For as long as I can remember, parallels have been a dreaded part of our hobby. For one, I never understood their purpose. I mean, it’s basically the same photo with a little extra gold or silver foil. Big freakin’ deal, right? Well, all that changed in 1996 when Score Select Certified came out with a load of different colored parallels, thus the rainbow was born. Of course, back then the cards were not numbered and you had to open quite a few packs to beat the odds of pulling one of the higher cards. For example, the base card was easy enough to pull but the odds of pulling the next level is 1 in 30 packs. The next level, Blue, was 1/45, 1/90 for Red and then it gets tricky. The next level, Certified Blue had odds of 1 in 180 packs. I don’t know about you but I cannot imagine anyone opening more than 100 packs of ’96 Certifed. I mean, great looking cards and all but there’s only so much Score cards that I’d like to own. To get the Artist Proof you’d have to go through 500 packs. The final level was Certified Red, which was inserted once for every 1,800 packs. The rumor is that only 90 of the Certified Red were produced so you can imagine how difficult it is to find one of your favorite player.
For the last couple of days I have been surfing eBay looking to purchase my very first Superfractor. Considering that you can get a hobby stud like Johan Santana or David Ortiz Super for under $150, I should be able to get a Marlins player for under $100 if I keep an eye out. Really, the only way to start a rainbow in today’s market is to start from the top otherwise you might have to wait years for your Super to show up and who knows if you will still be collecting by then.
Brad, the proud owner of the hobby’s first rainbow below would like to recommend 1997 Select Certified, 1998 Donruss Crusade, and 2000 Pacific Prisms as other sets with great-looking rainbows. You can check out his extensive Mark Grace collection by cliking HERE. He was also one of the original collectors featured in the close to extinct Heavenly Collections. You can see that post by clicking HERE.