My Pro-Line: Live Collection (Updated December 25th, 2021)
1993 Pro-Line Live: “Rodney Peete” Autograph #29
1995 Pro-Line Live: “Tony Bennett” Autograph #9
1997 Pro-Line: “Koy Detmer” RC (Emerald) Autograph Unlisted / Unreleased / Un-Numbered
In 1993, Proline dropped the production rates for both the "Proline: Portraits" and "Proline: Profiles" titles. The introduction of the "Proline Live" title might have been the reason why. In 1993, Proline introduced a modest 285-card set. To me, the set was simple, yet it satisfied all the needs a collector could want. The first release also included 4 inserts sets with one of them being a 40-card autograph set, (See the 1993 Proline Live: "Rodney Peete" Autograph #29 left). Now the history here between Proline and Classic is a little fuzzy to me, but somehow either Proline bought Classic or Classic bought Proline to offer this latest title.
In 1994, Proline Live came back for its 2nd tour of duty. This tour of duty was much bigger than the first, with a 405-card monster base set and a 134-card autograph set. There were 2 other inert sets, but they were disregarded by the hobby since the autograph set was so time-consuming. Also keep in mind, that back in 1994 if you wanted an autograph card, it only came from Proline, (See the 1994 Proline Live: "Sam Mills" Autograph #93 right). Proline was, at that time, the autograph authority card for the NFL. They had the market cornered. And they were not producing crap. These cards were very cool and individually #'d too.
The '95 release was Proline's biggest release to date and, as it would turn out, it ever would have. The base set was 400 cards, but it would include a whopping 20 insert sets. Even by today's standards that is huge. The most sought after insert set, the autograph set, was increased to 168 cards. And they were just as magical as ever, (See the 1995 Proline Live: "Tony Bennett" Autograph #9 left). Each card was sequentially #'d and although they still lacked a decent autograph area the hobby didn't seem to care. These cards were extremely sought after because, well, they were the only autograph cards you could get at that time.
The 1996 release was the first where Proline dropped the "Live" moniker, (Technically the '96 and '97 releases don't belong here, but I figured, what the hell), Proline dropped the # of cards in this set significantly in 1996. The base set dropped to 350 and the # of insert sets dropped to 6. The
1994 Pro-Line Live: “Sam Mills” Autograph #93
1996 Pro-Line: “Blaine Bishop” Autograph #5
autograph set was still the attention getter for Proline, (See the 1996 Proline: "Blaine Bishop" Autograph #5 right). And although Proline had the market cornered on autographs, 1996 was the first year Game-Used memorabilia hit the market, which suddenly took the spotlight off of Proline.
In '97, Proline continued with its downward spiral of decreasing card sets. The '97 set was down to 300 cards, (still significantly higher than almost anything that Pinnacle released), but a drop nonetheless. The # of insert sets only dropped by one, but the card designs didn't drop off. The cards were still above average in that regard with the autograph cards being the pinnacle of their release, (See the 1997 Proline: "Koy Detmer" #Un-Numbered left). The '97 set had a very nice
autograph area for signatures which was a first for Proline. The cards in the '97 set weren't stamped unless they were included in a "Score Board" release, which was indicated by an "SB" stamp.
In closing, the "Proline: Live" title wasn't one of the best titles and it isn't neccesarily a title I would recommend. However, with that being said, it was the end-all be-all title for autographs for a good 4 years so that is saying something. By 1997, several other card companies had autograph sets themselves so Proline wasn't the only option and as a result the Proline mystique was gone.
I have complete sets:
Pro-Line Live Series:
1) 1993 Pro-Line Live Set
A) Autograph Insert
B) Future Stars Insert
C) Draft Day Insert
2) 1994 Pro-Line Live Set
A) Spotlight Insert
B) Autograph Insert
3) 1995 Pro-Line Live Set - Do Not Have
A) Pogs Insert
B) Pro Bowl Insert
C) Autographs Insert
D) Field Generals Insert
E) Game Breakers Insert
F) Grand Gainers Insert
G) MVP Redemption insert
H) Images Previews Insert
I) Phone Cards $1.00 Insert
J) Game of the Week Insert
4) 1996 Pro-Line Live Set
A) Rivalries Insert
B) Autograph Insert
C) Autograph Gold Insert - Incomplete ( 47 / 74 )
D) Touchdown Performers Insert
5) 1997 Pro-Line Set
A) Autograph Insert - Incomplete ( 56 / 58 )*
B) Autographs Emerald Insert**
C) Rivalries Insert
D) Brett Favre Insert
E) Board Members Insert
*Note: Beckett lists this set as 56, but 58 includes the unlisted Yatil Green Auto and the unlisted and unsigned Eddie George Auto.
**Note: Beckett lists this set as 43, but 45 includes the unlisted Koy Detmer and Troy Davis Autos.