1998 Pinnacle Performers

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1998 Pinnacle Performers box

Contents

Description

1998 Pinnacle Performers was a 150 card set that, like most Pinnacle Brands releases of the era, following the same formula of many of their other mid-level prince-point products. The set contains 120 veterans, 17 "Rookies," a ten-card Far and Away subset and three Checklists. It was released in July, 1998 and was Pinnacle Brands' penultimate baseball card product.

Performers replaced the similarly structured Pinnacle X-Press, and like '97 X-Press, each pack contained a "Swing for the Fences" game card.

There are no rookie cards in this set.

Distribution

Wax: 24 packs per box; eight cards per pack (MSRP: $1.99)

Reviews

Insertion Ratios

Cards Total Cards Numbered To Hobby Odds Retail Odds
Base 150 - 8:1 ?
Peak Performers Parallel 150 - 1:7 ?
Swing for the Fences 50 - 1:2 ?
Launching Pad 20 - 1:9 ?
Power Trip 10 10,000 1:21 ?
Big Bang 20 2500 1:45 ?
Big Bang Seasonal Outburst 20 varies ? ?

Checklist

Base Set

1 Ken Griffey, Jr.

2 Frank Thomas

3 Cal Ripken, Jr.

4 Alex Rodriguez

5 Greg Maddux

6 Mike Piazza

7 Chipper Jones

8 Tony Gwynn

9 Derek Jeter

10 Jeff Bagwell

11 Juan Gonzalez

12 Nomar Garciaparra

13 Andruw Jones

14 Hideo Nomo

15 Roger Clemens

16 Mark McGwire

17 Scott Rolen

18 Vladimir Guerrero

19 Barry Bonds

20 Darin Erstad

21 Albert Belle

22 Kenny Lofton

23 Mo Vaughn

24 Tony Clark

25 Ivan Rodriguez

26 Jose Cruz, Jr.

27 Larry Walker

28 Jaret Wright

29 Andy Pettitte

30 Roberto Alomar

31 Randy Johnson

32 Manny Ramirez

33 Paul Molitor

34 Mike Mussina

35 Jim Thome

36 Tino Martinez

37 Gary Sheffield

38 Chuck Knoblauch

39 Bernie Williams

40 Tim Salmon

41 Sammy Sosa

42 Wade Boggs

43 Will Clark

44 Andres Galarraga

45 Raul Mondesi

46 Rickey Henderson

47 Jose Canseco

48 Pedro Martinez

49 Jay Buhner

50 Ryan Klesko

51 Barry Larkin

52 Charles Johnson

53 Tom Glavine

54 Edgar Martinez

55 Fred McGriff

56 Moises Alou

57 Dante Bichette

58 Jim Edmonds

59 Mark Grace

60 Chan Ho Park

61 Justin Thompson

62 John Smoltz

63 Craig Biggio

64 Ken Caminiti

65 Richard Hidalgo

66 Carlos Delgado

67 Dave Justice

68 J.T. Snow

69 Jason Giambi

70 Garret Anderson

71 Rondell White

72 Matt Williams

73 Brady Anderson

74 Eric Karros

75 Javy Lopez

76 Pat Hentgen

77 Todd Hundley

78 Ray Lankford

79 Denny Neagle

80 Sandy Alomar

81 Jason Kendall

82 Omar Vizquel

83 Kevin Brown

84 Kevin Appier

85 Al Martin

86 Rusty Greer

87 Bobby Bonilla

88 Shawn Estes

89 Rafael Palmeiro

90 Edgar Renteria

91 Alan Benes

92 Bob Higginson

93 Mark Grudzielanek

94 Jose Guillen

95 Neifi Perez

96 Jeff Abbott

97 Todd Walker

98 Eric Young

99 Brett Tomko

100 Mike Cameron

101 Karim Garcia

102 Brian Jordan

103 Jeff Suppan

104 Robin Ventura

105 Henry Rodriguez

106 Shannon Stewart

107 Kevin Orie

108 Bartolo Colon

109 Bob Abreu

110 Vinny Castilla

111 Livan Hernandez

112 Derrek Lee

113 Mark Kotsay

114 Todd Greene

115 Edgardo Alfonzo

116 A.J. Hinch

117 Paul Konerko

118 Todd Helton

119 Miguel Tejada

120 Fernando Tatis

121 Ben Grieve

122 Travis Lee

123 Kerry Wood

124 Eli Marrero

125 David Ortiz

126 Juan Encarnacion

127 Brad Fullmer

128 Richie Sexson

129 Aaron Boone

130 Enrique Wilson

131 Javier Valentin

132 Abraham Nunez

133 Ricky Ledee

134 Carl Pavano

135 Bobby Estalella

136 Homer Bush

137 Brian Rose

138 Ken Griffey, Jr. FA

139 Frank Thomas FA

140 Cal Ripken, Jr. FA

141 Alex Rodriguez FA

142 Greg Maddux FA

143 Chipper Jones FA

144 Mike Piazza FA

145 Tony Gwynn FA

146 Derek Jeter FA

147 Jeff Bagwell FA

148 Checklist

149 Checklist

150 Checklist


Parallels

Peak Performers

Peak Performers is the sole parallel, and reprints all 150 base set cards. Each card is printed on foil-board with the words "PEAK PERFORMERS" running down the right side of the photo.

Inserts

Big Bang

Each card is serial-numbered to 2500 copies. Promotional samples of this set were distributed within wholesale dealer order forms prior to the products release (one card per order). The Samples parallel the regular Big Bang inserts except for the bold "SAMPLE" text running diagonally across the back of the card. In addition, Sample cards are NOT serial-numbered.

Seasonal Outburst

Seasonal Outburst is a red-foiled parallel of the Big Bang set. Each card is serial-numbered to the player's 1997 home run total (noted below). However, a number of non-numbered cards have emerged on the market; which may have been "backdoored" after Pinnacle Brands' 1998 bankruptcy. It is believed that there are more non-numbered Seasonal Outburst cards in circulation than there are serial-numbered ones.

1 Ken Griffey, Jr. 56

2 Frank Thomas 35

3 Mike Piazza 40

4 Chipper Jones 21

5 Alex Rodriguez 23

6 Nomar Garciaparra 30

7 Jeff Bagwell 43

8 Cal Ripken, Jr. 17

9 Albert Belle 30

10 Mark McGwire 58

11 Juan Gonzalez 42

12 Larry Walker 49

13 Tino Martinez 44

14 Jim Thome 40

15 Manny Ramirez 26

16 Barry Bonds 40

17 Mo Vaughn 35

18 Jose Cruz, Jr. 26

19 Tony Clark 32

20 Andruw Jones 18


Launching Pad

1 Ben Grieve

2 Ken Griffey, Jr.

3 Derek Jeter

4 Frank Thomas

5 Travis Lee

6 Vladimir Guerrero

7 Tony Gwynn

8 Jose Cruz

9 Cal Ripken, Jr.

10 Chipper Jones

11 Scott Rolen

12 Andruw Jones

13 Ivan Rodriguez

14 Todd Helton

15 Nomar Garciaparra

16 Mark McGwire

17 Gary Sheffield

18 Bernie Williams

19 Alex Rodriguez

20 Mike Piazza


Power Trip

Each card is serial-numbered to 10,000 copies.

1 Frank Thomas

2 Alex Rodriguez

3 Nomar Garciaparra

4 Jeff Bagwell

5 Cal Ripken, Jr.

6 Mike Piazza

7 Chipper Jones

8 Ken Griffey, Jr.

9 Mark McGwire

10 Juan Gonzalez


Swing for the Fences

Similar to the promotion in 1997 Pinnacle X-Press, Swing for the Fences was a 75-card game, consisting of 50 players and 25 "point" cards. Collectors who found the player cards of the 1998 AL and NL home run champs, and collected enough point cards to match their respective player's league-leading HR total could then exchange their cards and receive a special 10-pack of "upgraded" Swing for the Fences cards. Unlike the previous year's set, the upgraded Swing cards were supposed to have been distributed directly to Hobby dealers -- collectors need not send in their winning cards directly to Pinnacle. However, Pinnacle went out of business before the end of the 1998 season and the cards were never distributed.

The first 1000 entries would also receive a special autographed Swing for the Fences Upgrade card of Texas Rangers star Juan Gonzalez. All winners would also be entered into a drawing for a trip for two to the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston.

Pinnacle Brands' bankruptcy in the Fall of 1998 wiped away the contest, and many of the Upgraded cards (which were printed on a matrix holographic-foil background) began to flood the secondary market. It does not appear that any of the Juan Gonzalez Autographed Upgrades were produced.

1 Brady Anderson

2 Albert Belle

3 Jay Buhner

4 Jose Canseco

5 Tony Clark

6 Jose Cruz, Jr.

7 Jim Edmonds

8 Cecil Fielder

9 Travis Fryman

10 Nomar Garciaparra

11 Juan Gonzalez

12 Ken Griffey, Jr.

13 Dave Justice

14 Travis Lee

15 Edgar Martinez

16 Tino Martinez

17 Rafael Palmeiro

18 Manny Ramirez

19 Cal Ripken, Jr.

20 Alex Rodriguez

21 Tim Salmon

22 Frank Thomas

23 Jim Thome

24 Mo Vaughn

25 Bernie Williams

26 Fred McGriff

27 Jeff Bagwell

28 Dante Bichette

29 Barry Bonds

30 Ellis Burks

31 Ken Caminiti

32 Vinny Castilla

33 Andres Galarraga

34 Vladimir Guerrero

35 Todd Helton

36 Todd Hundley

37 Andruw Jones

38 Chipper Jones

39 Eric Karros

40 Ryan Klesko

41 Ray Lankford

42 Mark McGwire

43 Raul Mondesi

44 Mike Piazza

45 Scott Rolen

46 Gary Sheffield

47 Sammy Sosa

48 Larry Walker

49 Matt Williams

50 Wild Card


Swing for the Fences Shop Exchange Cards

This 12-card set was created as a promotional tie-in for hobby shop owners, and was first released at the 1998 All-Star Game FanFest (which was sponsored by Pinnacle). Cards were subsequently distributed to shop owners, nationwide, in 10-card packs.

Collectors who purchased three packs of 1998 Pinnacle Performers could take the wrappers to their local participating Hobby store and receive a card. Those who purchased an entire box would get a 10-card cello pack. The cards parallel the standard Swing for the Fences inserts found in packs, except for the upgraded 20 pt. stock, silver "Matrix foil" background (similar to that year's Epix inserts) and lack of numbering on the card back.

The Matrix foil used is similar to the Swing for the Fences Upgraded cards. For help in properly identifying the Shop Exchange and the Upgraded cards, the website "Frank Thomas Collector" has compiled this visual guide.

Jeff Bagwell

Barry Bonds

Nomar Garciaparra

Juan Gonzalez

Ken Griffey, Jr.

Chipper Jones

Mark McGwire

Mike Piazza

Cal Ripken, Jr.

Alex Rodriguez

Scott Rolen

Frank Thomas


Autographs & Game-Used

Juan Gonzalez Swing for the Fences Autographed Ball

Randomly inserted into packs, in lieu of a Swing for the Fences card, was a coupon good for a Major League Baseball autographed by Texas Rangers star Juan Gonzalez. Due to the Pinnacle Brands bankruptcy later that summer, the Juan Gonzalez balls were never redeemed. It is unclear is Gonzalez ever signed any baseballs for this promotion.

Juan Gonzalez EXCH


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