1996 Leaf Preferred was another one of those gimmicky, one-hit wonder sets that came out during my early collecting years in the 1990s. Inserted one per pack were actual metal "steel" cards, ostensibly of star players.
I bought a box at a LCS that was just a couple blocks from my house, if you can believe it (or if you can believe that LCSs used to exist) and that gave me a nice chunk of this set. I really enjoyed the premise so I worked on the remainder via the usual methods at the time--card shops, shows and I think even some trading with my friends, though I think I only had a couple who collected.
One note about this set, if you're in the know about it at all--like Finest, these cards came with the obnoxious protective peel on them. For a while I owned the complete set with the cards unpeeled, but my better judgment gave in and I freed them for all the world to see, as nature intended.
As I was digging through my completed insert sets to find something to show off tonight, I picked up this one and remembered another reason I really liked finishing it off: it's very satisfying picking up a plastic cube stuffed with these cards since, despite their relative thinness, they're still decently heavy. Holding the whole set all at once literally gives you a sense of the weight of the accomplishment.
So here, for your enjoyment, are the 77 cards from 1996 Leaf Preferred Steel:
|Frank Thomas, Paul Molitor, Kenny Lofton, Travis Fryman, Jeff Conine, Barry Bonds, Gregg Jefferies, Alex Rodriguez, Wade Boggs|
|David Justice, Hideo Nomo, Roberto Alomar, Todd Hollandsworth, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmerio, Will Clark, Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Bell|
|Gary Sheffield, Juan Gonzalez, Garret Anderson, Mo Vaughn, Robin Ventura, Carlos Baerga, Tim Salmon, Matt Williams, Fred McGriff|
|Rondell White, Ray Lankford, Lenny Dykstra, J.T. Snow, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones, Bobby Bonilla, Paul Wilson, Darren Daulton|
|Larry Walker, Raul Mondesi, Jeff Bagwell, Derek Jeter, Kirby Puckett, Jason Isringhausen, Vinny Castilla, Jim Edmonds, Ron Gant|
|Carlos Delgado, Jose Canseco, Tony Gwynn, Mike Mussina, Charles Johnson, Mike Piazza, Ken Griffey Jr., Greg Maddux, Mark Grace|
|Ryan Klesko, Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson, Michael Tucker, Joe Carter, Randy Johnson, Brian Jordan, Shawn Green, Roger Clemens|
|Andres Galarraga, Johnn Damon, Ryne Sandberg, Alan Benes, Albert Belle, Barry Larkin, Marty Cordova, Dante Bichette, Craig Biggio|
|Reggie Sanders, Moises Alou, Chuck Knoblauch, Cecil Fielder, Manny Ramirez|
|A sample back--Manny Ramirez|
Hopefully I'll find some more completed sets to show off to all of you, and I think I have a couple more in mind, so keep an eye out for similar posts soon!