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Box Recap: 1998 Collector's Choice Series 2

Some of my all-time favorite sets are the late 90s Collector's Choice sets.  As a kid, those were among the first packs that I bought for myself (probably because they were affordable).  Despite the relatively cheap price tag, the set featured great photography, interesting inserts, and wonderful card designs.  Thus, when the opportunity arose to buy a box of 1998 Collector's Choice for my ongoing Breaker's Club group break, I had to jump on it!  

My thoughts on the set overall are clear (I love it) so instead of a formal review let's simply look at some of the highlights of our box beginning with a nice selection of some of my favorite base cards.

In addition to vertical shots, there are also a bunch of horizontal shots scattered throughout the set.  I had to pick some of my favorites of those as well:

You'll notice the silver/gray border on some cards.  That was Upper Deck's way of denoting a "star player" base card.  I guess in an effort to be more kid friendly or something.  I did notice while opening the box that each pack seemed to have at least one silver border card which is great for kids since that means every pack should have at least one good player in it.

I must say, it's not just the card fronts that are great.  You also need to flip most of the base cards over to see the card backs.  For example:

Love to see interesting backs (in terms of photography, stats, and write-ups/trivia)!

The base set also has a few subsets within it.  One such set is a nine-card subset celebrating the 50th anniversary of 1948 Leaf (the first modern baseball card set).  

Interestingly enough, Upper Deck purposely misaligned the borders on the first card of the subset (Andruw Jones).  I assume there's some connection to the 1948 Leaf set with that but I could be wrong!

Another subset is the Rookie Class.  

The Rookie Class subset is kind of interesting in that Upper Deck seeded a few serially-numbered cards (called Prime Choice Reserves).  Those parallels are all numbered out of 500.  I went back through our stack of cards and double-checked and I'm quite certain we didn't luck into one of the Prime Choice Reserve cards.  Oh well!

While the base set is the star of the show for Collector's Choice, there are a few inserts to take a look at as well beginning with the one-per-pack Star Quest set.

This isn't my favorite Star Quest design but you can't argue with the star power among the set's subjects!  Upper Deck also made parallels of this insert set (called Doubles, Triples, and Home Runs).  We did manage to pull a pair of Doubles:

The Doubles are a shinier design for sure (they didn't scan well but the cards look very nice in person)!  I actually wish the entire insert set looked like the Doubles and that Upper Deck had done away with the tiered parallel approach altogether.

Upper Deck also included their "You Crash the Game" insert set in which you could win prizes if the featured player hit a home run on the designated dates.  

The concept of the You Crash the Game is kind of fun but the cards themselves aren't overly interesting to me.

Finally, we end with my favorite insert set - the Mini Bobbing Heads!

The cards are meant to be punched out and assembled into little figures.  Super fun - and a great thing for kids (but also for me, an adult)!  

That does it for the box of 1998 Collector's Choice.  I can best summarize this box with a single word:  fun.  Everything about it was fun - the base cards, the inserts, the factoids on the back, the memories.   You name it, it was fun!  


  1. This wads a great set. One downside to me was I believe this is when they replaced silver signature with StarQuest. Or perhaps it was the year prior.

    I still love You Crash The Game. That was one of my all-time favorite promotions.

  2. I'm not sure how I feel about the different borders for star players. Seems a little subjective, but I suppose it's not much different then Topps' use of hero numbers.

    That Olerud is a beaut. Gotta make a note to seek that card out.

    It's funny that you show a card of Travis Lee, because last night one of the contestants on Jeopardy was named Travis Lee. It wasn't the same guy, but I certainly noticed that it was a familiar name.

  3. Lotta fun cards here. Looks like the Giants did okay too which is great to see.


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