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Do "White Whales" travel in pods? (12-11-18 update)

TNP777

New member
Aug 7, 2008
3,528
the 209
Some of you guys might remember that I'm a player collector, too. Brett Butler is one of my favorite modern players, and somehow I got on this quest to collect every card any company has ever issued of him. Beckett has 534 unique Butler cards catalogued - I've got 521 of them, plus several hundred uncatalogued variations and oddball cards that 80s & 90s player collectors recognize but Beckett doesn't

For years I'd check eBay for new Butler cards several times a day, but for the past few years I've needed the same 13 cards (8 of which are numbered 1/1), so now I only check maybe once a week - if I even remember to. Hits to my wantlist have been so infrequent that I've been giving a ghost of a thought to actually getting rid of it.

So late last week I figured I'd see if anything new had popped up, which usually only happens if the Topps Vault released something. Scroll scroll scroll... wait a damn minute... WHAT'S THIS??? Well, how 'bout that - a card I've literally never seen before is sitting right there with a $25 BIN/BO + $3 shipping. So what does my dumb ass do? Offer the seller $15. And the whole damn time I'm waiting for a response I'm mentally kicking my own ass for not just grabbing it up. Patience won out, though - the seller accepted my offer around midnight and I paid immediately.

Some of you guys may have seen this incredibly weird and not-very-popular issue: Pinnacle Inside. There was a pack of cards inside a can that you literally had to open with a standard can opener.



It was a 150-card base set with two parallels: Club Edition and Diamond Edition. And because it was such an incredibly popular idea (eye roll), there are hundreds of the base cards floating around, maybe dozens of the Club Edition, and damn near none of the Diamond Editions. Guess which one I've been looking for?

So here it is, kids - the 1997 Pinnacle Inside Diamond Edition Brett Butler, a card that's been on my wantlist for 21 years. I'm decently stoked.

Sorry for the cruddy scan, btw - these foil fronts just don't scan very well.



Here's the base and Club Edition:



 
Last edited:
Jun 17, 2009
882
Gamecock Country
nice find...

2 years ago at the flea market , the guy set up across from me (ironically in what is now MY shed) brought me 3 unopened cans...figured i had nothing to lose so i told my partner i ws going to open them and pull a diamond edition...at that time i'd never even seen one in person , but sure enough the second can had a frank thomas diamond edition in it....

fwiw , i do really like the pinnacle inside stuff , but you're right...it seems as though i am definitely in the minority and see little other than base and stand-up guys...
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,468
I enjoyed those cans and the product (Zenith?) where you had to tear open the large card to get the smaller cards inside. I would probably open more if the shipping wasn't a limiting factor.
 
I enjoyed those cans and the product (Zenith?) where you had to tear open the large card to get the smaller cards inside. I would probably open more if the shipping wasn't a limiting factor.
I still have a few large cards I never cut open. Namely Jeter, Arod, Nomar. The rest I cut open. It’s hard everytime I see them not to cut them open. The will power lol


Sent from my iPhone using Freedom Card Board mobile app
 

cardcop05

New member
Nov 15, 2018
64
NYC
Great pick!

Those die-cuts have become very difficult to find, especially with barely any rough edges on the backs (quite common on these cards). Pinnacle became the great experimental card company in the mid-1990's-1997 after buying up so many company brands. So they'd get over creative and put out stuff that people ignored (for the most part) when released, then they fell into sheer obscurity.
But now with more and more player collectors, ALL cards are important to most collections. So the parallel inserts in Pinnacle Inside became quite pricey over the last several years. OF COURSE BECKETT TOTALLY MISSED ALL OF THIS OCCURRING BECAUSE THEIR HEADS HAVE BEEN YOU KNOW WHERE SINCE Dr. JIM BECKETT RETIRED (you have to give him credit for knowing when to dump his "empire").

There were GOLD can versions too (one per case) if I remember correctly. Sealed GOLD cans can get quite pricey these days too, especially of the best players!

They made football cans as well. I was a Trent Dilfer collector from 1994-1999 and had all of the SP parallel Editions from Pinnacle Inside Football. I used Beckett's Buy/Sell/Trade boards back in 1997-98 when it was a trustworthy place to trade with strangers. I traded all of my regular and inserts cards for Certified Autographs. The instant Playoff announced that they would send you an extra autograph if you sent them a 1998 Donruss Significant Signatures Billy Williams, I traded for three of them that week for cards I really didn't even want anymore. Then when I found out the "extra autograph" was SANDY KOUFAX" I was jubilant!
They send back my Billy Williams cards with a squiggly shaped hole punch in the upper right corner. But every one I had seen after that was stamped on the back under Billy Williams picture "REDEEMED" in gold foil. Now I wish I would have saved the weird hole punched Billy Williams autographs I got back as they were likely a very limited test run that was replaced with the gold foil stamp "REDEEMED" that they probably had to order and didn't get back in time to stamp very few of the first Billy Williams cards they received in the mail. I found out about this redemption directly from Playoff Customer Service (which I immediately put on my website), which was a good month before Beckett printed the offer from Playoff's Press Release!

I found out in 2001 when I was a Senior Manager of Playoff Customer Service- that less than half of the 2,000 Sandy Koufax cards were even signed! Playoff made a deal with Koufax to sign (800) cards and then he'd sign lots of (100) as needed for a fixed price. They still had the 1,200 2001 Donruss Significant Signatures of Koufax unsigned cards at Playoff when I worked there and I handled them (to see if any were signed and none were). Someone at Playoff stole them around 2009 when Playoff went bankrupt (mostly thanks to the evidence of fraud I sent to the MLB & NFL Players Associations) then Beckett added them to their Price Guide at a VERY LOW price- $1.00 each last time I looked. Wouldn't ANY Sandy Koufax insert serial numbered to 1,200 book for more than $1.00??? PLUS IT'S AN ODDITY THAT SHOULD GO WITH ANY 1998 SIGNIFICANT SIGNATURES MASTER AUTOGRAPH SET!


Ahhh... the good old days when the hobby was mostly fun and almost every box could break you even on what you paid!
 
Last edited:

TNP777

New member
Aug 7, 2008
3,528
the 209
Great pick!

Those die-cuts have become very difficult to find, especially with barely any rough edges on the backs (quite common on these cards). Pinnacle became the great experimental card company in the mid-1990's-1997 after buying up so many company brands. So they'd get over creative and put out stuff that people ignored (for the most part) when released, then they fell into sheer obscurity.
But now with more and more player collectors, ALL cards are important to most collections. So the parallel inserts in Pinnacle Inside became quite pricey over the last several years. OF COURSE BECKETT TOTALLY MISSED ALL OF THIS OCCURRING BECAUSE THEIR HEADS HAVE BEEN YOU KNOW WHERE SINCE Dr. JIM BECKETT RETIRED (you have to give him credit for knowing when to dump his "empire").

There were GOLD can versions too (one per case) if I remember correctly. Sealed GOLD cans can get quite pricey these days too, especially of the best players!

They made football cans as well. I was a Trent Dilfer collector from 1994-1999 and had all of the SP parallel Editions from Pinnacle Inside Football. I used Beckett's Buy/Sell/Trade boards back in 1997-98 when it was a trustworthy place to trade with strangers. I traded all of my regular and inserts cards for Certified Autographs. The instant Playoff announced that they would send you an extra autograph if you sent them a 1998 Donruss Significant Signatures Billy Williams, I traded for three of them that week for cards I really didn't even want anymore. Then when I found out the "extra autograph" was SANDY KOUFAX" I was jubilant!
They send back my Billy Williams cards with a squiggly shaped hole punch in the upper right corner. But every one I had seen after that was stamped on the back under Billy Williams picture "REDEEMED" in gold foil. Now I wish I would have saved the weird hole punched Billy Williams autographs I got back as they were likely a very limited test run that was replaced with the gold foil stamp "REDEEMED" that they probably had to order and didn't get back in time to stamp very few of the first Billy Williams cards they received in the mail. I found out about this redemption directly from Playoff Customer Service (which I immediately put on my website), which was a good month before Beckett printed the offer from Playoff's Press Release!

I found out in 2001 when I was a Senior Manager of Playoff Customer Service- that less than half of the 2,000 Sandy Koufax cards were even signed! Playoff made a deal with Koufax to sign (800) cards and then he'd sign lots of (100) as needed for a fixed price. They still had the 1,200 2001 Donruss Significant Signatures of Koufax unsigned cards at Playoff when I worked there and I handled them (to see if any were signed and none were). Someone at Playoff stole them around 2009 when Playoff went bankrupt (mostly thanks to the evidence of fraud I sent to the MLB & NFL Players Associations) then Beckett added them to their Price Guide at a VERY LOW price- $1.00 each last time I looked. Wouldn't ANY Sandy Koufax insert serial numbered to 1,200 book for more than $1.00??? PLUS IT'S AN ODDITY THAT SHOULD GO WITH ANY 1998 SIGNIFICANT SIGNATURES MASTER AUTOGRAPH SET!


Ahhh... the good old days when the hobby was mostly fun and almost every box could break you even on what you paid!
Ladies and gentlemen, I have arrived.
 

gracecollector

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
6,465
Huntley, IL
Ladies and gentlemen, I have arrived.
Totally. When your post inspires a cardcop rambling reply with 1) crazy tangents 2) falsehoods (there were no gold cans - maybe thinking of gold tins from Donruss Preferred?) and 3) conspiracy theories (cardcop main reason for DLP bankruptcy???), you have definitely arrived!
 

TNP777

New member
Aug 7, 2008
3,528
the 209
Totally. When your post inspires a cardcop rambling reply with 1) crazy tangents 2) falsehoods (there were no gold cans - maybe thinking of gold tins from Donruss Preferred?) and 3) conspiracy theories (cardcop main reason for DLP bankruptcy???), you have definitely arrived!
Pretty sure 1998 Inside had gold cans, but not 1997.

Since I've got your attention, have you had experience with Beckett's player checklist having cards/sets on it that simply don't exist? There are two Butler cards they have listed that I simply cannot find any evidence of.

eta: that can opener, though! :eek:

I had no idea those were a thing!
 

gracecollector

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
6,465
Huntley, IL
Since I've got your attention, have you had experience with Beckett's player checklist having cards/sets on it that simply don't exist? There are two Butler cards they have listed that I simply cannot find any evidence of.
A few items. Sometimes manufacturers submitted checklists to Beckett and later the cards weren't produced. Beckett never bothered to update. I contacted them about one such item but they stood by their manufacturer's checklist and wouldn't change. Hard to prove it "doesn't exist."

What are the ones you're questioning?
 

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