Sunday, November 24, 2013

1999 Pacific Private Stock Set

I have started working on a new project already this week, so this post is not going to inspire anything new project wise, but this is one of my favorite late 90s set.  I found the cards about two weeks ago while working on organizing my cards and have not been able to set them down the past few days.  Critics of the Pacific cards will often cite the same boring format, similar styles and designs, and cheap card stock.  Love them, or hate them, the Private Stock set release was a unique release for Pacific because it ditched a lot of what traditionally made up a Pacific baseball card set.

1999 Pacific Private Stock Roger Clemens 

The design and style of the card is not too far of a stretch for Pacific and might be about the only thing that was somewhat normal about this set from the now defunct card brand.  All of the pictures are actually game action shots with the backgrounds blurred out with some sort of pixalated effect behind the player.  I believe that is an Office Max sign behind Roger Clemens, but it looks like an Office Max sign painted by Georges Seurat and you are standing a little too close to the picture (that's two Seurat references this month).  For me it was enough of a departure from the normal Pacific product, which I am a fan of, to catch me attention and peak my interest in this set.

The design of the back further added to the variance in the design from traditional baseball card sets.  Rather than doing stats, or a biographical section, Pacific posted a box score on the back of each card in the Private Stock set.  

It was always really cool to see what Pacific put on the back with the box scores.  Some of the cards, like this Clemens were really obvious and easy to pick out.  A 15 strikeout game is a no-brainer and probably took someone at Pacific a matter of seconds to pick that game out from a page of Clemens game logs.  I thought there would be players with ho-hum box scores on the back, like Bob went 1-4 with a single in a 4-3 loss against the Phillies, but there are not really any cards like that.  Even Brant Brown had a really good line on his card.

Of course the base set featured several different rookie cards and the majority of them had a small variation with a red rookie stamp up in the top left-hand corner of the card.  Most of the names of the rookies in the set are missable, but there are a few interesting cards.  Ryan Minor was a two-sports star in basketball and baseball, but did not really make it in either the NBA or MLB.  Other names are a little bit more recognizable and of course there was the one rookie card which Pacific decided to add a stamp onto in addition to the red rookie typing.

1999 Pacific Private Stock J.D. Drew 

Sometime after the 1997 amateur draft Scott Boras and J.D. Drew convinced the entire baseball world, that includes the baseball card world, that Drew was worth a small fortune because he was the next Mickey Mantle.  Complete with the #7 jersey number.  The Phillies drafted Drew and he did not sign.  The Cardinals drafted Drew in the 1998 amateur draft, signed him, and called him up in September.  Drew hit everything and people were sold.  Every card company had a J.D. Drew card.  Well, the really good ones came out in 1998, like the Fleer Update.  The 1999 Pacific Private Stock was a few months short.  Gold star for effort on the part of Pacific and cool little stamp on the right side of the card declaring this as some sort of exclusive card.

The really odd part about this set came from the actually physical ordering of the cards.  Every single Pacific set I have ever collected has always started with the Angels and worked it's way through the team alphabetically from Anaheim to Toronto.  However, the Private Stock set broke that long held tradition with Pacific baseball card sets.  Below are cards 7, 8, and 9 front and back.

The whole set is ordered more along the lines of a small Topps set with the players arranged randomly between the beginning and ending of the set.  Even the rookies are mixed in with the regular cards and not given a special place in the set which was very common at the time, especially with the Upper Deck sets.

If you cannot find anything redeeming about the cards above, there were also a mini-206 card inserted in every pack of Private Stock.  The cards have a 206 back and are the same size, but the design is just a copy of the regular base from Private Stock with an added white border.

1999 Pacific Private Stock PS-206 Nomar Garciaparra

I know there are a lot of minis fans out there and this is a really good full set of minis to try to put together.

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