Sunday, November 30, 2008

1996 Select Certified

Cards with a mirror finish! The scan doesn't do this card justice. The background behind Cal is as bright as a mirror. The card logo and player name are in gold foil. The cards came with a plastic film to protect the surface.

I purchased the entire 144 card set in 2004 on eBay for $12 (including S&H). The cards were originally sold in 6-card packs for $4.99. That's 83 cents a card in 1996. I got them for a tenth that.

The cards were produced by Pinnacle, which had obtained the Score brand by then. Select had been a Score product starting in 1993. Card companies like to put words like "Certified" in their card names to signify something special. Certified has two meanings: "officially recognize (someone or something) as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards" and "officially declare insane". I'm guessing that Pinnacle had the first meaning in mind but the second meaning may more accurately describe the state of the baseball card business in the mid to late 1990s.

By the time I bought these cards the plastic film had been on there for 8 years. Due to the difference in materials (the card vs. the film) the cards were all bowed inward. This happens because the cardboard absorbs moisture while the plastic film does not. So the card expands a bit but the plastic film cannot expand. So the card bows. The film was real hard to get off as well but the cards appear to have not been damaged.

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