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Ionix Box Break (Box 2)

After a so-so first box, I found this box the day after via Auction on eBay.  Now the story on this box is interesting to start off with.  In the listing, which was listed as “1999 Ionix Baseball Cards”, the picture was of an unsealed box…this typically isn’t a good sign.  But I won it for $17 with free shipping.  Already I’m thinking this is too good to be true.  This box did take an extra 6 days to arrive in Sitka…yep the mail here can be unpredictable.

After opening the package the packs are practically falling out of the box, but all 20 of them were sealed!  At this point, I’d be happy with 20 packs of base a Techno SP’s to help me with the set I’m building.  However, today I had a pleasant surprise halfway through the box.  Let’s see what all this box had to offer:

Price: $17 (Best deal of all time?) 20 packs with 4 cards per pack

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Base: 70 with close to the same # of duplicates

This is to be expected with such a small base set (60).  But the card I talked about in my last blog post was waiting on the back of one of the first few packs 🙂

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It’s sure fun to pull a card I have fond memories of finding when I opened my first packs of Ionix in 99.  Still can’t believe I got 2 packs for $10 but I still remember trading in a super rave insert from 99 Thunder for it of a no name pitcher.

Techno (1:4 Packs)

Just like the last box, there were 5 within the 20 packs.  In this box was Manny Ramirez, Nomar Garciaparra, Chipper Jones, Tony Gwynn, and  Juan Gonzalez.  What’s even better is I need all of these for the complete 90 card set.

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Hyper (1:9 Packs)

In the last box there was only one of these, but in this box, as stated on the box in Ant-Man size font, there were 2 in this box. Can’t beat two Hall of Fame players 😉

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Nitro (1:18 Packs)

The first surprise of this box was getting an extra insert.  While these aren’t the most desirable looking inserts, I’ll always take an extra one to help with the set.

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Not sure what is going on in Piazza’s card, but I’m guessing he either just struck out, or popped on straight up to the first baseman.

At this point you know what three inserts are left…see if you can remember which one I said was the best looking insert in Ionix.

 

Warp Zone (1:216 Packs)

I was sure excited to see the back of this card when I opened the pack!  I quickly found a sleeve and toploader.  This set shouldn’t be too tough to put together minus the Jeter and Griffey.  But man, they sure do look nice!

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What wasn’t pulled:

Base Reciprocal ( #d to 750)

Cyber (1:53 Packs)

Techno Reciprocal (#d to 100)

HoloGrFx (1:1500 Packs)

Update: In my everlasting search for an Alex Rodriguez of this, I’ve only spoken to one person who has one.  He is holding onto it so I’m still searching hard for one.  However, I did just purchase a Techno Reciprocal of A-Rod that I will “show off” when it arrives 🙂

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: B

Still a lot of dupes, but not nearly as often or as many.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to put my base set of 60 together now and I received 5 new Techno SP’s.

Condition: A-

I feel like this is an awesome grade considering the box was sitting open in someone’s shop for 16 years.  Only one card was dinged but I got a duplicate of it in perfect condition.

Pulls: A-

It is my hope to one day post an A+ with a box of Ionix but I don’t think it can get much better than this, especially with the history this box had.  I’m still excited about pulling a Warp Zone from a pack!

Value: B

I don’t see a reason to change this grade as I’m guessing some of you use this grade to help you decide what old school boxes to buy (other than Ionix since you’re saving them for me, right?). Hopefully you don’t buy any 90’s boxes with the hopes of reselling anything. That’s just a bonus at this time period.

Thanks for the read, and stay tuned for box 3 as it’s currently in Kent, and could be here tomorrow or Friday!

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Old School Hits: 2001 UD Sweet Spot Signatures

sweetspotEven though the concept of the autographed card on ball material didn’t originate with Upper Deck, one can say they certainly took the idea to heights that made them very popular with collectors. Today, we’ll look back at what turned out to be a pretty groundbreaking insert, the original Sweet Spot Signatures set.

Each box of 2001 Upper Deck Sweet Spot consisted of 18 packs and each box guaranteed to land a game-used jersey card, one game-used bat card, and either a game-used base card or a Sweet Spot Signature card in addition to a special cross-brand Joe DiMaggio box topper pack. This Paul O’Neill card has been one of my favorites in my personal collection for years and luckily for me, the ink on this card has managed to hold its own, which is more than you can say about some of some the cards produced in the years that followed. This card is one of 53 in the set and other subjects include Ken Griffey, Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Nolan Ryan, Stan Musial, and even cut ball cards of Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, and BABE RUTH!

Boxes of 2001 UD Sweet Spot are pretty difficult to find and when they surface, they can rarely be found for under $200 so keep in mind before you make a purchase, that your big box hit may be of Mike Lamb.

1996 SPx Baseball Review (John is BACK!)

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

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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.

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old 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!


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ound 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.

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Ken Griffey, Jr. Commemorative  Card #KG1 (1:75 packs)

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Mike Piazza Commemorative Card #MP1 (1:95 packs)

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: A+

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. 🙂

Condition: B

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.

Pulls: A-

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.

Value: B+

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-

(UD) Retro Mailday: Eddie Mathews

Alright, so maybe a single-card acquisition shouldn’t be labeled as a “mailday,” but this new addition to my autograph PC surely deserves its own post!

The card on the right is a Sign of the Times autograph of Eddie Mathews. This card was just one of thirty different autographs that could be found in packs of 1998 Upper Deck Retro. Inserted at a rate of 1 in 36, the print run on these cards ranged from 100 to 1000 and while none of the cards are serially numbered, this Mathews is limited to 600.

The remainder of the checklist is pretty loaded. Some of the names include:

Al Kaline, Bob Gibson, Brooks Robinson, Carlton Fisk, Ernie Banks, Kirby Puckett, Lou Brock, Nolan Ryan, Tony Gwynn, Tom Seaver, Willie Stargell, Willie McCovey, Warren Spahn, Yogi Berra, and the rarest of them all: Ken Griffey, Jr.

Mathews signed his share of autographs for card companies before he died in 2001. If anyone’s looking to track one down, some sets to consider include 1999 SP Signature, 1999 and 2000 Greats of the Game, 1999 UD Century Legends Epic Signatures, and 1998 Donruss Signature Significant Signatures. None of those should run over the $40-50 mark (unless you’re looking at BIN store prices). In any case, those autographs are twice as cheap but yet twice as attractive as any cut signature of Mathews I’ve seen, and that’s a shame.

OSGB2: Box 1: 2002 Topps Gold Label

Alright guys, here we go! It’s time to reveal the results of our group break (hope the holidays treated everyone well, BTW)! Before I show off the goods, I have to remind/inform everyone of a few things:

1. I will be on vacation (and out of the country), just over a week from now. I’m desperately trying to finish our break and get the cards mailed out before I go.
2. To follow up on the last post, I have decided to go with 2003 Fleer Rookies and Greats (3 hits/5 #d rookies, lots of good stuff per box) as our replacement for the 2002 Bowman’s Best box that no one seems to have, at least at a reasonable price.
3. The other 7 boxes arrived yesterday and after lengthy fighting with my stupid camera, I was never able to record the breaks so I did them off camera. I want to assure everyone that all inserts, parallels, and hits pulled will be scanned and mailed out (except for the Donruss WS Blues which will be mailed but not scanned).
4. I will reveal the results of our break 2 boxes at a time (suspense!). Check back every evening to see how your teams did.

First up, the results of 4 bonus packs of 2009 UD Series 1, courtesy of Dave and Adam’s.


’75 OPC Matt Kemp (Dodgers – Night Owl)
’75 OPC Joba Chamberlain (Yankees – Chuck)
Stars of the Game David Wright (Mets – Joe M.)
Rivals Roy Halladay/Joba Chamberlain (Blue Jays/Yankees – Captain Canuck has the Jays, but I really doubt he’d want Joba in his mailbox so….this goes to Chuck?)
Rivals Jim Thome/Justin Morneau (White Sox/Twins – Lonestarr)
Documentary #4941 (Phillies – Dan)
20th Anniversary Inserts Bill Clinton, Voyager 1 (EDIT: Claimed by Peterson)

Now for the good stuff, the Gold Label!


Gold Al Leiter 069/500 (Mets – Joe M.)
Gold Curt Schilling 479/500 (Diamondbacks – Chris Mays)
Gold J.T. Snow 387/500 (Giants – Peterson)
Platinum Steve Finley 018/250 (Diamondbacks – Chris Mays)
MLB Award Ceremony Roger Clemens uniform (Red Sox – Shoebox Legends)
MLB Award Ceremony Ryne Sandberg bat (Cubs – Shoebox Legends)