Over the past several years, certain baseball cards from the 1990’s have reached the very top of want lists for collectors. From the 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold, to the 1997 Pinnacle Totally Certified Platinum Gold and the 1998 Donruss Crusade Red, these cards have been highly sought after by player and set collectors alike for about two decades. Limited to just 25-30 copies each, whenever one of these hit the market, you can expect sparks to fly.
But what about the ultra rare cards that were supposed to be released, but never were? Cards that have a mythical story where people may have seen one or two copies to ever grace the eBay listings years ago, never to be seen again.
Enter: 1998 Pinnacle Certified.
Slated to be released in August of 1998, the cards never hit the market. Pinnacle had filed for bankruptcy just a month earlier, and the cards were never officially released. Over the years, only a minuscule amount of Red, Mirror Red, and Totally Certified Gold cards have come to market, but several questions have plagued collectors since the last millennium. What all really was truly created? Where are they? Are they 1/1’s? Assumptions have flown through the air over the years, and with them, their mythical position has soared into legendary status. A recent deal that took place may shed some light and answer some questions that have been dogging us all for years.
Earlier this year, an ex-employee of Pinnacle came forward with an amazing run of cards, which included several unreleased sets that have never seen the light of day. Housed inside of a box labeled “Pinnacle Library”, in addition to having an entire set of 1998 Pinnacle Certified Red and Mirror Red, they also had a black base set, the mirror blue and the mirror gold.
Even to the most savvy 90’s collector, these cards were unknown.
So, what’s the story?
As told by the ex-employee, each person who stayed at Pinnacle until the very end received some amazing cards, but largely only one of each kind they received. It is not known how many of each were produced, nor who received what, but this specific ex-employee knew the owner personally. Does this mean they received top shelf stuff? We may never know. What they did say is that they threw away several cards, as they were “sticky”.
Even if 30 examples of each were created, who knows if more than a few will ever come to market, or if any will make an appearance at all. One thing is for sure: nearly twenty years after they were produced, the vast majority of cards pictured in this article have been seen and handled far fewer times than the T-206 Wagner.
While there are still many questions as to what else is available out there, one thing is for certain: Collectors can now officially put 1998 Pinnacle Certified at the very top of their want lists along with the 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold, 1997 Pinnacle Totally Certified Platinum Gold and the 1998 Donruss Crusade Red.