September 21, 2011

Dat King Cole

Pinnacle sports cards was facing the problem of every sports card company at the time, which was: how the heck in the freakin’ heck can we adequately capture the utter dramatics of Major League Baseball player and career zero home run hitter Alex Cole?

Topps tried. FAIL. Avid card peeps was like, “Pfft.”

But Topps, the Yankees of sports cards, could afford to fail. Pinnacle, the Pinnacle of sports cards—as they so claimed—could not. Not with their multi-million dollar investment in advanced card-imprint technology, which left them little-to-no money for marketing purposes, even within the freewheeling financial structure of Clintonomics. Thankfully, Pinnacle became a word-of-mouth phenomenon and titan in the industry after doing what they set out to do—create the greatest Alex Cole baseball card ever.

Alex Cole, 1994 Pinnacle

Avid card peeps was like, “Bam! Whaaaaat? What just hit my face? Awesomeness, that’s what!” These were literally the things that avid card peeps were saying when they saw this card for the first time. Taking their cue from such linear stalwarts as “Master Blaster” and “Rifleman,” Pinnacle upped the ante and overproduced the living crap out of this card to the point it is actually hurtful, in the eyes, to look at. It hurts, however, so good.

“What about Alex Cole?” you may be asking. Alex Cole slid past second base into another dimension, never to be heard from again. We don’t know a lot about the this other dimension, but we do know that there, Alex Cole is king, and time is triple what it is here, and everybody wears Ray Bans and silver suits, and there are no clouds, only floating mathematical equations, and also there is a Johnny Rockets.

I bet you’d like to know more about pre-other-dimension-traveling Alex Cole, in which case:


There you go. Alex Cole hit .315 with runners in scoring position … for his career? Last year? I don’t know; doesn’t say. I hope you have enjoyed this ride down information lane.

More importantly:

Indeed, this card is part of Pinnacle’s famed “Museum Collection.” This card belongs in a museum. Also, it is. The name of this museum is, “The Alex Cole Museum of Weird, Hurtful to the Eyes, Alex Cole Baseball Cards,” which is in South Amboy, New Jersey. We actually went there on a class trip when I was a sophomore in high school. It was on this trip we learned that, in 1991, the Cleveland Indians, uncontrollably smitten with Alex Cole’s 40-stolen base and defensive speed, moved their outfield walls back, resulting in the squad hitting a total of 22 home runs at home. I thought that was hilarious, and one of the six dumbest things I had ever heard in my whole life. Then my buddy Tim got food poisoning from the Alex Cole cafeteria and almost passed out. Still, it was awesome, mostly because we got to take a charter bus instead of a school bus.

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