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Box Break: 1999 Ultra

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

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: A+

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!

Pulls: C+

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.

Value: B

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-