1998 LEAF ROOKIES & STARS MIKE PIAZZA
Sometimes I’m sure it was a hallucination.
The idea that Mike Piazza‘s road from Los Angeles to New York included a week in Miami playing for the Florida Marlins just seems surreal.
But fortunately a number of card companies were on hand to capture this mid-1998 madness.
Among the sets to document Piazza’s time in teal was a product that was having a weird 1998 of its own.
Leaf Rookies & Stars was due to be issued originally as Leaf Rookies & Chase, until parent company Pinnacle went bankrupt that summer. Playoff Brands stepped in and arranged to release the set, distributing much of it through retail channels such as Wal-Mart in pre-priced 12-pack $29.99 boxes.
The cards were relatively hard to find, and became very popular in the ensuing years, with the short-printed rookie of Troy Glaus booking for upward of $125 by the time Y2K came knocking.
The set included both a tight action shot of Piazza in his Mets gear and a short-printed card picturing him in the midst of one of his 19 plate appearances for the Marlins.