1997 Pinnacle Certified Baseball Review

Shortly after the aforementioned NJ trip from my last post, I decided to crack a box of 1997 Pinnacle Duplified er….Certified (you can see where this is going). The set includes 150 cards, and then 1 extra card, number 151 was available only through an exchange. Didn’t I just write about a set with a similar trait? That extra card belonged to Jose Cruz, Jr. If you don’t know who he is, you obviously weren’t following baseball in 1997. Anyways, back to the product. There were 135 regular base cards, followed by a 15-card subset known as “Certified Stars” that featured some of the game’s best. Some of the names in this subset included Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Greg Maddux, Ken Griffey, Jr., and Hideo Nomo (I know it sounds funny saying this today). This box contained 20 packs of 6 cards each. In these packs, one could find some nice inserts and some REALLY nice parallels. Let’s examine:

Base cards: Out of 150 (I didn’t not receive a Cruz exchange card) base cards, I only received 85 to the set. I received THIRTY duplicates. I don’t know if this product is notorious for bad collation, but this was horrible. I didn’t think I’d be that far away from putting together the set after 1 box!

Certified Red: Following in the footsteps of 1996 Select Certified, this product comes with a Certified Red parallel. They are seeded 1 in every 5 packs. I received these parallel cards of Will Clark, Jorge Posada, Bobby Bonilla, and Matt Williams. Unlike its predecessor though, this is the only NON-mirror parallel to the set. Some of you may remember that 1996 Select Certified had (in addition to the Mirror Red, Blue, and Gold variations) Artist’s Proof, Certified Red, and Certified Blue parallels.

Mirror Red: I was lucky enough to pull a Mirror Red card in this box, and it was a Hall of Famer to boot! It was of the Certified Stars subset of Tony Gwynn. Mirror Red cards can be found 1 in every 99 packs on average. That’s 5 boxes worth right there! I would’ve been happy with just about any mirror given the rarity of them so this was nice. For the record, Mirror Blue cards are seeded 1 in every 199 packs and Mirror Gold cards are seeded 1 in every 299 packs! In 1996 Select Certified, these mirrors had basically the same odds and print runs for those were stated as follows: Red (90 of each), Blue (45 of each), Gold (30 of each). No such print runs were given for 1997’s parallels, but one could assume that they’re most likely pretty similar.

There is also a supposed Mirror Black parallel, but the details are still sketchy to this day. What do these look like? Picture that Hideo Nomo base card above with a mirror finish but still with the black nameplate area. It is unknown if all the cards in the set have this parallel. Whenever these cards appeared, they were thought to be 1/1 cards, but a blurb in Beckett long ago claimed that at least TWO copies of Jay Buhner and the Juan Gonzalez Certified Stars subset had been pulled so we may never know the truth about this phantom parallel.

One strange thing about this box was (I am aware of that “ON AVERAGE” mumbo jumbo, mind you) that I did not get any inserts from the Certified Team or Lasting Impressions sets. Both have stated odds of 1:19 packs, roughly 1 per box. It was a little disappointing not receiving anything from either set. No, I don’t think I got a crooked box. I got this from a pretty reputable seller (Dave and Adam’s!). So I got shorted a couple inserts, but hit a 1 in 5 box parallel. I guess those somewhat even out. Then again, out of the 85 cards I needed to build the set, 35% of those came with an extra copy, which sucks. Overall, I’d say it was about an average break, not real great, but not the worst either.

Thanks for the read!

Posted on April 13, 2008, in Box Breaks and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I have a mirror black Mark McGwire card and I have no clue how much it is worth… I was curious so I typed it into a search and came across your page. I wonder…

  2. RJG –

    Shoot me an email if you get this (onionring9@aol.com). I’d be interested in that card of yours (at the very least a scan of it). I’ve been looking for one of those to add to my collection for years. I’ve also got a masterlist of McGwire cards that still doesn’t have a picture of the mirror black on it!

  3. hi, i have a mirror black andrew jones slabbed a PSA 10

  4. If you want to move that Andruw Jones please send me an E-mail at morpheus18@gmail.com

    I am very interested in it or at the very least seeing a picture.


  5. I have a mirror black Nomar Garciaparra and it has “ROOKIE” stamped above the gold seal. I ended up here by the same path.

  6. I have 2 1991 Pinnacle Certified Black Mirror #147 Tony Gwynn and was wondering if anyone knows the value?

  7. I have a Frank Thomas #148 mirror black in my shop inventory. Will entertain serious offers on it.

  8. Jester,

    Please email me at grossclark@gmail.com.

    I have been looking for that Mirror Black of Frank Thomas.

    Thanks for your time.


  9. i have a few pinnacle cards mirrored with a black middle how do i know if there the rare black mirrored ones email me bdiddyfatcat02@yahoo.com i have cal ripken jr ,matt williams,rod myers,joe carter,todd greens, bobby bonilla

  10. bmavs sports cards

    I have a Brian Giles RC 1997 Pinnacle Certified mirror black BGS 8.5 that im going to let go into someones collection.

  11. I would love to see all of the above Mirror Blacks. I own 6 of these and would like to own more. I am at gcalfas2@illinois.edu and here is a link to 5 of the scans.

  12. i have the 97 mirror black sandberg…any idea of its worth? my email is dalespriggs@aol.com

  13. Hello I doubt this will work, but…


    Do you still have the Frank Thomas 1997 Pinnacle Mirror Black? I would definitely pay what it takes to get that card.

    If so please email me at nm20653@yahoo.com

    Thank You

  14. Hello,

    This is a longshot, but


    Do you still have the 97 Mirror Black Frank Thomas? I will pay what it takes to get that card.

    If you could reach out to me at nm20653@yahoo.com

    I would greatly appreciate it!!!

    Thank You

  15. Hello,

    I know this is a longshot, but…


    If you have that 1997 Pinnacle Mirror Black Frank Thomas, I would pay whatever it takes to get that card.

    Please reach out to me at nm20653@yahoo.com

    Thank You

  16. By the way, I am also looking for the Griffey, Ripken, and Jeter and will pay ANYTHING for the Griffey and Jeter!!!


  17. For anyone interested I have 2 Mirror Blacks. #43 Mike Mussina, and #95 Roberto Alomar

  18. I’m looking for the Mirror Black Ellis Burks if anyone has one or knows of someone with it. You can email me at metalandy32@live.com. I’m also in search of other Burks cards as well. Thanx!

  19. i have a mirror black Mark Mcguire, no idea what its worth, not graded but it has always been in a hard plastic sleeve, in perfect mint cond. any ideas? ghendricks1@yahoo.com

  20. Margaret tucker

    I have a mirror black greg maddux

  21. Margaret tucker

    I have a mirror black greg maddux certified in frame with plaque

  22. I’m looking for both 1996 Frank Thomas Mirror Gold cards (#1 & #135) as well as the 1997 Frank Thomas Mirror Black. I would also be interested in ANY 1997 Mirror Black cards.

    If you have any of these in your collection or have a good lead on one, send me an email at kansasguy1@yahoo.

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