Insert set – 1994 Select Salute

In 1994, Select was coming in on the heels of 1993 Topps Finest with the wildly popular Finest Refractors parallel set. Donruss was continuing its successful year-to-year, serial numbered Elite Series insert. Limited production was a new thing after the gluttonous 1980s. How did Select respond? Each box of Select in both series 1 and 2 had a serial number denoting the number of the box in a case and the number of case that contained the box.

In total each series of Select there were 4,950 cases with 24 boxes per case. Each box had 24 packs. That’s 2,851,200 packs for each series. The toughest pull in 1994 Select Series 1 was Select Salute, inserted at 1:360 packs. In total Select put out just 7,920 Salute cards. What keeps Salute cards from being rare is that the Salute set had only two cards – Ripken and Winfield. That means that there are 3,960 copies of each card. Had Salute been a parallel (210 base cards in Series 1), each Salute card would have had less than 40 copies. But it wasn’t a parallel, and a potentially rarity defining issue was reduced to just a tough pull.

Here is the Ripken card (#SS1) …

Here is the Winfield card (#SS2) …

I didn’t pull either of these cards when I broke a 1994 Select 1 box. Despite their relative scarcity for a 1994 card, these are still easy to find. With a little patience, even the Ripken card can be found for under $5. The cards don’t have a beautiful design – green, gray, and brick red (Ripken) or blue (Winfield). I think these are Pottery Barn colors. Regardless, for 1994, these were a couple of tough cards.

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