Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Is 1996 Pinnacle Football Possibly The Greatest Base Set Ever?

I recently showed off a box of 1996 Pinnacle football and mentioned how I wanted to take a further look at the base cards in the set. Well, today is your lucky day as I will take a dive into more these.

I didn't remember how great this base set was until I was reminded when I did my box break. I can't remember a set with such in-depth photography and fun shots for any sport. That's at least what you get for 182 of the cards. The last 18 cards in the 200 card set is a mix of checklists and a Cowboy/49er subset known as Super Bowl Bid For 6 .

Pinnacle had always been known to put out a solid product with good photography, but I think the 1996 football takes the cake even though I was a huge fan of 1995 as well. We will take a dive into a really solid box break of that soon.
The design of the base card is simple in 1996. A 1996 Pinnacle wording in the corner and a golden pinnacle that has the player name and is borderless at the bottom. It's a beautiful mixture.

Let's take a gander at some of them.

Finding guys like Craig Hayward dragging three Packers defenders along or Rashaan Salaam diving for extra yards over the Houston defense.

A cute father/son Pinnacle QB moment withe Boomer Esiason. I wonder what Boomer would think if I tweeted this card at him of such a touching moment?

Jeff Blake showing how cold it can be on game day.

Sideline shots of some of the NFL's mean guys.

A Lambeau Leap!

Some guys flying and diving. I really like the Larry Centers end zone catch one. That's an amazing shot and one you never see.

Jerry Rice has a unique one. He is catching a football bomb over the bay showcasing his speed.

I found this to be an odd choice of a base card for Drew Bledsoe. Usually a card focuses on a player running, throwing or making a big play. Not this one. Drew is absolutely getting smacked around. Odd choice, but great photo.

The rooks show off their skills in Training camp like Keyshawn here.

I guess players like things on their head. Garrison puts on a Gatorade cup while Steve puts his helmet on backwards.

Neil O'Donnell doing his best Tom Brady impression, sorry jokes about the Patriots cheating ways never get old. And Bobby Hoying fooling around in the stands.

Put the ball in the air and swing it around like you just don't care!

And finally Mark Brunell after running one in for a score. I really like this photo shot. It makes you feel like you are on the sidelines watching it live.

Remember this was only some of the images in the set. There are many other great ones but these were my personal favorites. 

Now the question to you is, do you agree? Do you think this is the greatest looking all around base set now that you have seen them? Let me know in comments if you agree or can name one that's better.

By the way, I am chasing down this set and have the set numbers listed under my set needs. Thanks for reading!


  1. Some cool photos, but the Zeier card is the only one that fits in my collection. I would have a hard time picking any set from when the Browns weren't in the league as a favorite.

    A set that I have always loved is 1991 Pro Set Platinum, especially some of the photos on the back.

    1. Pro Set Platinum really did put out some great photos that year

  2. I looooved this set when it came out. The next year's set, too. Those museum collection cards were so cool looking.

    It's also sad to look back at a set that isn't really that old and see how many of these players have since passed away.

    1. I agree. And it was only 22 years ago. We lost a lot of guys from that era which you wouldn't expect