Growing up, there weren’t many sets that could compare aesthetically to Upper Deck SPX in the 90’s. Sure, they still make it, but the focus is not on the look of the cards more than the “hits” you get from each box. This is why some of us prefer to open old school products right? Now John had already opened a box of this years ago, and I had no expectations of finding anything close to his Bonds Game Used/Auto that came out of there. Here is a link to his break: https://oldschoolbreaks.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/2000-spx-baseball-review-huge-pull/
This box came in at $45 on eBay as a second chance offer which was pretty cool. The seller even said if I wanted to pick up another box at the same price they would do that as they have 10 more…don’t tempt me 🙂 Inside were 20 packs with 4 cards in each pack.
Here’s a breakdown of what goodies were inside box #2 on this blog:
Base 70/100 with No Duplicates!
Now that’s something I could get used to! The base are on thicker card stock and the glossy feel and look to them, makes this one of the better SPX base sets produced.
SPXcitement (1:4 packs)
These inserts actually look better the more you look at them under the lights. As I’ve mentioned before, what draws me to products is a lot of inserts, especially cards that are pleasing to the eye, even if they’re not considered high end or rare. These fit the bill! In this box there were 4. Unfortunately we came up one short of the “promised” 5.
Power Brokers (1:8 Packs)
Again, these have all sorts of reflective foil on them and feature the power hitters of the game. It’s also neat to see a horizontal insert set as they don’t show up near as often as you’d think. We ended up with 2 in this box. Sean Green may surprise you but he had decent power when he was in the majors, including a 4 homer game the same season my Mariner favorite Mike Cameron hit 4 in a single game.
Heart of the Order (1:8 Packs)
These also feature power hitters from the previous season, and are the most interesting inserts that I pulled from this box. I really like how you can see the lineup from 1999 that each player was in. I’m all about the history of the game, and seeing those lineups reminds me of the players I grew up watching. There were 2 in this box…I can feel myself getting bigger arms already haha!
Highlight Heroes (1:16 Packs)
Another horizontal insert set, these are pretty interesting cards as they have gold foil lettering and stats of the player along the top and bottom edges. The Griffey that was in this box was cut a little short and the G on .AVG isn’t all the way there. While it’s a minor detail, there’s probably a Griffey collector out there that would mind. I don’t enjoy seeing him in a Reds uniform either!
SPX Signatures (1:179 packs) WOW!!
There’s a handful of autos in this product that are less desirable than others like most of the rookie autos. While I was really hoping for a Rick Ankiel rookie auto before picking one up on ebay, I was shocked when I saw what came out of pack number 8….A Chipper Jones on-card autograph! Not only is this the best pull from a box of mine in 6+ years, but this has to be one of the best looking I’ve seen. Chipper didn’t sign a lot of cards and this one is in perfect condition. I’ve received plenty of offers on this card but I can’t let it go unless a true Chipper collector contacts me 🙂
What wasn’t pulled:
Foundations (1:32 Packs)
Untouchable Talents (1:96 packs)
SPX Radiance (#d to 100) I was really hoping to see one of these!
Other than these there’s of course one guaranteed autograph per box, but generally you’ll see one of those being a rookie autograph. There are also game used autographs, Mark McGwire autographs, and Ty Cobb bat relics.
No duplicates! Any time this is the case it will receive an A+ in my book! Can you ask for anything better when it comes to collation?
This was the only downside of this box. Because these cards have a refractor type finish to them, there were refractor lines on at least half of the base. There were also a few dinged corners because the cards were stuck together in an off-center way in the packs. One card, Craig Biggio, looked like a cat played with it in it’s claws as there were several little dots on the card.
How can you top a future Hall of Fame on card Autograph? It’d be pretty hard to do that’s for sure. Not only that, but it was in Mint condition! While the rest of the pulls weren’t anything to write home about, I did get my A-Rod base card 😉
One on card auto per box, at $45? That’s a great deal in my opinion when it comes to a 2000 box! If you like that, as well as some aesthetically pleasing base cards and inserts, then this is definitely a box to try out, you won’t be disappointed. Please keep in mind that both of the boxes we’ve reviewed for the blog aren’t “typical” boxes, but you never know, you may just get lucky like we did!
Before we all get back to the grind tomorrow, I wanted to give some of you reader’s a preview of what’s coming within the next couple of weeks! First off, hopefully you’ve had the chance to read through John’s 1996 SPX Baseball Box Break. It was one of the better boxes you’ll see of the product and may even get you looking for singles or a box online.
I opened this Blog’s second box of 2000 SPX Baseball, and it was a dandy! let’s just say a future Hall of Fame Auto was waiting in pack #6 of 18 that made me happy. Stay tuned for that review tomorrow before game 5 of The Finals.
On the way is a box of 1998 Donruss Baseball. As some of you may know, 1998 Donruss products may contain a rare Crusade insert, which are highly sought after by the 90’s collecting community. I’ve never opened a product by Donruss before so this one should be fun. Let’s just hope there’s an A-Rod base card in there 😉
Also on the way are 2 Becketts. I thought it would be fun to look back at a Beckett from 2001 and see how much some of these Old School cards were worth when they were a tad more popular before Jersey cards and Autographs became the staple of card collecting.
Lastly, a seller in Canada was selling a large amount of Old School boxes and I was able to score 3 boxes at a cheaper price than any store online (1999 Ionix, 1999 Thunder, and 1999 Bowman Chrome Series 2).
So plenty coming up soon as well as a couple “Old School Hits” posts from my newly arrived Alex Rodriguez collection from comc.com. I hope everyone has a great week and as always, please let other collectors know about this blog that John has worked hard on. There’s ton of box breaks to look through and enjoy among other interesting posts!
I’ll leave you with what I spent my weekend doing…
First off, I’d just like to thank anyone who has been reading this blog though the years. The fact that my reviews still are still gaining views and comments years after they’ve been posted online (especially after a long dormancy years ago), means a lot to me. I especially want to thank Matthew for his amazing work and keeping the blog alive with new content. Since he can’t have all the fun, I decided to bust a box of 1996 SPx baseball today. Old school SPx cards are some of my all-time favorites! Anyway, I may be a little rusty at this (after it’s been SIX years since I’ve done a review) but here goes nothing!
Box Details: 36 packs per box, 1 card per pack, $30
Base set: The base set is comprised of 60 cards. Each card features features a small action shot of the player as well as a close-up and second action shot using holoview technology. The perimeter of each card features a die-cut design and a special color corresponding to the player’s team. In this box I received 29 base cards, completing 48.3% of the set in the process. I did not receive a single duplicate.
Gold Parallel (60 cards, 1:7 packs): Derek Jeter, Wade Boggs, Ron Gant, Jason Kendall, Rey Ordoñez
It was somewhat strange pulling cards 42, 43, 44, 46, and 47 for my gold parallels but I was very stoked to find that Jeter!
Bound for Glory (10 cards, 1:24 packs): Manny Ramirez
This set features some of the game’s best of the mid ’90s but it doesn’t differ very much from the base set.
Like I stated earlier, I received no duplicates in this box. Those that were paying close attention may have noticed that I actually received an extra card in this box. One pack had two base cards instead of one and brought my total to 37 instead of 36. 🙂
I was a little worried that between all the die-cut edges and foil that I could end up with several damaged cards but this box was actually relatively kind! Aside from some damage on the back edge of one of my base cards and a severe centering issue on another, the cards were in excellent shape.
I really can’t complain here. I received both Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza commemorative cards as well the one gold parallel I wanted more than any other in Jeter. I was also happy to get a second Yankee gold parallel in Boggs. A different Bound for Glory insert would’ve been nice but I still can’t complain. Realistically, I did about as well as I could without pulling one of the very rare autographed Commemorative cards, both of which are seeded 1:2000 packs.
This was a very fun break for the price of about $34 after shipping. Many other sellers online are asking for anywhere between $45-65 not including shipping. You will get a pretty decent starter set for a very attractive product as well as a few cool inserts and parallels. If you are really fortunate, you can pull a great early certified autograph of a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2016.
For a complete checklist of this product, click here.
Overall Grade: A-
So I ordered 3 different boxes to break and review and to be completely honest with everyone, the 98 Gold Label retail, and 98 Upper Deck retro weren’t anything to write home about. If you would still like a review of either or both, please leave a comment for me down below. I’m super excited to have a lunchbox to take with me to my Elementary classroom with Griffey Jr. on it though 🙂 Now on the break that impressed me the most!
I do want to mention that a scanner will be in hand within a day or two, so please bare with the iPhone pictures for now.
36 packs per box – 6 cards per pack
Pacific is famous for their inserts and numbered parallels, which I also enjoy finding in packs from the 90’s. This box didn’t disappoint in low odd inserts and surprises!
The base set consists of 250 players and you get at the least 4 of them out of the 6 cards per pack. I have close to the base set, however two of the players I always want to see come out of breaks (Alex Rodriguez & Ken Griffey Jr.) didn’t show up in this one! The cards themselves have a very simplistic look to them but any foil lovers with like the gold foil names. The color of the foil also eludes to the base or parallel set it belongs to.
Copper Parallel- Hobby Only (1 per pack)
I received 36 of these as expected. Nothing too different here other than the lettering.
Team Checklists (2:37 packs)
Despite some strange odds which all Pacific products are known for, we beat the odds here with 2; them being Brad Radke and Ben Grieve. I can’t remember the last product that had checklists as inserts but in this case they turned out to be decent looking cards. More gold foil 😉
Holographic Silver Parallel (#d to 99)
Now this parallel set really stands out with the silver foil and gold Holo Silver stamped. Andy Benes came from this box. If I ever see an Alex Rodriguez like this I will surely jump at the chance to pick it up!
Personal Bests (1:37 packs)
If you haven’t picked up on the common theme of foil being the catch to this set then you can probably guess what’s coming on this next insert. There’s a nice combination of foil and a vanilla background to make these inserts stand out. I was pleasantly surprised to see Derek Jeter! I tried touching this one up to make that foil pop and I think it turned out nicely.
Fielder’s Choice Laser Cuts (1:73 packs)
I’m a really big fan of these inserts. Pacific made them for 3 years (1998-2000) and they are each similar in the design. Another popular look with Pacific’s inserts is the laser-cut technology. While they weren’t the most sought after brand, they do boast some of the most uniquely designed inserts on the 90’s insert market. Stay tuned for some examples coming up later this week 🙂 We were lucky enough to find one of these in this box of Mark McGwire, my dad’s favorite player growing up.
Opening Day Issue Cards (1 per box)
Although this last parallel is guaranteed at one per box, I couldn’t have been happier with the player one the front of the card. This came within the first few packs so the rest of the break was a cherry on the sundae for sure!
There’s quite a few Thomas collectors out there so hopefully this will be able to add to their collection!
What wasn’t pulled –
Platinum Blue Parallel (1:73 Packs)
These are blue foil variations of the base cards. Was hoping to catch a glimpse of one but perhaps one will show up in a second box someday.
Cooperstown Bound (1:361 packs)
These inserts look like this Ripken here. Typically when you think of an insert coming in at these odds, you are looking for something that stands out a bit more. I don’t have a Rodriguez like this coming yet, but I will once I get around to placing an order of strictly Pacific inserts of his. If it’s worth it I’ll post a follow up.
Pacific Proofs (#d to only 20)
There are no pictures of these on eBay I could find. Imagine what finding one of these would feel like.
I only received a few duplicates which took the place of Griffey and Alex Rodriguez lol. Other than that I’m only 20 cards or less from the base set.
All the corners were sharp and the glossy finish of the cards is like they were the day they were packaged.
A Jeter insert of any kind is fantastic! That, coupled with a Thomas that is very desirable among 90’s collectors, and the die-cut make the pulls the best to date since I’ve broken 90’s boxes.
For a $29 box I’d say that we did pretty darn good here! However, I’m pretty sure that this box could have had little to no value in it had that parallel not been of a highly desired player. Let’s say it was Royce Clayton (sorry Royce), then there would have been 3 boxes of base + a few low end inserts from today. If you like chasing parallels and want to put a base set together with a box or two, then this cheaper Pacific product is for you. Just don’t expect much going in and you’ll enjoy the break like I did.
Overall Grade: B+
First off I’d like to say thank you to anyone that stops by to check out my box breaks here! The more people that stop by and leave a comment or two, the more I’ll be motivated to really put in the time and effort to keep this blog up and running on multiple posts per week basis. Let’s get on to the results of my first box break review in 4 years shall we?
1999 Ultra came in 24 pack hobby boxes with 10 cards per pack. I paid $39 for this box. When I was a kid, Fleer Ultra was a favorite because of their photography and card design. I opened plenty of ultra retail back in the day, but if you can believe it, this is my first hobby box of Fleer Ultra.
The basics: 250 base card set with 25 prospects that fall 1:4 packs, and 10 season crowns that fall 1:8 packs. One thing that stood out immediately is the collation! I haven’t checked to see if I have the complete base set but I didn’t receive ONE duplicate. For any set builder, this is perfect!
Here is a shot of the base, rookies, and season crowns:
Something I love about the backs on these cards is that on the bottom, they compare the players career stats with a retired player of similar capabilities. It was neat to see how some of the greats of the 90’s stacked up with greats from the late 70’s and 80’s!
You also were guaranteed one gold medallion per pack. I received 24 of them, 23 being from the base set, and one being the rookie shown above!
Now on to the inserts that were pulled
The Book On… (1:6 packs): Travis Lee, Mark McGwire, Cal Ripken Jr., and Jeff Bagwell
These are raised a bit and have a good, clean look to them. The information on the back talks about their strengths as a player.
World Premiere (1:18 packs) Miguel Tejada & Matt Anderson
These are shiny and are also raised up a bit. I remember having the Tejeda as a kid so the nostalgia really kicked in when this came out of the pack.
Gold Medallion Prospects (1:40 packs) Josh Booty
This was the rarest card to come out of the box. Like you, I giggled slightly when I saw the name. Another reason collecting in the 90’s is fun, is because you wonder who in the heck some of these guys are. Welcome to our first “Who?!” section ladies and gents!
Josh Booty not only played Major League Baseball, but he was also an NFL Quarterback for my Seattle Seahawks. He never played in a professional game in 3 years. He made 3 brief appearances for the Florida Marlins, with a .269 average and 4 RBI. Many years later, he won a reality tv series called The Next Knuckler and was signed by the Red Sox. Unfortunately that didn’t work out for him, as he was later arrested for a DUI.
What wasn’t pulled:
Thunderclap (1:36 packs)
Damage Inc (1:72 packs)
Season Crown Gold Medallion (1:80 packs)
Diamond Producers (1:288 packs)
These are one of the best looking inserts Ultra has made since the 1995 Hitting Machines. Each pack I opened, I looked for that clear insert in the middle of the cards. No luck today. Here’s the Rodriguez I have:
Platinum Medallion #d to 99
I was really hoping to find one of these as they really stand out with their lettering.
Masterpiece Edition #1 of 1
No duplicates?! Yes please! A good friend of mine teaches 2nd grade across the hall from me and I will be taking these in for his son to sort out after we open the 98 Upper Deck retro box that’s on the way. It’d be great to have the complete base set and put it together.
Condition: B +
90% of these card were in mint condition. A few of them had fading colors on one half. A few also had some chipping going on. Even those these card came stuck together, their surfaces were surprisingly still glossy! Think about it, this box has been sitting sealed for 17 years until today!
I won’t ever go into a box break hoping that something amazing will come out. Like the majority of collectors now, I don’t expect to make a cent back on any boxes I break for this blog. Once in a blue moon something spectacular may come out, but I’ll always go in with the expectations of enjoying myself and hoping to relive those childhood memories of collecting.
Being able to put the complete base set together is always a plus for me! If you love sharp photography and some really neat statistics and info on players then you’ll enjoy this box as much as I did. Even the chance of a Platinum coming out makes this box even more exciting to break. At $39 I probably won’t grab another unless I find one for under $30. The lack of big time hits hurts this box’s grade but if finding those inserts isn’t a big deal to you, then I’d say pick one of these up sometime!
Thanks for the read. Stay tuned on Wednesday for a review of 1998 UD Retro, followed by 99 Gold label retail, and 99 Pacific Paramount.
Overall Grade: B-