I was presented to holograms by Desi Arnaz, Jr in 1983. Arnaz played Walter Nebicher, a nerdy police officer/computer whiz that craved more responsibility within the police department. In his spare time, Nebicher arisen a an effective crime-fighting, helicopter-piloting, Tron-like-hologram hero he referred to as “Automan.” Unfortunately, Automan to be canceled after just 12 episodes and also I pretty lot forgot around holograms until those marvels the dimensionality began to be incorporated into baseball map sets in the late 1980s.

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On the various other hand, lenticular cards had been a understanding staple because the 1970s. This plasticky “3-D” oddball issues were very first introduced together a Topps test problem in 1968. Collectors most likely became aware of the 3-D technology, but when they found baseball cards in your Kellogg’s cereal boxes or discs top top the bottom the 7-11 Slurpee cups. The Sportflics worry in 1986 introduced the lenticular card on a much grander scale, combine a headshot and a pair of action poses because that individual players and cards featuring up to 12 various player photos. Regardless, the 3-D card has actually largely continued to be a novelty.

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Whether a baseball card featured a holographic or lenticular element, the creator of the card was endeavoring to record the action and motion of the video game into a revolution format—what else could a collector ask for in a two-dimensional card? plenty of of these cards space downright magical.

Famous for its grand Slam breakfast, Denny’s began producing a branded baseball card collection with upper Deck in 1991. That set featured a complete bleed holographic image on the front and also narrative statistical info on the reverse, follow me with—cleverly—the player’s career grand slam tally. One map was issued because that each that the 26 significant League teams at the time. Denny’s complied with a comparable format in 1992 and also 1993, the latter collection growing to 28 cards through the enhancement of football player from the Rockies and also Marlins. These cards were offered to patrons who ordered a cool Slam breakfast.

In 1994, Denny’s and Upper Deck readjusted the layout a bit and for the an initial time, the set included pitchers. The player’s cool slam tally was discontinued, perhaps because none the Jim Abbott, Kevin Appier and Cal Eldred had never fight a residence run, allow alone a grand slam. This year, the issue additionally included a distinct Reggie Jackson card that was reportedly distributed one to a location and also was come be given away together a prize. This stays the rarest of any Denny’s issue.

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The 1995 Denny’s collection was the last for upper Deck, the restaurant chain having partnered with Pinnacle because that 1996. When the 1991-95 upper Deck holographic problems simply included some shimmer and dimension to the map fronts, the 1996 collection really lugged home the bacon. Touted as “Full motion Holograms,” this cards—when pivoted at just the right angle—actually depicted fluid action of a batter’s waver or pitcher’s windup. This concern also included a randomly placed ten-card grand Slam subset, v a parallel ten-card cool Slam Artist’s proof subset. The holographic photo on the grand Slam subset map was just a generic grand Slam breakfast advertisement, ironically make the follow cards much less preferable than those in the base set.

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Then, in 1997, the 24-hour diner chain turn the collecting human being on its collective head. No unlike the reconstruction union of eggs and toast, a ide was flower in i beg your pardon a single regulation-sized baseball card would include both lenticular and also holographic elements. This intrepid design produced the many technologically ambitious baseball map ever—with roughly 71%* that the card’s genuine estate covered by unique effects. The front of the map was oriented horizontally and also featured crisp effects in prior of or behind each subject. The back of the card consisted of biographical and also career to mark information, in addition to a large holographic image of the player’s face. This cards were wrapped individually and were available for 59 cents to anyone who purchased one entrée and non-alcoholic beverage.

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The set was comprised of 29 cards, one for each of the 28 major League groups of the day, together with a distinct Jackie Robinson map in respect of 1997 having been the 50th anniversary the his having broken baseball’s color barrier. The Robinson card was based upon Ernie Sisto’s depicting Robinson gift tagged the end at plate by the Pirates’ Clyde McCullough at Ebbets ar on may 2, 1951.

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Oddly, Denny’s likewise produced a separately distributed card that Larry Doby, numbered “1 of 1.”** The Doby map was offered out at the All-Star video game Fan Fest and also National sports Collectors Convention, both of which were organized in Cleveland the year. as you may know, Doby damaged the color obstacle in the AL, playing his initial video game for the ind on July 5, 1947.

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The 1997 Denny’s cards are fun to manage not only since of the movement and special results on both sides, but additionally because a great number include other i can identify individuals. Because that example, man Jaha shows up to be holding go Boggs on at first. The Sammy Sosa card has actually Jose Hernandez positioned oddly as Sosa appears to be mid house run trot. It shows up that Jeff Bagwell is portrayed on Tim Salmon’s card, Hal Morris shows up on Derek Jeter’s card, Kirt Manwaring is viewed on Andruw Jones’s card, and Jim Thome provides a baserunning appearance on Bagwell’s card, the only dual Hall that Famer entry in the lot.

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Interestingly, Cubs catcher Scott Servais appears on 2 cards, those of ray Lankford and Gary Sheffield. The Sheffield map is particularly interesting due to the fact that the clearly shows Wrigley field bunting probably days that picture as having actually been taken during the Cubs opening collection against the Marlins in 1997, no long before the set would have been finalized because that manufacture.

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The card fronts are also interesting to examine for the differing means in which activity was added and whether the view of that activity was in the foreground, background, or both. The majority of the cards depict the key subject together a solid, two-dimensional figure. Numerous cards, however, animate a portion of the player’s body, such together Mo Vaughn’s glove, Mike Piazza’s arm, and also Frank Thomas’s left hand gripping a baseball come autograph.

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Unfortunately, all this modern technology came in ~ a price. While information about the cost to create each of these cards has eluded the author, these cards can not have actually been cheap to produce and Denny’s ambition may have actually been the reason for the demise of your baseball map promotions. Alas, the 1997 collection was the last that Denny’s would distribute.

Even now, Denny’s sets and also singles are readily obtainable and reasonably inexpensive. The ambitious 1997 collection is the pinnacle that baseball map fun, even an ext so 보다 Automan ever before was.

Here is the checklist: 1997 Denny’s Checklist

Notes:

*I say that “roughly 71%” due to the fact that the hologram functions a slight rounded contour of a baseball, no a directly line. I am no going come do any type of math that needs me to calculation the area of an arc section.

**Denny’s having chosen come celebrate Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby may have been an initiative to assist rehabilitate your corporation call on the heels of payment $54.4 million to settle a class-action gyeongju discrimination lawsuit.

Sources:

Jeff Leeds, “Denny’s Restaurants Settle predisposition Suits because that $54 Million: civil rights: Blacks complained of discrimination in ~ the chain. Case marks brand-new push for Justice Department,” Los Angeles Times, may 25, 1994.

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Dwight Chapin, Greg Smith, “Highland Mint strikes yellow in memorabilia market,” The Marion Star (Marion, Ohio), respectable 31, 1997.


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Author: Baseball legislation Reporter

JOHN RACANELLI is a Chicago lawyer with an insatiable interest in baseball-related litigation. Once not rooting for his lovely Cubs (or working), the is probably reading a baseball publication or blog, to plan his next baseball trip, or enjoy it downtime with his wife and also family. The is more than likely the world’s foremost photographer that triple peanuts uncovered at ballgames and also likes to think he has actually one of the most finish collections that vintage handheld digital baseball gamings known come exist. Man is a member that the Emil Rothe (Chicago) SABR Chapter.View all write-ups by Baseball legislation Reporter