Thursday, May 27, 2010

1997 Pinnacle Press Plate Previews

Although the concept of a "press plate" doesn't get collectors particularly excited anymore, at one point in time, these were definitely a big deal!

As far as I can tell, the first "official" press plates to be released were found inside packs of 1997 New Pinnacle. As a way of promoting this new and innovate insert, Pinnacle inserted "Press Plate Previews" which were made directly from the 1997 Pinnacle base set press plates.

Until now, the 1997 Pinnacle Press Plate Preview was one of the few older Rickey cards that I'd yet to even see a picture of. These were limited to only 8 copies, with one selling on eBay a few weeks ago for $301. I was not the high bidder, but the seller was kind enough to e-mail me scans of the front and back of the cards.

Although I was never a fan of the fronts of the 1997 Pinnacle set, I did appreciate the little bit of creativity that they used with the carved bat names on the back.

Although the backs of the cards indicate that they are a "one of one," there was an announced print run of eight copies of each card. I also like the fact that it says the exact date in which the card was printed, in this case 12/20/1996. The back of each press plate preview included a number, which according to Beckett, if a dealer found a number that matched the number of their case, they would win a special prize package. Not sure what that package consisted of, but considering there was only one if them, it was probably pretty nice!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rickey Henderson McFarlane Figure

Before all you super collectors started scouring the Internet, wondering how you could have missed this, don't worry, it doesn't exist! While I have seen quite a few "custom" McFarlane figures, of which individuals have painted Rickey on already produced figures, an actual figure was never released. But, until now, I didn't know how close one actually came to being put into production.

Thanks to Oakland A's Collectibles for the heads up on this one, as his post today definitely caught me by surprise! These images were posted on the message boards in 2003 as a teaser of what was to come. But, unfortunately, Rickey never found a home in MLB in 2004, so the figure was cancelled and never produced.

It's unknown is any packaged samples were produced, but at least this one production sample has to be out there somewhere! You can definitely see Rickey's likeness in the figure, which is more than you can say about the early Starting Lineup figures. It's even more evident when you look at the image below, which was a bit of recycling on the part of McFarlane.

I guess they didn't want the sculpture to go to waste, so they used Sammy Sosa as Rickey, and released the figure as a special 2-pack (along with Todd Helton) in 2004. So, if you were going to create your own custom Rickey McFarlane, you now know what to use as a base.

Mcfarlane does release an annual "Cooperstown Collection" every year, so now that Rickey has finally made it into the Hall, maybe some sort of agreement can be reached, and this figure can see the light of day after all.