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!
#210 Johan Santana
#9 Ryan Theriot
#290 Cat Osterman
#164 Erik Bedard
#212 Mariel Zagunis
Code Card #288 Joe Saunders (+2)
Black Bordered Mini #276 Michael Phelps (+3)
National Pride #NP28 Melvin Mora
#227 Nelson Cruz
#207 Jack Cust
#12 Jermaine Dye
#53 Clayton Kershaw (+2)
#19 Mike Pelfrey
#342 Sitting Bull SP (+5)
Mini #15 Alfred Nobel (again!)
National Pride #NP31 Grady Sizemore (+4)
#113 Rafael Furcal
#187 Brett Myers
#104 Jeff Francoeur
#208 Michael Young
#AGR-CJ Chipper Jones Jersey (+40: 8 pt. relic with 5x multiplier for Favorite List, thanks Dayf!)
World’s Biggest Hoaxes, etc. #HHB9 San Serriffe (+5)
National Pride #NP30 Jose Contreras
Total: 45. Woohoo!
#94 Paul Maholm
#121 Ryan Church
#153 C.C. Sabathia (-1)
#130 Johnny Damon (-1) Come on! Two in a row?!?
#95 David Patton
#318 Delmon Young SP (+5)
Mini SP #316 Rick Porcello (+7)
National Pride #NP29 Alfonso Soriano
Running Box Total: 186
As you can probably tell, I haven’t had much time to update this thing recently. Rather than bore you with details about that, let’s get right into the next box break, which happens to be of Pinnacle’s flagship brand of 1997. You know what that means….dufex!!
Box Details: 24 packs per box, 10 cards per pack, $15
Base set: The base set is comprised of 200 cards: 185 regular cards, 12 Clout subset cards, and 3 checklists. I pulled a complete set in this box with 34 duplicates. Each base card features a gold foil nameplate which sits atop an area filled with names associated with the player’s home city. Take for example, Todd Hollandsworth (LA), whose card contains the names “Hollywood, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, The Lakers, Vin Scully, Chavez Ravine, La Brea Tar Pits” and so on.
Before I go on, I want to put the spotlight on a couple of particular base cards that for some reason made me think of the gals at Dinged Corners. They just seem like cards that would be featured in posts there. Maybe it’s just me. Anyway, here they are:
The first is a classic bubblegum shot of Jeff Cirillo while the other is a very sweet card featuring Scott Brosius and his daughter. This card happens to be Mr. Brosius’ personal favorite.
Museum Collection (1:9 packs): Inserted at roughly three per box are the dufex-laden Museum Collection cards, which mirror the entire set. My pulls were of Brett Butler, Mark Thompson, and Frank Rodriguez. I didn’t exactly get any big stars here, but I suppose I could save the Butler for Mr. Owl.
Shades (10 cards, 1:23 packs): If you’ve ever wanted an extreme close-up of your favorite player’s facial hair, this insert is for you. Inserted at a rate of one per box, these cards are die-cut at the top and feature smaller pictures of the player in the lenses of the glasses. I pulled a Mike Piazza. I’ll be honest. I find these inserts to be downright weird.
Passport to the Majors (25 cards, 1:36 packs): The Passport to the Majors inserts are truly unique. These inserts fold out like a real passport and feature players from the USA, Japan, Korea, Dominican Republic, and Canada among other places. My pull was of Chipper Jones. Interestingly enough, this theme was later used by Topps as a game-used set in 2002 Stadium Club. Check out the inside of this insert!
Collation: A. I can’t complain with completing a base set with one box. The other inserts also delivered as promised.
Condition: D. Despite the fact that I did complete the base set, a number of cards had deteriorating foil on the front. For example, look at the nameplate of the Jeff Cirillo card above. In some cases, the damage was even worse!
Pulls: B. The Piazza and Chipper were cool, but it would’ve been nice to hit some better Museum cards. Plus, I had to take points away for the fact that I pulled Chipper in the first place. Just kidding….
Value: B. For $15, one could expect to complete a base set and pull about five or six inserts/parallels. I know the base set looks a bit crappy, but it was still a fun little box to open.
Final Grade: C. The condition factor dropped this box’s grade to a C overall. I could’ve possibly given the box a C+, but damaged cards (even if they’re just base) are a huge, HUGE peeve of mine. Just my opinion.