Monday, August 24, 2009

Revisiting 1996 Pinnacle Baseball Christie Brinkley Collection

A while back Mario at Wax Heaven called out 1996 Pinnacle Baseball's Christie Brinkley Collection. The 16-card insert set from Series Two saw the supermodel go and visit the Braves and Indians at World Series time and take some artsy photos of them for an insert set. Mario went so far as to place the cards in his Hall of Shame.

I disagree.

In fact, it's one of my favourites. Yes, it's different and about as quirky as you get for baseball cards that have baseball players on them but that's part of the appeal for me. I've got boxes and boxes of cards showing pitchers in various states of the wind-up, sluggers showing their awesome arm extension and acrobatic outfielders diving to make great catches. Don't get me wrong, I like crisp action shots but I also like the occasional diversion from the same-old as well.

Here's a gallery of the set minus one of Julio Franco:

1. Greg Maddux - Maddux gets his first Topps Gallery card.
2. Ryan Klesko - Okay, maybe not the best example from the set. To me it looks like Klesko is pretending his bat is a gun and he's taking aim at some bad guy whilst surf. Book 'em, Dann-o. Points though for probably being one of the few cards outside of 1991 Score Dream Team to have ball players pictured in their bare feet.

 3. Dave Justice - The softball episode from "The Simpsons" comes to mind. "Darryl. Darryl. Darryl." The guy in the back is yelling, "Dude, weren't you married to Halle Berry? What the heck, man?"

4. Tom Glavine - Getting ready for retirement. Wait a second, this guy doesn't know when to quit.

5. Chipper Jones - Doesn't this card make you want to grab a pack of Big Chew gum and head out to the batting cages.

6. Fred McGriff - Don't get me wrong, I love Fred McGriff. He's one of my all-time all-time favorites. But the guy rarely got a chance to show any personality as he was pretty much left alone by the media. What I love about this card is that it shows the Crime Dog did have some character behind him. I don't know what I think about the hat, though.

7. Javier Lopez - By far the most straight forward card of the set. Nothing too exciting but a solid portrait.

8. Marquis Grissom - This would be one of those quirk cards. You know, until literally this very moment I always thought the hand was holding a blow dryer to play on the idea that movies use wind machines to make things look like they're moving fast. I giggled because there's no long hair showing to have it blow. I just realized it's a radar gun. I like the blow dryer concept better.

9. Jason Schmidt - Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

10. Albert Belle - In case you thought Albert Belle ate babies for breakfast, here's proof that you were wrong. Kudos for Brinkley for capturing one of three smiles Belle cracked in 2005. That's Brinkley's son in the picture. Here he is today with the same hair style as his mom:

11. Manny Ramirez - Insert your own observation about how small his frame is compared to today.

12. Carlos Baerga - Not to defend this card, but the back explains Brinkley's idea: Baerga was the heart of the team at the time, hence cheesy heart painted on his chest. Okay, this card's lame.

13. Sandy Alomar - Like the Lopez, not much happening other than a lounging pose. I don't think catchers are Brinkley's baseball muses.

14. Jim Thome - Anyone else up for some Mike Tyson's Punchout?
15. Julio Franco - MIA

16. Kenny Lofton - Not only did Lofton steal two bases that day, but he also stole Marquis Grissom's pose. I don't think Lofton wanted to be there that day.

Promo. Christie Brinkley - Of course the photographer gets to go on location at some hot beach. According to Brinkley, reading is more affective when done without a shirt. I guess that would make Carlos Baerga very keen with his card.
So not all of the cards are classics, but on a whole it's a fun set. Cards were inserted 1:23 hobby packs and 1:32 retail packs. I'm just about done my set. If anyone has #4 (Glavine), 9 (Schmidt), 15 (Franco) or the Promo, please let me know.


Wax Heaven said...

Wow, these are amazing.

Great gallery!

MadHandle11 said...

Love the chipper!

Dean said...

Go Christie! No autographs or game used cards?

Fuji said...

I think you and Mario have valid points... the set definitely has some cheese in it. The Klesko, Grissom, Baerga, Alomar, Lofton, and Thome are all a little over the top for my taste. However, I think you're right in the sense that change is good. What's the famous idiom? One man's trash is another man's treasure. It's obvious that there are plenty of collectors out there who do appreciate this type of art.

Actually... I'd like to add the Brinkley Promo to my collection too. Great review!

Hoiles said...

Great cards!
I might buy a box of '10 Topps if there were a Cindy Crawford or Heidi Klum insert set like this.

biggdbo said...

Look here:
You may still be able to pick up one or two of the cards you need.

Anonymous said...

check out the photo of chipper and christie on the back of chip's card