Preview – 1991 Ultra

The fourth box break on this blog is 1991 Ultra. Here is a preview of the set before breaking the box next week.

Beckett Set Notes (verbatim from Beckett set page)

“This 400-card standard-size set marked Fleer’s first entry into the premium card market. The cards were distributed exclusively in foil-wrapped packs. Fleer claimed in their original press release that there would only be 15 percent the amount of Ultra issued as there was of the regular 1991 Fleer issue. The cards feature full color action photography on the fronts and three full-color photos on the backs. Fleer also issued the sets in their now traditional alphabetical order as well as the teams in alphabetical order. Subsets include Major League Prospects (373-390), Elite Performance (391-396), and Checklists (397-400). Rookie Cards include Eric Karros and Denny Neagle.”

Box Contents

36 packs with 14 cards and 1 sticker per pack


$10.99 on eBay ($0.99 auction with $10.00 shipping)


This is a big box by today’s standards. The dimensions are approximately 9.0 x 5.5 x 2.5″ (L x W x D). Of course, a box needs to be big when it holds 504 cards. This particular box was advertised as being like new. I doubt Fleer shipped a box with Scotch tape all over it.

The box opens for display from the top. Images of six cards, (Pedro) Martinez, Brett, Mattingly, Justice, Griffey Jr., and Sandberg are part of the display and lure kids in to spend money on baseball cards. The 36 packs are in the box in four stacks of nine.  Since this box was a bit beat up, the packs inside were shuffled about. I took my best guess at where each pack should be.

The packs themselves are pretty standard. It does not show in the picture, but the foil in these packs is some thick stuff. These packs were made to be stored safely for at least 20 years.

Insert / Parallel List (taken from box)

Gold – 10 cards – no insertion rate provided

This box has just one insert. It must be from 1991.


Ultra – 1991. This box must be the definition of junk wax. A dealer on SportsBuy lists a 20-box case of this product for $60 (plus shipping)! At that price, the burning of 1991 Ultra might be able to reduce US dependence on foreign oil.

Ultra’s inaugural year was 1991. Ultra’s first issue included a set of chase cards. Chase cards were a very new idea. According to the box, the chase set was called Ultra Team. They are better known as Ultra Gold, and the cards were “randomly packed”. I haven’t been able to find any mention of insertion rates on the web, so I am curious to see how many (if any) this box will have. Consider this post to be an example of investigative journalism.

Have I mentioned the stickers? – one per pack. I love stickers. I will put them on my locker at school so that the other kids will think I’m cool.


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