Trader Crack's

1997-98 Pinnacle Be a Player Series A Hockey Review

Back in 1996 I took my first foray into the one-autograph-per-pack realm. The set was 1996 Leaf Signature Series Baseball. The pack set me back $15 and all I got to show for it was a scrub signature whose name I have long forgotten. I tried my luck again with the follow-up series with similar results. So ended my pack ripping of these sorts of products. Or so I thought.

Browsing around websites a couple weeks ago I found a local site that offered a box of 1997-98 Pinnacle Be a Player Series A Hockey for the low cost of $20. Each box held 16 packs with one autograph per pack. The quick math in my head calculated $1.25 per autograph and a bunch of base cards left over. Why not?

Granted, there is a reason this stuff is so cheap. The majority of the players are commons, so finding a "superstar" autograph is unlikely. Even still, at a buck and couch change, I knew I'd be happy to rip the box and find one or two familiar faces from a decade ago.

As promised, each pack did indeed yield an autograph. Three packs even had autographs with a foil finish and the brand name cut out. Cool. The packs offer little information so I don't know what that's all about with all of my hockey reference materials filed away for the time being. As expected, no superstars, although I was able to add a Gary Roberts signature and Dave Babych's mustache to my autograph collection. Nothing big, but I was nonetheless pleased with the low-key result. One thing that did confuse me was that I pulled a couple of "Rookie" autographs numbered in the 200s. So much for those coming in Series B, unless of course Pinnacle made a typical Pinnacle move and made things a whole lot more complicated than necessary.

All the other inserts are lumped together on the pack as falling 1:4 packs. These include One Timers, Stacking the Pdas and Take a Number. With only one box, I don't know if any are rarer than the others but I do like the Dufex design of the goalie-centric Stacking the Pads set. Outside of autographs I pulled four inserts: two One Timers and one each of Stacking the Pads and Take a Number.

Where my disappointment arose with this set was with the collation of the base cards. With only 125 cards on the Series A checklist, I figured I'd make a nice dent in a set. Nope. In fact, I received 42 duplicates and only 66 singles - not even half the set.

The design itself is clean, albeit forgettable. Card fronts showcase a player action shot and large borders. Both the player's name and the Pinnacle brand are done in silver foil (gold foil on the autographs). Card backs include a small head shot, short bio and stats for 1996-97 and their career.

Overall, 1997-98 Pinnacle Be a Player Hockey is a fun break at $20 per box. However, if it were 1998 and packs were $10-15, things could have been ugly.

1997-98 Pinnacle Be a Player Series A Box Breakdown:

Packs per box: 16
Cards per pack: 8
Total cards: 128

Cards in set: 125
Singles: 66
Doubles: 41
Triples+: 1

Inserts: 20

Autographs (overall autograph odds 1:1): 13

Foil Autographs: 3

Foil Prism Autographs: 0

One Timers: 2

Stacking the Pads: 1

Take a Number: 1

 


1997-98 Pinnacle BAP Be A Player Signature Chicago Blackhawks Team Set (9)
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1997-98 BE A PLAYER PASCAL RHEAUME DIE CUT AUTOGRAPH BAP AUTO 227 BLUES
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1997-98 BE A PLAYER KRZYSZTOE OLIWA DIE CUT AUTOGRAPH BAP AUTO 229 DEVILS
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1997-98 BE A PLAYER JAMIE RIVERS DIE CUT AUTOGRAPH BAP AUTO 231 BLUES
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1997-98 BE A PLAYER DAVE SCATCHARD DIE CUT AUTOGRAPH BAP AUTO 234 CANUCKS
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1997-98 BE A PLAYER BOYD DEVEREAUX DIE CUT AUTOGRAPH BAP AUTO 237 OILERS
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1997-98 BE A PLAYER CRAIG MILLAR DIE CUT AUTOGRAPH BAP AUTO 239 OILERS
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1997-98 BE A PLAYER DONALD MacLEAN DIE CUT AUTOGRAPH BAP AUTO 241 KINGS
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1997-98 BE A PLAYER JAROSLAV SVEJKOVSKY DIE CUT AUTOGRAPH BAP AUTO 242 CAPITALS
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1997-98 UPPER DECK BE A PLAYER AUTO#30 CHRIS TERRERI
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1997-98 BE A PLAYER STEVE McKENNA DIE CUT AUTOGRAPH BAP AUTO 244 KINGS
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1997-98 UPPER DECK BE A PLAYER AUTO#79 RANDY BURRIDGE
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