Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Random Ray - 1992 Pinnacle

Score was always one of my favorite late 1980s/early 1990s baseball card brands. When they introduced Pinnacle, their premium brand in 1992, did I rush out and buy these cards?  


These cards were $1.99 per pack and the regular Score cards were $0.50. I got so many more cards for my money by sticking to the non-premium brands of baseball cards. I did not do much with Pinnacle cards until I was an adult. The boxes have never been as cheap as other junk wax era products, because there are some sweet autographs of Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, and Joe DiMaggio. Never mind the fact that the odds of pulling one of those cards is steeper than winning the Powerball.

Here is the Lankford.  

I like the overall design with the black border. It would be nice if the picture were a little larger and the border were thinner, but I can live with it as is. 

Many of the cards in this Pinnacle set have nice action shots, including this Lankford. Being a card from early in his career, I like that his jersey is dirty on in the picture. Lankford was a big stolen base/speed threat the first few years he played, but slowed down as he moved into the middle of the lineup. His knees weren't the best at the end of his career either.  

The red color name bar stands out nicely with the black background. 

Back of the card.  

It's busy, but there is a lot to like here. I like the contrast with the dark background and the white writing over the top. The black and white back pops and it is easy to read the write-up on the side of the card and the stats. The transition over to the green name bar and accents is nice on the eyes. The center photo is not the best, but this looks like something from Spring Training media day, aka stock scoreboard photograph. 

I couldn't find his 1991 or 1992 team photo, but all the same energy as the photo below which graced Major League video boards whenever Lankford took an at-bat in 1998.  

Speaking of which, the person who did the write-up actually knew something about the Cardinals and Ray Lankford. Although, the team really let Vince Coleman leave as a free agent, because their owner, one of the August Busch kids, was cheap. Same with McGee, but they traded him before he became a free agent. That stat line is incredible with nearly double-digits in all the extra base categories and nearly 50 stolen bases.  


  1. 1992 Fleer Ultra was the only reason I didn't buy tons of Pinnacle. I was obsessed with Ultra and most of my hobby budget went to my master set build.

    1. Looking back at my completed sets from this era, I feel like I did one premium set per year and Ultra was usually my choice. I would be curious to do a poll of people who collected during that time to see what they collected at the time. I bet Ultra would be really high on the list.

  2. I didn't remember packs of Pinnacle being that expensive when they came out, but of course too, 10 year-old me wouldn't have even been looking at something with that kind of price tag at the time.

    1. I was middle school/high school in the early 1990s. My parents did not fully fund my baseball card purchases at this point, so skipping the premium cards happened frequently.