Monday, November 1, 2010

Baseball Card Spotlight: Pacific Brands

Pacific lasted, as a major trading card company, about eight years from 1993 to 2001. The company had released sets since the 1960's, but only in the 1990's did it become a major brand. It was never one of the major companies, and, as such, had to do something in order to keep going. Pacific is one of the brands primarily responsible for multiple different parallel sets to make player and team collecting a bit more of a challenge.

Of course, the brand had its own niche market, and that is part of the reason I enjoyed it. Pacific focused on marketing to the Latin American community and featured Spanish language on its cards and printed cards of Latin players. Many of these players were not regulars and did not get cards in other sets. This was why I liked the cards. As a team collector, I enjoy getting cards of as many players as I possibly can. By the mid 90's, sets were not as large on average, so only a handful of players had cards. Pacific was a company that would put out cards of these lesser players.

Let's look at just some of the Red Sox players I would not own cards of, if not for Pacific:
Sergio Valdez (1995 Pacific Crown Collection)
Esteban Beltre (1997 Pacific Crown Collection)
Alex Delgado (1997 Pacific Crown Collection)
Mike Benjamin (1998 Invincible Gems of the Diamond)
Jesus Tavarez (1998 Invincible Gems of the Diamond)
Jim Corsi (1998 Online)
Butch Henry (1998 Online, 1998 Pacific Crown Collection Silver)Mark Lemke (1998 Online)
Brian Shouse (1998 Omega Rising Stars, 1998 Online)
Midre Cummings (2001 Pacific)

...and some other players who would be much rarer:
Jose Melendez (1993 Pacific, 1994-1995 Pacific Crown Collection)
Carlos Rodriguez (1995 Pacific Crown Collection, 1995 Pacific Prisms)
Rich Garces (1997-1998 Invincible Gems of the Diamond, 1998 Online)Bill Haselman (1997 Invincible Gems of the Diamond, 1998 Pacific Crown Collection)
Mike Maddux (1997 Invincible Gems of the Diamond)
Shane Mack (1998 Invincible Gems of the Diamond)
Damon Buford (1998 Online)
Pat Rapp (2000 Pacific, 2000 Pacific Gold)

Pacific also had some nice inserts, such as the In The Cage inserts.
And, of course the parallels, such as the 2000 Prism series.
So, I was a pretty big fan for awhile.

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