Pacific was so ahead of its time. With intricate designs, an excellent color palette, and crazy low print runs, it's a true benchmark to its antiquity. The 1998 Aurora Pennant Fever set captures this essence wholeheartedly but it's not for the faint of heart. Here's what's in it:
1998 Aurora Pennant Fever is a 50-card set featuring some of the biggest names of the league. The cards feature a horizontal pennant style design that showcases the player's team coupled with foils of varying colors layered behind full color player action shots. It's a great set but posses an ambitious collecting pursuit. Each card in the set can be found in five different parallels. To collect a run of any single card in the set, here's what you'll need to locate:
Base: This is the standard card. These are fairly common as they were inserted into packs at a rate of one per pack. They feature gold foil in the backgrounds.
Red: These parallels were inserted into retail packs at a rate of 1:4 and feature red foil in the backgrounds. While slightly rarer than the base cards, they're usually pretty easy to track down.
Silver: This is where things begin to get difficult. Silver parallels were inserted exclusively into retail packs. They carry stated print runs of 250 and feature silver foil in the backgrounds. Don't let the print run fool you; these have proven to be at least moderately difficult to track down.
Platinum Blue: These parallels carry stated print runs of 100 and feature light blue foil in the backgrounds. For what they are, they're incredibly rare so expect to spend some time searching for your player's Platinum Blue parallel.
Copper: The Copper parallel is the unicorn. These have stated print runs of just 20 copies and feature copper foil in the backgrounds. If you're attempting a run, expect to spend years searching for your player's Copper parallel if you're lucky enough to find one at all. In 1998, print runs below 100 were (and still are) considered by many to be extremely rare. Because the Copper parallel is 5x rarer, it's an exceedingly tough one to capture.
At the time, Tony Gwynn was the ambassador for the Pacific brand and as such signed single copies of the Silver, Platinum Blue, and Copper parallels.
1998 Aurora Pennant Fever is an excellent albeit challenging set to collect. In terms of difficulty, I put this set at upper moderate to mild advanced. I say this because while the Silver and Platinum Blue parallels make this set difficult to collect by themselves, the Copper parallel presents a potentially extensive acquisition lead time with no guarantees.
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