You Be the Judge! – King of 1997

If ever there was one year that catered to the infamous “Joe Collector”, it was 1997. Sure, Topps Finest had already created the favored drug of the Joe Collector years earlier with the debut of the Refractor and made them much easier to come by thanks to Bowman’s Best and Topps Chrome, but 1997 was just a special year for trading cards, maybe baseball in general.

Below are ten of my favorite releases of that very special season of trading cards. In this very special ‘You Be the Judge’ I am asking you the collector to chime in with your favorite brand from 1997. Was it SPx, with it’s beautiful and sometimes creepy holographic images? How about the first-ever release of Bowman Chrome or the original Bowman “Chrome” autographs released by Bowman’s Best? Maybe like me, you are a “Pinnacle Man” who loves Certified and Totally Certified, or perhaps you keep it old school with the bad ass Topps Finest of the year. If you collect and love this hobby and were around in 1997, this is your chance to speak your mind. Is your favorite 1997 baseball release not pictured? Please, let us know!

Finally, here is a full scan of eight of the images combined which would make a decent wallpaper, if you are a big enough card collecting nerd. Unfortunately, I had to leave out two products and chose Upper Deck SPx and Bowman’s Best. You can view the Wax Heaven wallpaper by clicking HERE.

Upper Deck SPx

Pinnacle Totally Certified

E-X 2000 (Fleer)

Donruss Signature Series

Topps Finest

Flair Showcase (Fleer)

Leaf Limited (Donruss)

Bowman’s Best

Pinnacle Certified

Bowman Chrome

Card Spotlight – ’97 Totally Certified

This is cardboard addiction at its finest!

The moment I opened a pack of 1997 Pinnacle Totally Certified my world changed forever. You see, truth is I have been obsessed with Totally Certified ever since I opened the three packs I could afford during its initial release. Even years after I bought my last pack, I always thought about Totally Certified and what kind of cards they might be making today. Unfortunately, 1997 was the only year they produced this brand and by the time I made a return to the hobby, the company that produced them, Pinnacle, was long gone.

I wanted to write about how I use to “borrow” my mother’s credit card just to buy one $11 dollar pack of Totally Certified back in 1997 and each and every time I’d face her wrath for it. I didn’t care, though. These cards were “totally” worth it. I wanted to write more but I keep getting too excited thinking about this set and the possibility of finding an unopened box. Instead, I made a quick YouTube video to show off my only Totally Certified card left in my collection.

You can see what the wax box looked like by clicking HERE.