1998 Pinnacle Team Snapshots (Mets) – As The Oddballs Go, It Was Odder Than Most

Back in the late 1990’s, Pinnacle was not afraid to experiment.  That much is evidenced by the “Pinnnacle Inside” set that came packaged in metal cans (take THAT, pack feelers!).

Another example of their experimentation are the 1998 Pinnacle Team Snapshots sets.  These sets were issued for 15 different teams and each team set had 18 snapshots.   I built a Mets team set of these back in 1998, which wasn’t terribly difficult as long as you could find somebody selling the eight-photo packs.

These sets are about as obscure as anything you’ll find from a major company. While they’re undoubtedly a collectible, they’re not cards. They’re 4″x6″ and printed on photo paper.  I would guess that the target audience was more the casual fan than the collector.

Here’s the Bobby Jones snapshot from the Mets team set.
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Bobby Jones

and here’s the back:
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots #14 back

As you may or may not be able to see, the back is done up like a photo, almost to a fault. The only information is the Pinnacle, MLB and MLBPA logos, some legal information and the numbering (14 of 18). No mention of who’s pictured on the front.

To further the “I just got a bunch of snapshots back from being developed!” experience, each pack was an envelope similar to the kind used by any business that printed off photos for you…. camera stores, pharmacies, as well as mail-order and online services.

Here’s the front of the one opened pack I hung on to… I think these came shrink-wrapped, but I can’t remember now.
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots pack front
…and here’s the back:
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots pack back
Eagle-eyed collectors will notice that the text at the top that reads “MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL OFFICIAL SNAPSHOTS” is in the same style as was used for 1998 Score Series 1 cards.

From what I can see on eBay, the other teams had similar envelopes, with only the team name and team logo changing.  The “sharing” of envelopes is probably the reason for something else I’d noticed – the photos on the envelope have the team logos removed, presumably to avoid confusion over why a pack of Mets cards would have pictures of Red Sox, Dodgers and Yankees on the outside.

The flap on the back opened like an envelope of photos…
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots pack side

The photos that they used were either candid shots or action shots… as if a friend of yours had gone to Spring Training, took a bunch of pictures, and printed a bunch off for you. It would’ve been nice if the imaginary friend had “written” the players’ names on the back of the photos before sending them to you.

I really like this set, and couldn’t decide which particular Mets Snapshots I should share, so I’m just going to feature all of them.

Bernard Gilkey;  A blurry Al Leiter (#22) is in the background, and for some reason that’s his only appearance in this set.
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Bernard Gilkey

Bill Pulsipher
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Bill Pulsipher

Brian McRae
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Brian McRae

Butch Huskey
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Butch Huskey

Rey Ordonez and Carlos Baerga
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Carlos Baerga

Edgardo Alfonzo
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Edgardo Alfonzo

Jay Payton
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Jay Payton

John Franco
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots John Franco

John Olerud
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots John Olerud

Carlos Baerga and Paul Wilson
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Paul Wilson

Preston Wilson
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Preston Wilson

Rey Ordonez (and – I think – Dodgers catcher Tom Prince sliding)
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Rey Ordonez 2

Rey Ordonez
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Rey Ordonez

Rich Becker  (I’ve never been able to figure out who the guy right behind Becker is… Feel free to offer up any ideas).
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Rich Becker

Todd Hundley
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Todd Hundley 2

Todd Hundley
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Todd Hundley

Todd Pratt
1998 Pinnacle Mets Snapshots Todd Pratt

So that’s the Mets Team Snapshot set.  According to the 2008 Standard Catalog Of Baseball Cards, these sets were also made for the Angels, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Devil Rays, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Indians, Mariners, Orioles, Rangers, Red Sox, Rockies and Yankees.

I’m not an autograph collector, but I think that these would look fantastic with a big ol’ signature on them.

If any other bloggers have some of these for another team, I encourage you to post about them, I’d love to see Pinnacle Snapshots from other teams.  If you’ve already posted about them in the past, please leave a link in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “1998 Pinnacle Team Snapshots (Mets) – As The Oddballs Go, It Was Odder Than Most

  1. I have a few of the Devil Rays ones and have always enjoyed them. They make for great display pieces in the little pockets on the front of my binders.

  2. I’m curious about that mystery player now… I love a good mystery.
    The last name definitely starts with a G.
    The one player that had major league at bats in 1997 and 1998 for the Mets that might fit is Shawn Gilbert. Since it’s spring training, it could be a minor leaguer, like Pedro Grifol – there’s just barely not enough info to see the rest of the name or the uniform number.

  3. I’d forgotten how cool these were. I had bought a bunch at Target and I’ve kept them around even though I’ve been getting rid of most of my MLB cards in the last few years. Somehow I never ended up with any Red Sox or Cardinals (my two favorite teams) but I’ve got about 100 among the Angels, Braves, Devil Rays, Diamondbacks, Dodger, Indians, Mariners, Mets, Orioles, Rangers, Rockies and Yankees.

    TradingCardDB.com has a checklist for the set: http://www.tradingcarddb.com/ViewAllSet.cfm/sid/11234?PageIndex=1

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