1997 was a great year for baseball cards, with low print numbers and excellent options wrapped in chrome of all colors. Pinnacle Brands might have gone out of business a year later, but that hasn’t stopped their ‘97 sets from doing well on the resale market in consequent decades.
Here are ten of the most valuable 1997 Pinnacle baseball cards, as well as our top pick from a return on investment perspective.
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5. 1997 Kenny Lofton Pinnacle Totally Certified Platinum Gold #58
Was fast as lighting, and he never tested positive for PEDs. A true gem at the plate and in the outfield.
4. 1997 Mark McGwire Pinnacle Totally Certified Platinum Gold #139
One of the most feared batters of all time. Too bad he was jacked up on “roids” the entire time.
3. 1997 Barry Bonds Pinnacle Certified #41
Barry Bonds is the first name to make the list.
A 14-time All-Star, his stats, and numbers are legendary among baseball fans. Bonds was the home run king, he’s the all-time leader in walks, and owns a career 1.051 OPS.
Controversies regarding steroid use have affected the price of his cards ever so slightly, but that hasn’t dampened interest in the rarest options.
Bonds’ card is the first in the base 1997 Pinnacle Certified set, wrapped in silver and gold chrome as he smashes a ball in the action shot.
If you’re looking at the rare parallels, the serial numbers can be found stamped on the reverse.
2. 1997 Ken Griffey Jr. Pinnacle Certified #136
Any late 1990s Ken Griffey Jr. card, which is low number is always going to be tempting for collectors, and the same is true here.
From the base 1997 Pinnacle Certified subset called ‘Certified Stars’, the card is available in a trio of Mirror parallels.
PSA 10 copies of the Mirror Blue and Red versions are still fairly affordable, but the same can’t be said for the Gold version.
However, it’s impossible to confirm the actual print run, which is always dangerous from an investment perspective.
Griffey Jr. is a great player to collect, but we’d look elsewhere in terms of getting a good ROI.
1. 1997 Derek Jeter Pinnacle Certified #141
The Captain, Mr. November, Captain Clutch – whatever you want to call Derek Jeter, he’s one of the most influential athletes of his generation and one of the best baseball players of all time.
He quickly takes the top spot on this list of the most valuable 1997 Pinnacle cards thanks to a copy from the ‘Certified Stars’ subset.
The one and only to have been given a PSA 10 grade, it’s one of the most expensive cards you’ll find in the set.
Once again, there’s no way to confirm the print run, which makes it riskier than it should be.
1997 Pinnacle Certified Checklist
- Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants
- Mo Vaughn Boston Red Sox
- Matt Williams Cleveland Indians
- Ryne Sandberg Chicago Cubs
- Jeff Bagwell Houston Astros
- Alan Benes St. Louis Cardinals
- John Wetteland Texas Rangers
- Fred McGriff Atlanta Braves
- Craig Biggio Houston Astros 1
- Bernie Williams New York Yankees
- Brian Hunter Detroit Tigers
- Sandy Alomar Jr. Cleveland Indians
- Ray Lankford St. Louis Cardinals
- Ryan Klesko Atlanta Braves
- Jermaine Dye Kansas City Royals
- Andy Benes St. Louis Cardinals
- Albert Belle Chicago White Sox
- Tony Clark Detroit Tigers
- Dean Palmer Texas Rangers
- Bernard Gilkey New York Mets
- Ken Caminiti San Diego Padres
- Alex Rodriguez Seattle Mariners
- Tim Salmon Anaheim Angels
- Larry Walker Colorado Rockies
- Barry Larkin Cincinnati Reds
- Mike Piazza Los Angeles Dodgers
- Brady Anderson Baltimore Orioles
- Cal Ripken Jr. Baltimore Orioles
- Charles Nagy Cleveland Indians
- Paul Molitor Minnesota Twins
- Darin Erstad Anaheim Angels
- Rey Ordonez New York Mets
- Wally Joyner San Diego Padres
- David Cone New York Yankees
- Sammy Sosa Chicago Cubs
- Dante Bichette Colorado Rockies
- Eric Karros Los Angeles Dodgers
- Omar Vizquel Cleveland Indians
- Roger Clemens Toronto Blue Jays
- Joe Carter Toronto Blue Jays
- Frank Thomas Chicago White Sox
- Javy Lopez Atlanta Braves
- Mike Mussina Baltimore Orioles
- Gary Sheffield Florida Marlins
- Tony Gwynn San Diego Padres
- Jason Kendall Pittsburgh Pirates
- Jim Thome Cleveland Indians
- Andres Galarraga Colorado Rockies
- Mark McGwire Oakland Athletics
- Troy Percival Anaheim Angels
- Derek Jeter New York Yankees
- Todd Hollandsworth Los Angeles Dodgers
- Ken Griffey Jr. Seattle Mariners
- Randy Johnson Seattle Mariners
- Pat Hentgen Toronto Blue Jays
- Rusty Greer Texas Rangers
- John Jaha Milwaukee Brewers
- Kenny Lofton Atlanta Braves
- Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves
- Robb Nen Florida Marlins
Most cards from the base 1997 Pinnacle Baseball set aren’t worth much, and it was blown out of the water by 1997 Pinnacle Certified.
The Certified set was a high-end 150-card brand that also came with a rarer parallel release, known as ‘Totally Certified’. Cards from the Totally Certified subset fill the list for reasons that quickly become apparent.
For example, only 999 boxes were ever produced. The chromium-stock release featured a different photograph from the base edition and was printed on etched foil, with only three cards per pack.
As well as Platinum Red parallels numbered 3,999, there are Platinum Blue cards with a print run of 1,999. (You’d get two reds and one blue per pack.)
However, the real hit was a Platinum Gold parallel (serial number 30) which was randomly inserted into packs.
As you might have guessed, this list of the most valuable 1997 Pinnacle Baseball cards is dominated by the Totally Certified subset and the gold parallels.