1998 Pinnacle Performers

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1998 Pinnacle Performers was a 150 card set, that like most Pinnacle Brands releases of the era, following the same formula. The set contains 120 veterans, 17 "Rookies," a ten-card Far and Away subset and three Checklists.

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



Insertion Ratios

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


Base Set



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 /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 Jr.

9 Cal Ripken

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

1 Frank Thomas

2 Alex Rodriguez

3 Nomar Garciaparra

4 Jeff Bagwell

5 Cal Ripken

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. 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 Upgrade redemption program, and unlike other Pinnacle Brands cards of the era, it does not appear that any of the Upgrades or Juan Gonzalez Autographed Upgrades were "backdoored."

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 David Justice

14 Travis Lee

15 Edgar Martinez

16 Tino Martinez

17 Rafael Palmeiro

18 Manny Ramirez

19 Cal Ripken

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 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 foil-board background and lack of numbering on the card back.

Jeff Bagwell

Barry Bonds

Nomar Garciaparra

Juan Gonzalez

Ken Griffey Jr.

Chipper Jones

Mark McGwire

Mike Piazza

Cal Ripken

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.