The Greater Your Storm, the Brighter Your Rainbow

Unlike during Wax Heaven’s early days when I would spend countless hours lurking card forums, today I spend most of my card related time on Twitter and reading up on my favorite card resource, BaseballCardPedia. Lately, however, I have become obsessed with one man’s site which showcases his never ending, growing collection of Jose Canseco baseball cards.

I would say I probably spend an unhealthy amount of time looking at his collection, which is hands-down, the best put together congregation of Jose Canseco cards by anyone in the history of collecting. I can’t really describe what I feel looking through his collection. Jealousy? Not really. Amazement? Possibly. Wonderment? That, too. You’d think I’d be looking at all the 1/1s or rare patches but that’s usually never the case.

I find myself losing hours of my life just scouring through his gallery, like I did as a kid at card shows looking through boxes and boxes of commons trying to find a single missing Jose card to add to my collection. Just as my phone’s battery is near death and my vision is blurry from hours of looking at old Canseco cards I’ve never seen or even knew existed, Tanman winks at me unexpectedly. I may be losing my mind at this point.

You want these cards, dontcha?

I’m sorry, I’ve gone into a tangent. The point of this article was to write about parallels and “rainbows”. To me, the closest I’ve come to completing a modern, parallel rainbow was with my 2007 Topps Finest autograph rookies of Andrew Miller. I had all minus the Superfractor, which I could not locate in three years of searching. I’ve never even seen a good scan of it. I just know it was pulled and someone has it.

As far as Canseco goes, he didn’t return to baseball cards after his tell-all books until a few years ago so those huge parallel rainbows collectors love boasting about on card forums didn’t apply to my collection. Sure, I had 4-5 parallels from a brand here or there but for the most part, there just wasn’t a lot to choose from. That of course changed when Tanman entered the scene and began displaying his collection.

Truthfully, I don’t have that much disposable cash to even attempt a feat like this but even if I did, I don’t know if I would want to. I guess I am not a completist after all. I’m more about picking up as many different cards as possible and after about 4 or 5 parallels with the same photo and only a slight gimmick change in color, I tend to get a little bored. Also, the lower the serial number … the more you’re having to shell out.

With all that being said, I do have a favorite parallel of Jose, although to be honest it probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I simply love these cards because of the particular company who produced it and for the way the two parallels are so different from each other. Also, the photograph used is absolutely awesome and has yet to be recycled by any card company, which is extremely rare for a player like Jose Canseco, who retired nearly 20 years ago.

1997 New Pinnacle

Although the New Pinnacle brand only lasted one year and also wasn’t a success by any stretch of the imagination, it is known for being the very first baseball product to include printing plates into hobby packs. All printing plates backs were also signed by Pinnacle CEO, Jerry Meyer. To this day, I’ve never seen any of Jose’s. Boxes of this product are somewhat hard to find but can be bought on eBay for well under $40 dollars.

1997 New Pinnacle Museum Collection

These cards were seeded once in every nine packs so if you bought an entire box you’d usually find a couple. These were essentially just Dufex cards but I guess since Pinnacle wanted to label this brand “NEW”, they gave it a fancy name. This card, in person, really POPS, thanks in part to Jose’s expression. For the record, Canseco’s return to Oakland was a disaster and he was completely overshadowed by Mark McGwire.

1997 New Pinnacle Artist’s Proof

This is hands down one of my favorite Jose Canseco cards in my collection. Again, not extremely rare as they were seeded once in every thirty-nine packs. With my luck as a box breaker, I never found a single one of these in 1997 but trust me, I did try my best. I probably opened an entire box from my card shop and then some loose packs as well but no luck. Even in 1997, New Pinnacle quickly hit discount prices.

So there you have it. My favorite Canseco rainbow. Sure, a little smaller than most but just as good, in my opinion. As for the 8 printing plates, it appears Tanman doesn’t have them or at least hasn’t made them public. He’s probably hoarding all 8 of them for a future blog post. If you haven’t visited Tanman’s site or read his stories yet, prepare to lose an entire afternoon or two.

As for the missing printing plates of Mr. Canseco, I for one would like to believe that they remain in unopened boxes of New Pinnacle somewhere in middle America. I just hope and pray those boxes didn’t end up in some landfill, robbing us Canseco collectors of several prized cards that will never be pulled from a pack, in a now forgotten product from a brand that died over twenty years ago.

New Pinnacle, I still remember you …



  1. As always, thanks for the kind words, Mario! I’m a HUGE fan of massive rainbows. I even love different variations of the same card. If you search my site for 1987 Topps 620 for instance, you’ll find over 50 variations of his rookie cup card.

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