1996 Pinnacle Essence of the Game Baseball Cards

Greg Maddux 1996 Pinnacle Essence of the Game #2
Greg Maddux 1996 Pinnacle Essence of the Game #2

1996 Pinnacle Baseball was an incredible product. I have a very clear memory (no pun intended) of my first encounter with my first card in the 1996 Pinnacle Essence of the Game set. These cards weren’t my first experience enjoying the rarely used but always appreciated see-through plastic technology. The first was 1994 Studio Series Stars, which is another set I thoroughly enjoy. It’s one of my favorite sets that features clear plastic. This set is highly underrated, which probably has something to do with its availability. I really can’t specifically say why though with any degree of certainty. What I do know is the design kicks ass! The dark orange stars, the holo-foil header with beams, the font featuring the set title, the player photos, and of course, the clear plastic all make each of these cards amazing pieces of art. Even today, in my opinion, this set vastly out performs a lot of modern releases in terms of aesthetics. To me, the visual experience is a good chunk of what makes collecting interesting. Design is of significant importance when it comes to card appreciation.

When I got my first card from this set back in 1996, I was absolutely floored by its appearance. Even today, when I look at that same card, I’m still in awe over its stunning good looks. Some things never die. This set is one of those things. Somewhat forgotten, sure, but never dead. These were inserted into hobby packs at a rate of 1:23. This 18-card set features superstar talent exclusively.

Can you remember some hot shot talent that was popular in 1996?

To see what’s currently on eBay from 1996 Pinnacle Essence of the Game, click here.

Set Information:

Total CardsOdds
181:23 H
1996 Pinnacle Essence of the Game


Card #Player(s)Card #Player(s)
1Cal Ripken Jr.10Mike Piazza
2Greg Maddux11Jeff Bagwell
3Frank Thomas12Mo Vaughn
4Matt Williams13Albert Belle
5Chipper Jones14Tim Salmon
6Reggie Sanders15Don Mattingly
7Ken Griffey Jr.16Will Clark
8Kirby Puckett17Eddie Murray
9Hideo Nomo18Barry Bonds
1996 Pinnacle Essence of the Game


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected