10TH INNING BASEBALL CARDS PINOLE

Introduction to 10th Inning Baseball Cards Pinole

Pinole is a company based in Richmond, California that produces a unique brand of baseball cards known as 10th Inning cards. What sets 10th Inning cards apart from traditional baseball cards is that they focus exclusively on players from the late innings of games, capturing dramatic walk-off wins, clutch relief appearances, and other noteworthy late-game performances. By zeroing in on these tense moments from the 6th inning onward, 10th Inning cards offer a novel viewing lens for reliving baseball history.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at 10th Inning cards and what makes them such a captivating niche product for serious baseball collectors. We’ll cover the history and origins of the brand, explore some of their most popular and valuable cards over the years, and gain insight into how they select which players and performances to commemorate. By the end, readers will have a thorough understanding of 10th Inning’s unique focus and why their cards continue finding devoted fans within the hobby.

The Origins of 10th Inning Baseball Cards

10th Inning cards first emerged in 2005 when founders Adam and Jennifer Paul wanted to start a baseball card line with a truly unique premise. Both lifelong baseball enthusiasts, they felt that the most dramatic moments in games often unfolded late, as teams mounted comebacks or held on for key victories. Traditional card sets mostly focused on compiling career stats and milestones rather than highlighting these pressure-packed late innings.

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Seeking to fill this gap, the Pauls launched 10th Inning with a dedication to commemorating clutch performances from the 6th inning on. Their inaugural ’05 set featured 90 cards spanning from that season going back to the 1990s. Players included Pedro Martinez striking out the side with the bases loaded in the 1999 All-Star Game and Brad Lidge notching a five-out save to clinch the 2005 NLCS for Houston.

The concept was an immediate hit, appealing to collectors who enjoyed reliving baseball’s most tense moments. Subsequent yearly sets from 10th Inning expanded coverage further while maintaining the late-innings theme. Today, the company is still going strong with new releases each season spanning all MLB teams and eras in their signature high-energy style.

Notable 10th Inning Baseball Cards Over the Years

With nearly two decades in business by now, 10th Inning has produced thousands of unique cards spotlighting clutch baseball situations. Here are some particularly notable examples that stand out both for their compelling on-field moments and subsequent collector value:

Mariano Rivera’s final Yankee Stadium appearance (2013) – Marks his emotional farewell complete game vs. Tampa Bay

Francisco Rodriguez saves the Angels’ 2002 World Series win (2007 card) – Iconic image from his record-setting postseason

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Travis Ishikawa’s NL Wild Card walk-off (2015) – His booming 3-run shot for SF vs. Pittsburgh

Scott Spiezio’s Game 6 World Series homer (2002) – His unlikely 3-run shot sealed Anaheim’s title

David Ortiz’s 2004 ALCS grand slam (2005) – Legendary blast erased Yankees’ 3-0 deficit

Kirby Puckett’s clinching World Series HR (1996) – Sparked Twins’ 11th inning comeback vs. Braves

These are among the highest valued 10th Inning cards due to the magnitude of the moments captured and players featured. But there are many more yet to appreciate from the brand’s deep catalog.

Selecting Players and Performances

A major part of 10th Inning’s ongoing appeal is the care taken to highlight new clutch situations as they occur each MLB season. The company’s scouts and researchers comb box scores and footage to identify potential late-game milestones. They look for dramatic comeback efforts, walk-offs, multi-RBI hits in high-leverage spots, and stellar relief appearances under pressure.

Once potential moments are flagged, the selection committee evaluates various factors like the win probability shifted by the player’s contribution and the overall significance of the situation within that team’s season narrative. Present ability is also considered to ensure featured athletes continue performing at a high level.

The committee aims to represent all 30 teams each year while keeping approximately 75-100 total players per set released. With over 25,000 games played annually across MLB, 10th Inning has no shortage of compelling late-game material to choose from. This selection diligence helps maintain their brand identity focusing only on the game’s most tension-filled innings.

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Continued Success and Future Outlook

As one of the longest-running independent sports card brands, 10th Inning has steadily grown an avid collector following thanks to providing a unique baseball card viewing experience. While mainstream sets showcase career stats and milestones, 10th Inning zeroes in purely on an event’s drama from the 6th inning on.

This niche focus has resonated strongly with fans fascinated by pressure-packed moments that can turn a game on its head. Looking ahead, 10th Inning seems well-positioned to continue thriving by maintaining their signature style highlighting each new season’s most exciting late-inning plays. With baseball always delivering upsets and surprises deep into contests, their potential subject matter pool appears limitless.

As long as clutch performances remain part of America’s pastime, 10th Inning baseball cards should stay in high demand from hobbyists seeking new angles to relive the game. Their catalog spanning nearly two decades offers a treasure trove of riveting late-game narratives captured like no other card brand. For serious collectors, 10th Inning delivers a truly unique collector’s experience zeroing in on baseball’s highest-stakes moments.

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