Baseball Cards in a Can: A Look at Pinnacle’s Bold New Idea


Somehow I imagine this conversation happening in a Pinnacle marketing room back in the late 1990’s:

Person 1: How can we standout among the crowd? Topps, Donruss, and the others are kicking our tail.

Person 2: Let’s make higher quality cards? Or perhaps exclusive deals with popular players?

Person 3: Terrible ideas! What we need to do is put cards in a can, and make collectors use a can opener to look at the cards.

Person 1 + 2: Brilliant!

And that is the fictitious story of how the 1997 and 1998 Pinnacle Inside (aka, Cards in a Can) came to be.


These days you can pick up these novelty items relatively cheaply on Ebay or Amazon (affiliate links).
Each can contains packs with 10 cards.

Here is some basic set information if you are looking to collect:

Set Name and Year Sport # of Cans # of Cards
1997 Pinnacle Inside Baseball 24 cans 150 cards
1998 Pinnacle Inside Baseball 23 cans 150 cards
1997 Pinnacle Inside Football 28 cans 150 cards
1997/1998 Pinnacle Inside Hockey 24 cans 190 cards

And since everyone–well, most everyone?–enjoys a good pack opening, here are various Pinnacle Inside Card In the Can pack, er can, openings:

Wesley Lyles

Wesley is a jack of all trades hobbyist. Though much of his spare time is spent playing board games (especially solo card games like Legendary), Hearthstone, Rocket League, and MLB The Show.e He also enjoys most sports, but pays way too much attention to baseball and football.

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