Here’s a video of a box break of 2001 Fleer Genuine I did a short while ago. I will post scans and my thoughts sometime Thursday. Just so you know, the game-used card is unavailable. And yes, I am aware of the screwy audio at the end.
Inserted at a rate of 1 in 40 packs, the Fresh Ink set from 2000 Fleer Mystique featured a bevy of star autographs which included the likes of Tony Gwynn, Andruw Jones, Will Clark, Mike Mussina, Lance Berkman, Carlos Delgado, Magglio Ordonez, and Cal Ripken, Jr. This set is significant as it included the first-ever certified autograph of Hideo Nomo, who was with the Detroit Tigers at the time. Needless to say, that card regularly sold for hundreds when it appeared online.
I pulled one of these autographs a while back but obviously, I pulled the wrong Tiger. Boxes of 2000 Fleer Mystique can be found online for approximately $40-45. In each box, collectors not only have a chance at pulling one of the 47 Fresh Ink autographs, not to mention Feel the Game and 3000 Club memorabilia cards as well.
Randomly inserted into packs of 1999 Fleer Mystique was one of the earliest game-used sets to hit the hobby known as Feel the Game. The checklist was small but potent (for the time) and featured a mixture of established stars and the hottest newcomers. These cards were great for a variety of reasons. First, jersey swatches were considerable bigger than the tiny ones we’ve been accustomed to with game-used. Secondly, there a mixture of not only jersey pieces but batting gloves and in this particular case, a shoe! These made for some great looking pieces. See for yourself! Third, a picture of the actual item from which the swatch was taken was placed on the back of each card.
Here is the complete Feel the Game checklist, print runs included:
1. Adrian Beltre – Shoe – /430
2. J.D. Drew – Jersey – /450
3. Juan Gonzalez – Batting Glove – /415
4. Tony Gwynn – Jersey – /435
5. Kevin Millwood – Jersey – /435
6. Alex Rodriguez – Batting Glove – /345
7. Frank Thomas – Jersey – /450
A full review of 1999 Fleer Mystique can be found here.
As promised, here’s a box break/review of 1999 Flair Showcase! In case you didn’t already know, pre-2000 Flair are some of my favorite sets ever. Just look at the scans below. They are beauties! For past Flair box breaks (’98), click here and here. Anyway, let’s see what my first box of ’99 brought me…
Box Details: 24 packs per box, 5 cards per pack, $45
From: Baseball Card Exchange
Base set: 1999 marked the last time that the Flair Showcase set was fractured. In this case, 144 players each had three cards each, Rows 1, 2, and 3. The scan above depicts cards from Row 3, the most common of the bunch. In this box, I pulled 71 Row 3 cards without duplicates.
Row 2: The Row 2 cards came at a rate better than one per pack. In 1999, the look for these cards was tweaked a bit from those of previous years as the players no longer had their distant background images but rather a small action shot placed under a giant model of their uniform number. The number concept might seem a bit tacky, but the cards are beautiful regardless. I pulled 40 different Row 2 cards in this box. Some of the notables included Mark McGwire, Cal Ripken, Jr., Vladimir Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, and Mike Mussina.
Row 1: Much like the Row 0 cards were all serially numbered in 1998, the Row 1 cards are all serially numbered according to where they fell in the set. Here’s the breakdown:
Cards 1-48 (numbered to 1,500)
Cards 49-96 (numbered to 3,000)
Cards 97-144 (numbered to 6,000)
Altogether, I pulled 9 Row 1 cards:
#9 Tony Gwynn (0110/1500)
#16 Darin Erstad (1241/1500)
#69 Gary Sheffield (0914/3000)
#73 Bartolo Colon (0966/3000)
#83 Livan Hernandez 0674/3000)
#108 Mike Mussina (4431/6000)
#134 Reggie Sanders (4316/6000)
#136 Charles Johnson (4194/6000)
#139 Matt Williams (3038/6000)
Legacy Collection (/99): The low-numbered, blue-foiled Flair parallel known as the Legacy Collection returned in 1999 and mirrored all three Rows with a print run of 99 each. I was unable to pull a Legacy card in two boxes of 1998 Flair but I was able to hit one here in Andres Galarraga (63/99).
Wave of the Future (/1000): A staple of the Flair Showcase line, this year’s Wave of the Future inserts returned with a special technology later used in Fleer’s E-Xceptional inserts. I pulled an insert of Troy Glaus (0979/1000). Ben Grieve, Travis Lee, Todd Helton, Eric Chavez, and Ricky Ledee are among the others featured in this set.
This box didn’t contain a single duplicate and I actually got two more cards than I was supposed to (122).
While the base cards were relatively unharmed, the inserts had some serious issues. Some Row 1 cards suffered from serious peeling around the edges on the back. Also, check out the faded foil on the Legacy logo on the Galarraga card. This was a bit disappointing.
The pulls earn a solid ‘B’ thanks in part to the Legacy card. From past experiences, I know that these aren’t guaranteed pulls. Overall, the star power in this box was above average.
The asking price of these boxes are regularly in the $55-60+ range. At $45 (again for those that will ask, I don’t include the shipping in the prices I list because I often buy boxes in bunches and don’t calculate how much I spent on each), the box is worth it for the slick look of the cards alone. Throw in some awesome inserts and hard to find parallels (including possible 1/1’s) and this box is a winner, assuming several of your inserts don’t get damaged.
Overall Grade: B
As I previously mentioned long ago on APTBNL, I busted a box of 1999 Fleer Brilliants. It’s been a while since I’ve done a box review so let’s get right into it…
Box Details: 24 packs per box, 5 cards per pack, $22
From: Baseball Card Exchange
Base set: The base set is comprised of 175 cards, the last 50 of which are shortprinted rookies seeded 1 in every 2 packs on average. I pulled 92 short set cards and 12 shortprints for 104 total cards (59%). There were zero duplicates!
Brilliant Blue (Regular 1:3 packs, SP 1:6 packs): There are three parallels that mirror the entire set, the most common being the Blue parallel. Blues of cards 1-125 are found in every third pack on average while blue rookies are found in every sixth pack on average. In this box, I pulled eight regular blues including Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, and Rafael Palmeiro. I also pulled four blue rookies, the most notable being Freddy Garcia.
Brilliants Gold (numbered to 99): The second parallel I pulled from this box was the Brilliant Gold parallel. Each of these cards is numbered to just 99 copies, features a golden background and holofoil (as opposed to bronze) on the front nameplate. I pulled a Gold of Shane Reynolds, numbered 20 of 99.
I was unable to pull a card of the third parallel in this product, known as 24-Karat Gold. These cards look similar to the Gold card in the scan but with a few key differences. First, the background is much more radiant with a bright gold background and mirror finish. Secondly, the front nameplate will also have a gold finish to it. Third, there’s a small “24-KT Gold” logo in the top corner. See this Barry Bonds for an example. Each 24-Karat Gold card is numbered to just 24.
Illuminators (15 cards, 1:10 packs): Seeded two per box, the Illuminators set is filled with some of the brightest young stars of a decade ago. I pulled inserts of Ben Davis and Travis Lee, both of whom are out of baseball.
Shining Stars (15 cards, 1:20 packs): Seeded one per box, the Shining Stars showcases the biggest stars in the game. My pull was of Nomar Garciaparra. This insert is accompanied by a very rare parallel called Pulsars, which are seeded at a rate of 1 in every 400 packs! Check it out.
Collation was flawless in this box. Everything delivered as promised and there wasn’t a single duplicate to be found. Can’t beat that!
The fronts of these cards look fantastic (not a bad looking set, IMO)! The backs were subject to some peeling and heavy print lines in some cases. Luckily, this wasn’t the case with enough cards to bring the grade down.
Pulling a card limited to 99 was still pretty significant around the time of this product’s release so the Brilliants Gold card was a nice surprise, even if it was a common player on a team I have no interest in. The insert pulls could’ve been better but I was satisfied with the Blue pulls. With the exception of the rookies, only one Blue parallel (out of eight) featured a player who never became an established star. Sorry Gabe Alvarez.
Seeing how this hobby box only cost me the amount of your standard blaster box, it’s hard to say anything bad about it. For just over $20, you’ll end up with a pretty sharp starter set, a dozen parallel cards and a few other inserts, some of which could be very rare.
NOTE: As far as I can tell, the site I mentioned at the top of the post is the only one that carries these boxes for this cheap. The asking price for these boxes on eBay is around the $50 mark.
Final Grade: B+