Totally Certified: Stale Gum Wax Heaven Old School Breaks

Insertion Ratios

Pinnacle Certified Total Cards Stated Production Run Odds
Base 150 - ?
Jose Cruz, Jr. Exchange Card 1 - ?
Certified Red 150 - 1:5
Mirror Red 150 - 1:99
Mirror Blue 150 - 1:199
Mirror Gold 150 - 1:299
Mirror Black ? ? ?
Certified Team 20 ? 1:19
Gold Certified Team 20 475* 1:119
Mirror Gold Certified Team 20 25* 1:1800
Lasting Impressions 20 ? 1:19

∗ These figures were announced by Pinnacle Brands prior to the initial release of the product; however, it is believed that more (much more) were produced.

Totally Certified Total Cards Numbered To Odds
Platinum Red 150 3999 two-per-pack
Platinum Blue 150 1999 one-per-pack
Platinum Gold 150 30 1:79


Base Set

1 Barry Bonds

2 Mo Vaughn

3 Matt Williams

4 Ryne Sandberg

5 Jeff Bagwell

6 Alan Benes

7 John Wetteland

8 Fred McGriff

9 Craig Biggio

10 Bernie Williams

11 Brian Hunter

12 Sandy Alomar, Jr.

13 Ray Lankford

14 Ryan Klesko

15 Jermaine Dye

16 Andy Benes

17 Albert Belle

18 Tony Clark

19 Dean Palmer

20 Bernard Gilkey

21 Ken Caminiti

22 Alex Rodriguez

23 Tim Salmon

24 Larry Walker

25 Barry Larkin

26 Mike Piazza

27 Brady Anderson

28 Cal Ripken, Jr.

29 Charles Nagy

30 Paul Molitor

31 Darin Erstad

32 Rey Ordonez

33 Wally Joyner

34 David Cone

35 Sammy Sosa

36 Dante Bichette

37 Eric Karros

38 Omar Vizquel

39 Roger Clemens

40 Joe Carter

41 Frank Thomas

42 Javy Lopez

43 Mike Mussina

44 Gary Sheffield

45 Tony Gwynn

46 Jason Kendall

47 Jim Thome

48 Andres Galarraga

49 Mark McGwire

50 Troy Percival

51 Derek Jeter

52 Todd Hollandsworth

53 Ken Griffey, Jr.

54 Randy Johnson

55 Pat Hentgen

56 Rusty Greer

57 John Jaha

58 Kenny Lofton

59 Chipper Jones

60 Robb Nen

61 Rafael Palmeiro

62 Mariano Rivera

63 Hideo Nomo

64 Greg Vaughn

65 Ron Gant

66 Eddie Murray

67 John Smoltz

68 Manny Ramirez

69 Juan Gonzalez

70 F.P. Santangelo

71 Moises Alou

72 Alex Ochoa

73 Chuck Knoblauch

74 Raul Mondesi

75 J.T. Snow

76 Rickey Henderson

77 Bobby Bonilla

78 Wade Boggs

79 Ivan Rodriguez

80 Brian Jordan

81 Al Leiter

82 Jay Buhner

83 Greg Maddux

84 Edgar Martinez

85 Kevin Brown

86 Eric Young

87 Todd Hundley

88 Ellis Burks

89 Marquis Grissom

90 Jose Canseco

91 Henry Rodriguez

92 Andy Pettitte

93 Mark Grudzielanek

94 Dwight Gooden

95 Roberto Alomar

96 Paul Wilson

97 Will Clark

98 Rondell White

99 Charles Johnson

100 Jim Edmonds

101 Jason Giambi

102 Billy Wagner

103 Edgar Renteria

104 Johnny Damon

105 Jason Isringhausen

106 Andruw Jones

107 Jose Guillen

108 Kevin Orie

109 Brian Giles RC

110 Danny Patterson

111 Vladimir Guerrero

112 Scott Rolen

113 Damon Mashore

114 Nomar Garciaparra

115 Todd Walker

116 Wilton Guerrero

117 Bobby Abreu

118 Brooks Kieschnick

119 Pokey Reese

120 Todd Greene

121 Dmitri Young

122 Raul Casanova

123 Glendon Rusch

124 Jason Dickson

125 Jorge Posada

126 Rod Myers

127 Bubba Trammell RC

128 Scott Spiezio

129 Hideki Irabu RC

130 Wendell Magee, Jr.

131 Bartolo Colon

132 Chris Holt

133 Calvin Maduro

134 Ray Montgomery RC

135 Shannon Stewart

136 Ken Griffey, Jr. STAR

137 Vladimir Guerrero STAR

138 Roger Clemens STAR

139 Mark McGwire STAR

140 Albert Belle STAR

141 Derek Jeter STAR

142 Juan Gonzalez STAR

143 Greg Maddux STAR

144 Alex Rodriguez STAR

145 Jeff Bagwell STAR

146 Cal Ripken, Jr. STAR

147 Tony Gwynn STAR

148 Frank Thomas STAR

149 Hideo Nomo STAR

150 Andruw Jones STAR

151 Jose Cruz, Jr. EXCH


Each base card (except the Cruz exchange card) is available in the following parallels.

  • Certified Red (1:5 packs)
  • Mirror Red (1:99 packs)
  • Mirror Blue (1:199 packs)
  • Mirror Gold (1:299 copies)

NOTE: Unlike the announced production figure of 90, 45, and 30 copies of each 1996 Select Certified Mirror Red, Blue, and Gold cards, the production figures for the '97 Mirrors were never publicly stated by Pinnacle Brands. Initially, it was assumed that the production figures were the same as the '96s, as the insertion ratios were roughly the same. However many collectors familiar with the '97 Mirror sets note that because Pinnacle made additional print runs both before and after the initial release of the product, the actual production runs were higher. While many of the Mirrors did pack out, some of those excess Mirrors may have been "backdoored" after Pinnacle Brands' 1998 bankruptcy filing. In fact, one collector posted to Freedom Cardboard a picture of 53 different Mirror Gold cards of Brian Hunter.<ref>http://www.freedomcardboard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=103527</ref>

Mirror Black

This mysterious and very scarce parallel was probably the result of a few test sheets being cut and inserted into packs during Certified's fifth and final press run. The Mirror Blacks give off a bright green reflection when placed in direct light, but are silver with black print when placed away from light. It is not known for sure if Mirror Blacks for all 150 cards exist; however, Beckett Baseball Card Monthly reported in 1997 that at least two Mirror Blacks of Jay Buhner were pulled from packs. Below is a list of known cards.

2 Mo Vaughn

27 Brady Anderson

49 Mark McGwire

52 Todd Hollandsworth

69 Juan Gonzalez

82 Jay Buhner

103 Edgar Renteria

106 Andruw Jones

109 Brian Giles

121 Dmitri Young

Totally Certified

Each base card (except the Cruz exchange card) is available in the following parallels and are exclusive to Totally Certified packs.

  • Platinum Red (two-per Totally Certified pack, serial-numbered to 3999 copies)
  • Platinum Blue (one-per Totally Certified pack, serial-numbered to 1999 copies)
  • Platinum Gold (1:79/Totally Certified packs, serial-numbered to 30 copies)

NOTE: Platinum Red is considered the Totally Certified base set.

In August 2010, collector George Calfas concluded his 13-year quest to become the first person to collect a full 150-card Totally Certified Platinum Gold set.<ref>http://www.freedomcardboard.com/?p=953</ref>


Certified Team

Each Certified Team insert is available in the following parallels.

  • Gold (stated production run: 475 copies)
  • Mirror Gold (stated production run: 25 copies)

NOTE: Originally, Pinnacle Brands stated a total production run of 500 Gold Certified Team cards. After the release of '97 Pinnacle Certified, Pinnacle revealed that the first 25 copies of each Gold Certified Team were produced with a "Mirror Gold" (i.e. refractor) finish. However, the initial secondary-market success of the product led Pinnacle to print more of it. It is believed that as many of 55 copies of each Mirror Gold Certified Team card were inserted into packs with another 10-15 sets produced for Pinnacle employees and another five sets as replacements for damaged cards.<ref>http://www.freedomcardboard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1415699#p1415699</ref>

1 Frank Thomas

2 Jeff Bagwell

3 Derek Jeter

4 Chipper Jones

5 Alex Rodriguez

6 Ken Caminiti

7 Cal Ripken, Jr.

8 Mo Vaughn

9 Ivan Rodriguez

10 Mike Piazza

11 Juan Gonzalez

12 Barry Bonds

13 Ken Griffey, Jr.

14 Andruw Jones

15 Albert Belle

16 Gary Sheffield

17 Andy Pettitte

18 Hideo Nomo

19 Greg Maddux

20 John Smoltz

Lasting Impressions

1 Cal Ripken, Jr.

2 Ken Griffey, Jr.

3 Mo Vaughn

4 Brian Jordan

5 Mark McGwire

6 Chuck Knoblauch

7 Sammy Sosa

8 Brady Anderson

9 Frank Thomas

10 Tony Gwynn

11 Roger Clemens

12 Alex Rodriguez

13 Paul Molitor

14 Kenny Lofton

15 John Smoltz

16 Roberto Alomar

17 Randy Johnson

18 Ryne Sandberg

19 Manny Ramirez

20 Mike Mussina