It took me years to accurately identify what's what with 1997 SPx.
1997 SPx baseball cards present a challenge in terms of parallel identification. This set was released during an era when parallel ID wasn't stated on the cards themselves. This made card identification confusing and easily erroneous. This set is ripe with parallel identification confusion. To accurately identify the 6 parallels in this set, a detailed focus on subtleties is required. The following guide answers all your questions regarding 1997 SPx Baseball parallel identification.
Consider the following definitions when reviewing the chart below:
- Defining the logo: Logo refers to the that which is found on the top right corner of the card.
- Defining the background: Background refers to that which is shown behind the player action photo on the left side of the card.
Summary and additional details:
- Base: These feature a Silver Logo & Foil Background
- Steel: These feature a Black Logo & Chrome Background
- Silver: These feature a Black Logo & Foil Background
- Bronze: These feature a Black Logo & Foil Background
- Gold: These feature a Silver Hologram. Base Gold parallels are known to be popular among player and set collectors.
- Grand Finale: These feature a Gold Hologram and have an unstated print run of 50. Since these cards don't have any serial numbers printed on them, they're commonly misidentified as base Gold parallels. Owners have to know that the only way to distinguish them from the base Gold is by the color of the hologram on the front of the card. That said, it's not uncommon to find these cards shuffled in with the other stuff in bargain bins. I found my Sammy Sosa in a $1 box at the 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention. When properly identified, however, Grand Finale's perform well in the market with some players routinely fetching hundreds.