Pinnacle Brands

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Pinnacle Brands was a trading card company from 1988 to 1998. With its first baseball card set called Score, it changed the baseball card industry from the "Big Three" (Donruss, Fleer, Topps) that had been in place for seven years prior. Score's first set used a bold colorful border design (with 110 cards each in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet borders) and was the first major set to have a color mugshot of the player and was the first major set besides 1982 Fleer to have a full color back. The player biographies were by far the most extensive of any major baseball card set of its time. The 1991 and 1992 sets at 893 cards were among the largest card sets of that time.

Pinnacle Brands began production of its first premium quality set, called Pinnacle, in 1991 for football and 1992 for baseball and used a distinctive black bordered design for its first two years. Another key set, called Select, began the year afterward. Starting in 1997, Pinnacle Brands randomly inserted in its Pinnacle set and other sets the original individual printing plates handsigned by Pinnacle's CEO Jerry Meyer, with eight plates per card (both front and back of the card and in each of the four printing colors; black, cyan, magenta, and yellow). The 1998 printing plates were not signed however. Around this same time, they experimented with the way cards were packaged, selling them in cans (Pinnacle Inside), tin containers (Donruss Preferred), and childproof "blister packs" (several brands).

Citing low profits, Pinnacle Brands went out of business in September 1998 and its brand names and trademarks were sold to Playoff, which then became Donruss Playoff. Donruss Playoff no longer uses the Pinnacle brand name, but continues to use the Score name on low end football and hockey sets produced mostly for the retail market.


In early 1998, Jerry Meyer was named Beckett Media's Sports Card Executive of the Year. Due to Pinnacle filing for bankruptcy less than a year later, it would be the only time Beckett would give out such an award.

Source: Beckett (Annual) Baseball Card Price Guide