Thursday, October 4, 2012
1997-98 Pinnacle Inside: Reflections 15 Years Later
1997-98 brings back fond memories every time I think about the product released that season. It was my last year of grade school and the last year of my child/teenage years that I collected seriously. While I always thought that I gave up collecting for the usual reason in high school: girls, reflecting on it now it had a lot to do with the direction of the hobby. 1998-99 saw many changes such as the Pinnacle/Donruss companies folding and many of the companies shifting to producing memorabilia cards, which increased the cost of the manufacturing process. Packs were no longer in the $1-$3 range, with many of the products being at $5 plus a pack.
The last really good memory I have of collecting in my child/teen years involve the Pinnacle Inside cans. For those who did not collect in the late 90's, Pinnacle produced a brand of trading cards that featured cards inside a can. While the idea itself was quite neat, the tension of holding the can in your hands on the car ride home was almost too much. The can could only be opened with a can opener.
Christmas of 1997 my family, as we always did, went to Church on Christmas Eve. My Mom had forgotten to purchase milk earlier that day and we were forced to find an open convenience store on the way home. When we finally did, the store had a small Pinnacle Inside can display at the front register. I stared at the cans in amazement, not knowing that a product in a can existed. My Mom, knowing how much I loved John Vanbiesbrouck, told me she would buy one can for me with his picture on the side.
Upon returning home, I slipped into my PJ's while my Dad threw a log on the fire and tuned into some Christmas specials. I got to open my can by the fire and still to this day my memories of that night are so vivid almost fifteen years later.
While I wish I could say I hit something big in that can, the best card in the pack was a coaches collection insert of Pat Lafontaine. I still have the card to this day.
Finding sealed cans can be pretty tough now, although every few years I manage to bump into a few at card shows. Hopefully one day I can finish the master set for this under appreciated product.