1998 Zenith

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Description

1998 Zenith was a 100-card set released by Pinnacle Brands in May, 1998. Dubbed the "Dare to Tear" set, each pack had three 5" X 7" jumbo-sized cards with one 2.5" X 3.5" standard-sized card embedded inside. In one of the stupidest gimmicks ever conceived, collectors were faced with the dilemma of having to choose to keep their jumbo 5" X 7" card intact, or tear open (and thus physically destroying) the jumbo card to see and obtain the standard-sized card. Ultimately, collectors by and large chose to perform "Cardboard Caesarians" by slicing the backs of the jumbo cards with a razor blade to remove the smaller card - when opening, it is recommended to slice along the edges to avoid damaging the card inside.

Each card featured an off-white, black, and team-colored border and gold-foil accents on the logo and nameplate.

The standard-sized insert was usually embedded in the middle/second jumbo-sized card in each pack.

Distribution

12 packs per box, three 5" X 7" jumbo-sized cards with one 2.5" X 3.5" card embedded inside per pack (MSRP: $5.99)

Insertion Ratios

Cards Total Cards Numbered To Odds
Base 100 -
5 X 7 80 - 3:1
Z-Silver 100 - ?
Z-Gold 100 100 ?
5 X 7 Impulse 80 - ?
5 X 7 Gold Impulse 80 100 ?
Epix 24 - 1:11
Raising the Bar 15 - 1:25
Rookie Thrills 15 - 1:25
Z-Team (1-9) 9 - 1:35
Z-Team (10-18) 9 - 1:58
Z-Team Gold 18 - 1:175
Z-Team 5 X 7 9 - 1:35

Checklist

Promos

Nine 5" X 7" samples was inserted into dealer order forms to preview the upcoming 1998 Zenith baseball release. Each large sample card also has one of six standard-sized sample cards embedded inside. The cards were sent out around April, 1998, and are identical to regular issue large Zenith cards except for the bold "SAMPLE" text running diagonally across the back of the card.

5 X 7

Frank-Thomas.jpg?id=db168bc0-e14c-4464-95d3-a6ddda1b1e84&size=original&side=front&.jpg Frank-Thomas.jpg?id=db168bc0-e14c-4464-95d3-a6ddda1b1e84&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • Z1 Nomar Garciaparra
  • Z3 Greg Maddux
  • Z4 Frank Thomas
  • Z9 Andruw Jones
  • Z15 Derek Jeter
  • Z21 Mike Piazza
  • Z22 Tony Gwynn
  • Z35 Ivan Rodriguez
  • Z40 Ken Griffey, Jr.

Standard-sized

Ken-Griffey-Jr.jpg?id=af7af088-fbd2-4c96-ab6f-1060f1026391&size=original&side=front.jpg Ken-Griffey-Jr.jpg?id=af7af088-fbd2-4c96-ab6f-1060f1026391&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • 2 Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 12 Greg Maddux
  • 14 Mike Piazza
  • 17 Derek Jeter
  • 18 Nomar Garciaparra
  • 19 Ivan Rodriguez

Base Set

5 X 7

Tim-Salmon.jpg?id=2b506c20-c0de-47ee-9b01-47320543f4c6&size=original&side=front&.jpg Tim-Salmon.jpg?id=2b506c20-c0de-47ee-9b01-47320543f4c6&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • 1 Nomar Garciaparra
  • 2 Andres Galarraga
  • 3 Greg Maddux
  • 4 Frank Thomas
  • 5 Mark McGwire
  • 6 Rafael Palmeiro
  • 7 John Smoltz
  • 8 Jeff Bagwell
  • 9 Andruw Jones
  • 10 Rusty Greer
  • 11 Paul Molitor
  • 12 Bernie Williams
  • 13 Kenny Lofton
  • 14 Alex Rodriguez
  • 15 Derek Jeter
  • 16 Scott Rolen
  • 17 Albert Belle
  • 18 Mo Vaughn
  • 19 Chipper Jones
  • 20 Chuck Knoblauch
  • 21 Mike Piazza
  • 22 Tony Gwynn
  • 23 Juan Gonzalez
  • 24 Andy Pettitte
  • 25 Tim Salmon
  • 26 Brady Anderson
  • 27 Mike Mussina
  • 28 Edgar Martinez
  • 29 Jose Guillen
  • 30 Hideo Nomo
  • 31 Jim Thome
  • 32 Mark Grace
  • 33 Darin Erstad
  • 34 Bob Higginson
  • 35 Ivan Rodriguez
  • 36 Todd Hundley
  • 37 Sandy Alomar
  • 38 Gary Sheffield
  • 39 Dave Justice
  • 40 Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 41 Vladimir Guerrero
  • 42 Larry Walker
  • 43 Barry Bonds
  • 44 Randy Johnson
  • 45 Roger Clemens
  • 46 Raul Mondesi
  • 47 Tino Martinez
  • 48 Jason Giambi
  • 49 Matt Williams
  • 50 Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • 51 Barry Larkin
  • 52 Jim Edmonds
  • 53 Ken Caminiti
  • 54 Sammy Sosa
  • 55 Tony Clark
  • 56 Manny Ramirez
  • 57 Bernard Gilkey
  • 58 Jose Cruz, Jr.
  • 59 Brian Jordan
  • 60 Kevin Brown
  • 61 Craig Biggio
  • 62 Javy Lopez
  • 63 Jay Buhner
  • 64 Roberto Alomar
  • 65 Justin Thompson
  • 66 Todd Helton
  • 67 Travis Lee
  • 68 Paul Konerko
  • 69 Jaret Wright
  • 70 Ben Grieve
  • 71 Juan Encarnacion
  • 72 Ryan McGuire
  • 73 Derrek Lee
  • 74 Abraham Nunez
  • 75 Richard Hidalgo
  • 76 Miguel Tejada
  • 77 Jacob Cruz
  • 78 Homer Bush
  • 79 Jeff Abbott
  • 80 Lou Collier

Standard-Sized

Mark-Kotsay.jpg?id=ae8b6f44-b3cd-471e-bd36-812e0cd745e6&size=original&side=front&.jpg Mark-Kotsay.jpg?id=ae8b6f44-b3cd-471e-bd36-812e0cd745e6&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • 1 Larry Walker
  • 2 Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 3 Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • 4 Sammy Sosa
  • 5 Andruw Jones
  • 6 Frank Thomas
  • 7 Tony Gwynn
  • 8 Rafael Palmeiro
  • 9 Tim Salmon
  • 10 Randy Johnson
  • 11 Juan Gonzalez
  • 12 Greg Maddux
  • 13 Vladimir Guerrero
  • 14 Mike Piazza
  • 15 Andres Galarraga
  • 16 Alex Rodriguez
  • 17 Derek Jeter
  • 18 Nomar Garciaparra
  • 19 Ivan Rodriguez
  • 20 Chipper Jones
  • 21 Barry Larkin
  • 22 Mo Vaughn
  • 23 Albert Belle
  • 24 Scott Rolen
  • 25 Sandy Alomar, Jr.
  • 26 Roberto Alomar
  • 27 Andy Pettitte
  • 28 Chuck Knoblauch
  • 29 Jeff Bagwell
  • 30 Mike Mussina
  • 31 Fred McGriff
  • 32 Roger Clemens
  • 33 Rusty Greer
  • 34 Edgar Martinez
  • 35 Paul Molitor
  • 36 Mark Grace
  • 37 Darin Erstad
  • 38 Kenny Lofton
  • 39 Tom Glavine
  • 40 Javy Lopez
  • 41 Will Clark
  • 42 Tino Martinez
  • 43 Raul Mondesi
  • 44 Brady Anderson
  • 45 Chan Ho Park
  • 46 Jason Giambi
  • 47 Manny Ramirez
  • 48 Jay Buhner
  • 49 Dante Bichette
  • 50 Jose Cruz, Jr.
  • 51 Charles Johnson
  • 52 Bernard Gilkey
  • 53 Johnny Damon
  • 54 Dave Justice
  • 55 Justin Thompson
  • 56 Bob Higginson
  • 57 Todd Hundley
  • 58 Gary Sheffield
  • 59 Barry Bonds
  • 60 Mark McGwire
  • 61 John Smoltz
  • 62 Tony Clark
  • 63 Brian Jordan
  • 64 Jason Kendall
  • 65 Mariano Rivera
  • 66 Pedro Martinez
  • 67 Jim Thome
  • 68 Neifi Perez
  • 69 Kevin Brown
  • 70 Hideo Nomo
  • 71 Craig Biggio
  • 72 Bernie Williams
  • 73 Jose Guillen
  • 74 Ken Caminiti
  • 75 Livan Hernandez
  • 76 Ray Lankford
  • 77 Jim Edmonds
  • 78 Matt Williams
  • 79 Mark Kotsay
  • 80 Moises Alou
  • 81 Antone Williamson
  • 82 Jaret Wright
  • 83 Jacob Cruz
  • 84 Abraham Nunez
  • 85 Raul Ibanez
  • 86 Miguel Tejada
  • 87 Derrek Lee
  • 88 Juan Encarnacion
  • 89 Todd Helton
  • 90 Travis Lee
  • 91 Ben Grieve
  • 92 Ryan McGuire
  • 93 Richard Hidalgo
  • 94 Paul Konerko
  • 95 Shannon Stewart
  • 96 Homer Bush
  • 97 Lou Collier
  • 98 Jeff Abbott
  • 99 Brett Tomko
  • 100 Fernando Tatis

Parallels

5 X 7 Impulse

All 80 5 X 7 jumbo-sized cards were available in the following parallels:

  • Impulse: Impulse parallels featured a thicker card border than the base design that was dichotomized into the player's team colors and a silver background. "Impulse" was printed vertically down the right side of the cardfront.

Greg-Maddux.jpg?id=d5750c3c-3652-4f05-a93f-d31e9a703298&size=original&side=front&.jpg Greg-Maddux.jpg?id=d5750c3c-3652-4f05-a93f-d31e9a703298&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • Gold Impulse (serial numbered to 100): Gold Impulse parallels featured the same design as the "base" Impulse design but featured a gold background. "Gold Impulse" was printed vertically down the right side of the cardfront.

Sandy-Alomar-Jr.jpg?id=bb0ab05f-be4e-40e1-8c1b-cbc7a59072b3&size=original&side=front&.jpg Sandy-Alomar-Jr.jpg?id=bb0ab05f-be4e-40e1-8c1b-cbc7a59072b3&size=original&side=back&.jpg

Z

Each of the 100 standard-sized cards were available in the following parallels:

  • Z-Silver: Each Z-Silver parallel had the same design as the base card but had a silver background, a silver foil finish on the card front, and the "Z-Silver" text above the nameplate.

Fred-McGriff.jpg?id=e48a9c85-40bb-451b-9c06-e6ae371d9990&size=original&side=front&.jpg Fred-McGriff.jpg?id=e48a9c85-40bb-451b-9c06-e6ae371d9990&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • Z-Gold (serial-numbered to 100): Each Z-Gold parallel had the same design as the base card but had a gold background, a gold foil finish on the card front, and the "Z-Gold" text above the nameplate.

Kenny-Lofton.jpg?id=343092bf-bcf6-4205-9796-ae1b57f97ea4&size=original&side=front&.jpg Kenny-Lofton.jpg?id=343092bf-bcf6-4205-9796-ae1b57f97ea4&size=original&side=back&.jpg

NOTE: There are unnumbered versions of the Z-Gold parallels available on the secondary market

Dante-Bichette.jpg?id=2dd1a5df-51ca-4921-84a2-021e8906036a&size=original&side=front&.jpg Dante-Bichette.jpg?id=2dd1a5df-51ca-4921-84a2-021e8906036a&size=original&side=back&.jpg

Inserts

Epix

See 1998 Pinnacle Epix

Raising the Bar

Jeff-Bagwell.jpg?id=0aa202fc-2eb4-4326-85ec-bbfc83194d2e&size=original&side=front&.jpg Jeff-Bagwell.jpg?id=0aa202fc-2eb4-4326-85ec-bbfc83194d2e&size=original&side=back&.jpg

This 15-card, standard-sized set featured star players that elevated the standard of performance for their respective teams on a black and gold holofoil cardfront.

  • 1 Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 2 Frank Thomas
  • 3 Alex Rodriguez
  • 4 Tony Gwynn
  • 5 Mike Piazza
  • 6 Ivan Rodriguez
  • 7 Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • 8 Greg Maddux
  • 9 Hideo Nomo
  • 10 Mark McGwire
  • 11 Juan Gonzalez
  • 12 Andruw Jones
  • 13 Jeff Bagwell
  • 14 Chipper Jones
  • 15 Nomar Garciaparra

Rookie Thrills

Richard-Hidalgo.jpg?id=4953e29d-8715-473e-a160-06af7c53c82d&size=original&side=front&.jpg Richard-Hidalgo.jpg?id=4953e29d-8715-473e-a160-06af7c53c82d&size=original&side=back&.jpg

This 15-card, standard-sized set featured some of the top rookies from the 1998 season on a silver and black holofoil front with green accents on the nameplate and insert title background.

  • 1 Travis Lee
  • 2 Juan Encarnacion
  • 3 Derrek Lee
  • 4 Raul Ibanez
  • 5 Ryan McGuire
  • 6 Todd Helton
  • 7 Jacob Cruz
  • 8 Abraham Nunez
  • 9 Paul Konerko
  • 10 Ben Grieve
  • 11 Jeff Abbott
  • 12 Richard Hidalgo
  • 13 Jaret Wright
  • 14 Lou Collier
  • 15 Miguel Tejada

Z-Team

Mike-Piazza.jpg?id=05facf7c-f1f5-4992-b524-584caa7e26d0&size=original&side=front&.jpg Mike-Piazza.jpg?id=05facf7c-f1f5-4992-b524-584caa7e26d0&size=original&side=back&.jpg Ben-Grieve.jpg?id=a1ae8562-c23f-4657-8f11-ed4d325196a8&size=original&side=front&.jpg Ben-Grieve.jpg?id=a1ae8562-c23f-4657-8f11-ed4d325196a8&size=original&side=back&.jpg

Z-Team was an 18-card set and the brand's most recognizable insert that featured nine of the top veterans (cards #1-9), and nine of the top young stars (#10-18) in the game at the time. Veteran players featured a full foil cardfront finish with a large black and red "Z" in the background; young stars also featured a full foil cardfront finish, but with a large black and blue "Z" in the background.

5 X 7 Z-Team

Chipper-Jones.jpg?id=419dc1af-f487-4e74-b644-c7726dea8104&size=original&side=front&.jpg Chipper-Jones.jpg?id=419dc1af-f487-4e74-b644-c7726dea8104&size=original&side=back&.jpg

The first 9 cards in the set (i.e. veterans) were also available in a jumbo-sized 5" X 7". These had a slightly different design as there was no foil finish and the border on the front was thicker than the standard-sized design.

Z-Team Gold

Derek-Jeter.jpg?id=6956d31d-3268-4f01-a35e-d75fb81e5f6d&size=original&side=front&.jpg Derek-Jeter.jpg?id=6956d31d-3268-4f01-a35e-d75fb81e5f6d&size=original&side=back&.jpg

All 18 standard-sized Z-Team cards were also available as in a Gold parallel that featured a gold foil finish and a large black and gold "Z" in the background. These cards were not serially-numbered.

  • 1 Frank Thomas
  • 2 Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 3 Mike Piazza
  • 4 Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • 5 Alex Rodriguez
  • 6 Greg Maddux
  • 7 Derek Jeter
  • 8 Chipper Jones
  • 9 Roger Clemens
  • 10 Ben Grieve
  • 11 Derrek Lee
  • 12 Jose Cruz, Jr.
  • 13 Nomar Garciaparra
  • 14 Travis Lee
  • 15 Todd Helton
  • 16 Paul Konerko