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Mailday Flairicana!

With a title like that, I suppose you’d assume that I acquired a Ric Flair autograph from Donruss Americana but that isn’t the case. However, I did acquire my first-ever autograph from the Americana line, a Private Signings card of John C. McGinley numbered to 50.

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McGinley, a veteran of film, TV, and Broadway has been one of my favorite actors for a long time. He has appeared in tons of films such as Platoon, Wall Street, Se7en, The Rock, and Office Space but younger fans would immediately recognize him as Dr. Perry Cox from the hit show, Scrubs. Check out Mr. McGinley’s impressive resume at the IMDb.

The second part of this mailday features a pair of cards from a set I’ve been chasing for well over a year (closer to two actually). Those that have been paying attention to this blog know what I’m talking about…

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With only 250 possible sets available, completing the Row 0 set from 1998 Flair Showcase has certainly been quite the challenge! With the acquisitions of two of the higher-tiered cards: Nomar Garciaparra (126/250) and Scott Rolen (184/250), I am now only three cards away from completion.

The three that I am missing are Mark McGwire, Frank Thomas, and Livan Hernandez.

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Five Down, Five to Go!

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My quest to complete the Row 0 set of 1998 Flair Showcase has almost come to an end. As I mentioned in the last post, I was sitting on 110 of the 120 Row 0 cards. With the most recent mailday, the wantlist was cut in half from ten to just five. The final five (/250) missing from my set are:

Frank Thomas
Nomar Garciaparra
Mark McGwire
Livan Hernandez
Scott Rolen

Unfortunately, the Rolen just ended on eBay a few days ago and I missed out on it. If anyone knows where I can find any of these, please let me know!

Thanks again for hooking me up John!

Another Flair Showcase Mailday!

Like I previously mentioned here, I’ve been working on the Row 0 set from 1998 Flair Showcase (for over a year now) and the one man who has helped my set progress more than anyone has been a collector by the name of John Walsh. Once again, John has hooked me up with quite a few of the toughies from the set. For those that don’t know, there are only 250 possible Row 0 sets! I described the fracturing of the set/print runs in this earlier post. The cards I received this time were:

10. Chipper Jones
12. Todd Helton
14. Derek Jeter
17. Mike Piazza
19. Tony Gwynn
24. Mo Vaughn
38. Jeff Bagwell
59. Hideo Nomo

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All of these cards are serially numbered to 250 with the exception of the Jeff Bagwell and Hideo Nomo cards, which are numbered to 500. I’m very happy to get these cards off the wantlist, especially the Hideo Nomo (we all know how much rare old inserts of him can go for)! I am now at 110 Row 0 cards, just 10 away from the set! Thanks again John!

John Walsh is my hero! (BIG Flair Mailday)

No, I was not referring to the man of America’s Most Wanted fame (though he rocks too), but rather a collector who has got to have the sickest Flair Showcase collection on the planet. Several weeks ago, John came across my site and this post in particular about a box of 1998 Flair Showcase I had busted. When I had told him that I was working on the Row 0 set for that year, he hooked me up BIG TIME. We agreed to a trade that would send FOURTEEN different Row 0 cards my way, all of which are numbered to 500 or less, and getting very difficult to find! With these acquisitions, I now have 102 of the 120 Row 0 cards, for 85%. A HUGE thank you once again to John! Here are the scans from today’s package:
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1998 Flair Showcase Baseball Box #2

Well folks, I apologize for the lack of new content recently, but things have been crazy around here. The good news is that I will have plenty of new reviews up in the near future. The bad news is that the boxes are taking a long time to get here! They’ll be worth the wait though. One of them, will not a be a box, but rather a vintage pack that A Pack a Day fans will appreciate. Until then, here’s a Flair Showcase box break to hold you over. If you didn’t know, 1998 Flair Showcase was my very first review on this site. One thing I failed to mention then was that I had broken another box of Showcase, just prior to that post. Ironically, this box was busted before that one in my debut post (this was before I even started this blog) so technically this should be box number 1 and that other should be box number 2. Eh, screw it, here’s what was pulled….(Check the original post for in-depth descriptions)

Row 3: This box yielded 73 Row 3 cards, with 2 dupes. The other box had 78 cards with 1 dupe. I should be close to finishing this set, but the last 30 cards are slightly shortprinted. I still have to figure out how many of these exactly I need. I got lazy, sue me.

Row 2: I pulled 30 of the Row 2 cards, which was 1 more than I had in the other box. Some of my notable names included Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones, Manny Ramirez, Paul Molitor, Jim Thome, and Curt Schilling. I doubt I will try for this set so if anyone is looking for a certain team, I’ll gladly search for you.

Row 1: There were 10 Row 1 cards in this box, again 1 more than the other box. The notable players here included Sammy Sosa, Fred McGriff, Jay Buhner, and Robin Ventura. Again, there are all available if anyone needs them.

Row 0: In both boxes, I was able to pull 3 Row 0 cards, all in different tiers. As a reminder, the Row 0 set breaks down like this:
Cards 1-30: 250 produced
Cards 31-60: 500 produced
Cards 61-90: 1000 produced
Cards 91-120: 2000 produced
This particular box yielded cards of Mike Lieberthal (/2000), John Smoltz (/1000), and the big hit: Cal Ripken, Jr! (/250). I have been quietly attempting to put this set together since around the time of last year’s World Series. I currently have 84 of the 120-card set, with 3 very key pieces incoming. I had never even seen a Ripken until I pulled it out of this box, so that hit made it really worthwhile to me!

Wave of the Future (1:20 packs): It was Eli Marrero. Enough said.

What WASN’T Pulled: Neither box contained a Legacy Collection parallel, Masterpiece parallel, or Perfect 10 card. The Perfect 10 cards are limited to 10 (with only 10 cards in the set) and as you probably know, the Masterpieces are all 1/1’s, so it’s not surprising I didn’t pull any of these in my boxes. However, neither one contained a Legacy Collection parallel, which was a little bit of a surprise to me. There are no stated odds on these, except for the fact that they’re limited to 100. I figure these probably fall in every other box or so, given the production totals compared to the 1997 version.

Final Thoughts: This is a fairly difficult box to obtain, and can be pretty pricey. I’ve seen a couple of these in ebay stores for close to $100, but was able to pick these up for about half of that. The cards are absolutely beautiful, but the fracturing of the set may drive some collectors insane. Personally, I’ve always liked it, but that’s just me. For those that enjoy chasing tiers of super-premium base cards (i.e. Gold Label), this set is for you. I would definitely recommend trying a box of these, but not necessarily for the prices I saw in the stores on the ‘Bay. There are some bargains out there on this box (trust me!), just keep your eyes peeled! Also, if you have any of the Row 0 cards numbered to 500 or less, LET ME KNOW!

As always, thanks for reading and good luck with your breaks, new or old!
-John