Friday, December 27, 2013

The First of the Christmas Boxes to be Opened!

As you may have seen in yesterday's blog post, I had one heckuva card haul for Christmas.  In fact, I ended up with five unopened boxes of cards (plus a few assorted packs).  This is awesome for a couple of reasons.  One, I love opening up cards (and all the boxes were sets that I'm interested in)!  Two, I now have plenty of blog fodder for the remainder of December (and most likely January into February).  This is great since this time of year is typically pretty darn slow on the card front.

So, what box did I decide to crack open first?  It actually was an easy choice - I took the box that I had the most cards from already - 1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated Baseball.

When I was a kid, I loved this set.  I loved the thicker card stock and the photos.  I loved the various subsets (it kept the base set interesting).  Heck, I even loved the one-per-pack mini posters that you got.  The only thing I didn't love was the fact that each pack only contained five cards (plus a poster)...and the price per pack.  I don't remember anymore what it cost me per pack back in 1998, but I do know that it was a lot - a lot more than I could afford (especially with the ultra cheap Upper Deck Collector's Choice box sitting right next door to the Sports Illustrated box).

This particular box (as I found out when I opened up the first pack) was originally a Target box of packs (you can see in Target packs were $2.15 each).  I didn't have a Target near me growing up - in fact, I bought most of my cards from a CVS Drugstore (and, as you might know, everything costs twice as much in a CVS as compared to other stores)!

Happily, I can now have the joy of opening up a bunch of packs from the set - and who knows, maybe I'll even be able to complete the set by the time I'm done!  We'll see...

For now, let's crack open a pair of packs!

Pack 1:
76.  Jeff King

This is what the base cards look like.  I like the simple name plate at the bottom (with the team logo).  I also like the fact that a guy named "King" played for the Royals.  That seems fitting.

149.  Robert Machado

Fleer loved to have subsets - and in this set there are three subsets.  There's the "Baseball's Best" subset, the "Ones to Watch" subset, and the "'97 Year in Review" subset.  Obviously, the Machado belongs to the second of the three subsets.  I will say that the Ones to Watch are a bit too trippy for me (and easily my least favorite cards of the base set though this Machado is pretty bad *ss).

189.  Tony Gwynn

And just like that, here's another subset card - this time from the '97 Year in Review subset.  I like the how Fleer incorporated the calendar into the design of the card.
193.  Roger Clemens
200.  Livan Hernandez

Mini poster:
23.  Tony Womack

The mini posters were always my favorite as a kid - I liked the fact that there was for each team (and the Reds' poster features Barry Larkin).  I also liked seeing the schedule for each team (this was back before smart phones and apps of course)!


You also get a checklist with each pack (plus some Target promotional garbage that I won't bother scanning).  I wish all packs of cards had checklists like this - and notice it's all numbers rather than letters for the card numbers.  Take notes Topps!

Pack 2:
90.  Jamie Moyer
97.  Rey Ordonez
98.  Dean Palmer
145.  Mike Piazza

Here's the third of the subsets - Baseball's Best.  How's this for a great card?  Best hair...and the award goes to Piazza's mullet.  Classic!

147.  Coors Field (Best Hitter's Park)

What a great looking card!

Mini poster:
10.  Larry Walker

That was certainly a fun little romp - and I'm looking forward to busting the rest of the box!  The only bad thing so far is that this box stinks like cigarettes...I don't think I can open more than a couple of packs at a time without feeling a bit queasy.  Yuck!


petethan said...

I missed out on these at the time (with just about everything else from the era). Digging what I'm seeing. Might have to chase after these. I got the Piazza best hair card when I saw it. Can't beat that for Random!

Cards from the Quarry said...

Odd, my comprehensive Rockies checklist lists card #147 as a Vinny Castilla card. I'm glad I read this post so I can change it.

Nachos Grande said...

Cards from the Quarry: It is a Vinny Castilla card (on the reverse side) - it has his name listed on the actual card along with his photo.

View From the Skybox said...

If I opened these when I was a kid, I'd fall in love. I desperately need to find a box of this!

roddster said...

I did most of my work as a kid at CVS. Usually scoop up a pair of packs evey now and then when I could scrape up the four or five bucks. Those mini posters are pretty sweet! oh the things they can fit into a pack of cards.

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