Saturday, October 1, 2011

Score: 1997-1998....The End

By the time 1997 rolled around, Score seemed to be dying a slow death. Factory sets hadn't been released for several years and the set was gradually shrinking. So in 1997, it seemed like Score was going to make one last stab as success.

First, the factory set returned. This time, the set was in a tin. It has the same shape as their last two factory sets, but now the cards were in three rows. The set also reversed the shrinking trend, going from 517 cards to 550.

The design, however, was about as minimalist as you can get. It was just name at the top, team at the bottom, and a picture.

My guess is that the last-gasp attempt in 1997 wasn't successful, because in 1998 the factory tin disappeared. So did almost half of the set; the '98 set contained a Score-low 270 cards (though the traded set has the same number of cards).

At least the design team went back to work, coming up something that wasn't so plain. And the Cubs, who were bad in 1997, rated only four cards out of the 270 card set including one of Brant Brown. Brown was infamous for dropping a flyball in a September game against the Brewers in the bottom of the ninth. Three runs scored, costing the Cubs the game and featured a meltdown by Ron Santo.

The 1998 set was Score's last. Score's parent, Pinnacle, went out of business in September, 1998. The brand name was sold to Playoff, which was later bought out by Donruss, later bought by Panini.

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