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Press Pass

My Press Pass Collection (Updated December 24th, 2021)

1996 Press Pass: “Tony Banks” Autograph #2

1998 Press Pass: “Donovin Darius” Autograph #28

1999 Press Pass: “Andy Katzenmoyer” Autograph #14

2000 Press Pass: “Ron Dayne” Game-Used Jersey #JC1

2001 Press Pass: “Drew Brees / Michael Vick” Game-Used Jerseys #JC-MVDB

2002 Press Pass: “John Henderson” Autograph #20

In 1996 the hobby got its second taste of a full-time collegiate title, (the first being Classic), and this time the hobby got a treat.  Press Pass released 2 different sets in 1996, their flagship title; "Press Pass" and "Press Pass: Paydirt". I'll cover the "Press Pass" title here. The first release from the Press Pass manufacturer was a 55-card set. Normally a 55-card set sucks, but for a first release and a collegiate release at that, I'll give Press Pass a pass. However, when you think of it, 55 cards are less than 2 rounds of a full NFL draft, so maybe 55-cards isn't good. Regardless, the first release from Press Pass was sensational. The initial "Press Pass" release also included a 12-card autograph set that was also sensational, (See the 1996 Press Pass: "Tony Banks" Autograph #2 left). For a first autograph set, this one really delivered. Kudos, Press Pass for releasing a high-quality product.

In 1997, Press Pass followed up its original release with another quality set. The only down-side, "Press Pass" continued a downward trend of smaller sets. The '97 set only had 49 cards. Not good, but Press Pass did something else, they increased the # of autograph cards in their Autograph set from 12 to 31. That was awesome. And Press Pass also increased the # of insert sets from 3 in '96 to 5 in '97. The Autograph cards were again, very impressive, (See the 1997 Press Pass: "Reinard Wilson" Autograph #30 right). I still rate the '97 Press Pass Autograph set as one of my favorite "Top 10 Autograph sets of all time." I was simply very impressed with that set.

1997 Press Pass: “Reinard Wilson” Autograph #30

The '98 "Press Pass" release was also a magnificent release. It was a 50-card gem that had an Autograph set, a Game Jersey set, and other inserts. This one just had it all. And following the '97 autograph set, this one also delivered, (See the 1998 Press Pass: "Donovin Darius" Autograph #28 left).  This set still ranks as one of my favorites, along with the '97 autograph set. There was also a 4-card Game Jersey set that also delivered, (See the 1998 Press Pass: "Peyton Manning" Game Jersey  #JC/PM right). The '98 set just may have been my favorite Press Pass set of all-time. 

In 1999, Press Pass released a 45-card set. Press Pass had always hovered around the 50-card set size, but they always continued to climb upwards when it came to their autograph set; from 12 in '96 to 39 in '98 to 50 cards in '99. The '99 autograph cards had a nice area for player signatures, (See the 1999 Press Pass: "Andy Katzenmoyer" Autograph #14 below left). The only thing I didn't like about the '99 autograph set was the card stock. It seemed to be just a little flimsy.


For the 2nd straight year, Press Pass continued with 7 total insert sets in their release. In other words, they had just enough for everyone's interests.

In 2000, Press Pass continued what had been working for them the last 4 years; small base sets with a heck of a lot of substance. The 2000 release was another paltry 45-cards, but the surrounding cast is what Press Pass hinged their bets on. The 2000 Autograph insert was 53 cards this time and they again gave the hobby a gem, (See the 2000 Press Pass: "Keith Bullock" Autograph #5 right). Another good-sized signature area and a great crop of rookie autographs. Another bonus in 2000 was the Game Jersey set, this time around it was 6 cards, (See the 2000 Press Pass: "Ron Dayne" Game Jersey #JC1 below left). Right around this time, Press Pass was just getting it done. All of their sets were solid sets with high-quality cards.


Press Pass did not let off the gas pedal in 2001. Again, the base set was only 50 cards, but this time instead of 1 autograph set, Press Pass introduced a 2nd called "Power Picks". "Power Picks" was only a 9-card set, but it included 9 of the biggest draft picks from the '01 class. The main autograph set had 49 cards this time around and as always it did not disappoint, (See the 2001 Press Pass: "Todd Heap" #15 right).

1998 Press Pass: “Peyton Manning” Game Used Jersey #JC/PM

2000 Press Pass: “Keith Bulluck” Autograph #5

2001 Press Pass: “Todd Heap” Autograph #15

The Game Jersey cards, this time a 7-card set, produced nothing, but great cards, (See the 2001 Press Pass: "Drew Brees / Michael Vick" #JC-MVDB left). Vick and Brees have been on several cards together, this was one of their best.


The 2001 release did back off the insert sets this time around, they dropped back to 7 after having 8 in 2000.


By this time, I'm just repeating myself. The 2002 Press Pass was another solid card design that picked up right where the previous releases left off. The 2002 release was a 50-card set with 8 insert sets. Two of those 8 are autograph sets. The main autograph set was another touchdown, (See the 2002 Press Pass: "John Henderson" #20 left). It had a huge signature area again that made it easy for the player to sign.


The Game Jersey cards, this time a huge 13-card set, was another classic. As was the "Power Pick" set which was a 12-card set. By 2002, Press Pass had the market cornered as far as collegiate sets were concerned, and they weren't just sitting back and riding it out, they were giving the hobby high-quality cards and sets.  

2003 Press Pass: “Willis McGahee” #18

I have barely touched the Press Pass 2003 release and on, but they are still awesome. I think the thing I like the most of all the Press Pass releases is the "Action Shots". Press Pass does not skimp on the photography and the best part is, you won't see the photography on any other card either, (See the 2003 Press Pass: "Willis McGahee" #18 above right). With Press Pass being the stand-alone collegiate card set, what you see is what you get.


The 2003 release was a simple and standard 50-card set, but the autograph set was now a 64-card monstrosity. From 12 cards in 1996 to 64 in 2003. That was simply awesome for us collectors!!


However, Press Pass started doing something in 2003 that they never did before, they started following a bad hobby trend. Press Pass took a page out of the "Collector's Edge" book of bad ideas when they started creating parallel autograph sets, (Actually Sage did this crap back in 1999). There is no need to have 25 different versions of an autograph set.

2004 Press Pass: “Will Smith” #37

2006 Press Pass: “Chad Greenway” #42

The 2004 release of "Press Pass" was another really cool design. I just loved the color transition at the bottom, (See the 2004 Press Pass: "Will Smith" #37 left). In my opinion, Press Pass was rivaling Upper Deck when it came to photography and front card design.


By 2004, Press Pass had an 82-card Autograph set. Eighty-Two! The base set was only 50-cards. As of 2004, collectors were swarming to Press Pass to collect autographs from their favorite collegiate all-stars.


The parallel autograph sets were in full swing in the 2004 release; Red, Blue, Bronze, Gold, Silver, and Rainbow. I was kidding on that last one, but who would know?


2005 Press Pass: “Antrel Rolle” #39

The 2005 release of "Press Pass" had an Upper Deck Ionix look to it, (See the 2005 Press Pass: "Antrel Rolle" #39 above left). The 2005 set was another 50-card set with 6 insert sets. Two of those insert sets are autograph sets.


By now, the "Paydirt" and "Showbound" insert sets were mainstays. They both debuted back in 2000 and have been included in every release since.


Say what you want about Press Pass, but boring, dull, the same ol' same ol' should not be the words used. Press Pass was anything but. The 2006 release of "Press Pass" was another really cool design. This one kind of reminded me of an early Fleer Ultra set with the bottom border, (See the 2006 Press Pass: "Chad Greenway" #42 right). 


The 2006 release was the first release that included the "Target" and "Wal-Mart" battle exclusives, (I've always called them "Battle" exclusives because it was like a battle for the retail giants to see which cards would be more popular.).


2007 Press Pass: “Darrelle Revis” #45

The 2007 release of "Press Pass" wasn't my favorite release, but wasn't bad either. I just thought the bottom border was a little too big for my liking, (See the 2007 Press Pass: "Darrelle Revis" #45 left). 


The 2007 release of the "Press Pass" main title was the first of a new trend; a major jump from a 50-card set to a 105-card goliath. 


The "Target" vs "Wal-Mart" battle cards were back for a 2nd go-round as well. These cards were never my favorite cards. I've never been a big fan of retail exclusive cards.


2008 Press Pass: “Early Doucet” #30

2009 Press Pass: “Aaron Curry” #42

The 2008 release of "Press Pass" was a decent release. I thought the cards had a mid-nineties Upper Deck look to them, (See the 2008 Press Pass: "Early Doucet" #30 above right). The 2008 Press Pass release was the 2nd release that had 105 cards.


The 2009 release of "Press Pass" was another really cool release. I just loved the bottom border, (See the 2004 Press Pass: "Aaron Curry" #42 left). The 2009 Press Pass release was the 3rd installment of the new 105-card sets.

In closing, the "Press Pass" brand did what "Classic", (when it first started), could not. And that was initiate and maintain a collegiate card that the hobby embraced. Press Pass did that by releasing quality cards that not only looked good from year to year but also gave the collector enough to make them believe that they were getting value for their money. And I always thought that they used just enough autograph and memorabilia sets. The only issue I had was the parallel autograph sets that seemed to dilute the whole autograph experience. As I stated above we don't need 25 different autograph sets from the same year. Regardless, Press Pass had the market cornered and did a solid job maintaining that corner.

  I have complete sets:

Press Pass Series:

1) 1996 Press Pass Set

    A) Crystal Ball Insert

    B) Autographs Insert

2a) 1997 Press Pass Set

2b) 1997 Press Pass Combine Set

2c) 1997 Press Pass Red Zone Insert

    A) Big 12 Insert

    B) Can't Miss Insert

    C) Head Butt Insert

    D) Marquee Matchups Insert

    E) Autographs Insert - Incomplete ( 27 / 31 )

3) 1998 Press Pass Set

    A) Kick-Offs Insert

    B) Head Butt Insert

    C) Fields Of Fury Insert

    D) Trophy Case Insert

    E) Game Jerseys Insert

    F) Triple Threat Insert

    G) Autographs Insert - Incomplete ( 36 / 39 )

4A) 1999 Press Pass Set

4B) 1999 Press Pass (Blue) Set

4C) 1999 Press Pass (Silver) Set

    A) X's And O's Insert

    B) Gridiron Insert

    C) Golden Arm Insert

    D) Hardware Insert

    E) Big Numbers Insert

    F) Game Jersey Insert

    G) Autographs Insert

5) 2000 Press Pass Set

    A) Breakout Insert

    B) Showbound Insert

    C) Big Numbers Insert

    D) Power Picks Insert

    E) Game Jerseys Insert

    F) Gridiron Insert

    G) Paydirt Insert

    H) Autographs Insert - Incomplete ( 52 / 53 )

6A) 2001 Press Pass Set

6B) 2001 Press Pass (Gold Zone) Set

    A) Paydirt Insert

    B) Breakout Insert

    C) Showbound Insert

    D) Game Jerseys Insert

    E) Big Numbers Insert

    F) Big Numbers Die Cut Insert

    G) Autographs Insert - Incomplete ( 48 / 49 )

    H) Autograph Power Picks Insert - Incomplete ( 6 / 9 )

7A) 2002 Press Pass Set - Do Not Have

7B) 2002 Press Pass (Gold Zone) Set    

    A) Autographs Insert

    B) Autograph Power Picks Insert

    C) Big Numbers Insert

    D) Game Jerseys Insert

    E) Paydirt Insert

    F) Paydirt Die Cuts Insert

    G) Primetime Insert

    H) Showbound Insert

8A) 2003 Press Pass Set

8B) 2003 Press Pass (Gold Zone) Set

    A) Autographs Insert - Incomplete ( 63 / 64 )

    B) Autograph Power Picks Insert

    C) Big Numbers Insert

    D) Paydirt Insert

    E) Primetime Insert 

    F) Showbound Insert

9A) 2004 Press Pass Set

9B) 2004 Press Pass (Gold) Set

    A) Autographs (Bronze) Insert - Incomplete ( 32 / 82 )

    B) Big Numbers Insert

    C) Paydirt Insert

    D) Showbound Insert

10A) 2005 Press Pass Set

10B) 2005 Press Pass (Blue) Set

    A) Big Numbers Insert

11) 2006 Press Pass Set

    A) Big Numbers Insert

    B) Paydirt Insert

12) 2007 Press Pass Set

    A) Autographs (Bronze) Insert - Incomplete ( 24 / 73 )

    B) Primetime Players Insert

13) 2008 Press Pass Set

    A) Primetime Players Insert

14) 2009 Press Pass Set

    A) Autographs Insert - Incomplete ( 1 / 73 )

    B) Banner Season Insert

    C) Game Breakers Insert

15) 2010 Press Pass Set

    A) Banner Season Insert

    B) Wal-Mart Exclusive Insert


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