Category Archives: Baseball

Pack – 1994 Collector’s Choice 1 – NL

This is the first in a series of three posts.  This post features three 1994 Collector’s Choice packs with NL players on the front.

Beckett Set Notes (from set page)

“Produced by Upper Deck, this 670 standard-size card set was distributed in two series of 320 and 350. Cards were issued in foil-wrapped 12-card packs and factory sets (of which contained five Gold Signature cards for a total of 675 cards). Basic card fronts feature color player action photos with white borders that are highlighted by vertical gray pinstripes. Subsets include Rookie Class (1-20), First Draft Picks (21-30), Top Performers (306-315), Up Close (631-640) and Future Foundation (641-650). Rookie Cards include Michael Jordan and Alex Rodriguez. A legitimate variation on the Alex Rodriguez card (#647) was verified several years after release. The standard card features the “A” from Alex on the card back text in grey/silver whereas the variation features his name in white. It’s believed that the A-Rod “White A” variation is a significantly tougher card but exact estimates of it’s scarcity are not known. In subsequent years other cards (such as Johnny Damon) were also verified to have this White Letter variation – thus it’s generally believed that the entire Future Foundations subset was produced with white (and standard grey) letter variations.”

Pack Contents

12 cards each

Cost

$0.40 each (part of a large group of packs picked up at a show)

Description

This post is for three different packs.  Each has an Andy Warhol-esque picture of an NL star on the front.  One is Deion Sanders (Atlanta Braves); another is Mike Piazza (LA Dodgers); and the last is a very svelte Barry Bonds (SF Giants).  There may be other NL players on these packs, but these are the only three of which I’m aware.

Insert / Parallel List (taken from the pack)

Silver Signature parallel – 320 cards – 1:1 packs
Gold Signature parallel – 320 cards – 1:36 packs

Base cards

220 – Alex Rodriguez (front and back)

14 – Luis Gonzalez (front only)
49 – Lance Johnson (front only)

169 – Ryan Christenson (front only)
220 – Dan Wilson (front only)

Inserts and parallels

235 – Copper Parallel – Rusty Greer (front and back)

Complete pack contents

Deion Sanders
67 – Dave Burba
82 – Jeff Conine
86 – Tim Costo
117 – Ken Griffey Jr.
148 – Gregg Jefferies
218 – Paul O’Neill
224 – Mike Pagliarulo
251 – Tim Salmon
290 – Turk Wendell
306 – Top Performers of 1991 – Wins Leaders
307 – Silver Signature – Top Performers of 1991 – Strikeout Leader

Mike Piazza
1 – Rookie Class Rich Becker
14 – Rookie Class Marc Newfield
109 – Bernard Gilkey
113 – Jim Gott
120 – Juan Guzman (x2)
180 – Scott Lydy
236 – Pat Rapp
244 – Mel Rojas
289 – Bill Wegman
86 – Silver Signature – Tim Costo
73 – Gold Signature – Cris Carpenter

Barry Bonds
4 – Rookie Class Carlos Delgado
54 – Mike Blowers
67 – Dave Burba
102 – Darrin Fletcher
134 – Roberto Hernandez
142 – David Hulse
206 – Blas Minor
209 – Raul Mondesi
296 – Bob Wickman
302 – Dave Winfield
320 – Checklist Nolan Ryan
84 – Silver Signature – Scott Cooper

Comments

There’s not much to add to this post.  The images pretty much speak for themselves.  I’m normally not a fan of white borders on cards, but these seems to work OK.  For a bottom level set for the budget collector, these cards are alright.  They are nothing fancy, but of course nobody should expect them to be.  Nothing wrong with that for this set.

These cards didn’t fare too well since their printing nearly 20 years ago.  They stuck together like crazy.  A recent 1993 Upper Deck pack did the exact same thing on me, but these packs were quite a bit worse.  Maybe there was something about Upper Deck’s cards that made them very prone to sticking.  It’s something to consider if you plan on breaking a box of this stuff and hope to find really nice cards.  Regardless, you can’t exactly blame Upper Deck because their cards don’t store for two decades in packs.

One pleasant surprise was the Gold Signature card.  That is a 1:36 pack pull.  Pretty good.

Other 1994 Collector’s Choice 1 pack rips or box breaks

Pack Rip (Mike Piazza) by A Pack To Be Named Later

Pack Rip (Jumbo Deion Sanders) by Cardboard Collection

Box Break (retail) by Fan Stuff

Part of a box break by Nachos Grande

By the numbers: 1991 Donruss

Products from the late 80s and early 90s are called junk wax for a reason.  They were produced in ridiculous, almost inconceivable amounts.  Exactly how much was produced of any given set is hard to calculate.  To determine a print run requires one of two things.  One, an estimate from the manufacturer.  Or, two, both a serial-numbered card and an insertion rate.  Most products from the junk wax era have neither.  An exception is 1991 Donruss.

In 1991 the Donruss flagship set included the Elite set.  A total of 8 cards were included in the basic Elite set, and each was numbered to 10,000.  Two other Elite cards, the Signature and Legend single-card sets, totaled 12,500 cards.  That is a grand total of 92,500 cards in the full press run of the 1991 Elite insert set.

What was the insertion rate of the Elite cards in 1991 Donruss?  Well, nobody knows for sure.  The figure has been estimated by the folks over at BaseballCardPedia at around 1 Elite card per 75 boxes.  With 36 packs per box, the overall odds of finding an Elite card in a pack of 1991 Donruss is 1:2,700.  Wow.  Those are long odds.  What does that mean for the total production of Donruss?

1991 Donruss
Total boxes: 6,937,500 (92,500 Elite cards * 75 boxes / 1 Elite card)
Total packs: 249,750,000 (36 packs / 1 box)
Total cards: 3,746,250,000 (15 cards / 1 pack)

That is nearly 4 billion cards.  What can you do if you place 4 billion cards end-to-end?  Lots, because 4 billion 3.5-inch cards cover a total distance of over 220,000 miles.  That distance would allow one to…

  • travel between New York and San Francisco over 80 times (2,600 miles).
  • circle the Earth at the equator almost 9 times (25,000 miles).
  • almost reach the Moon (240,000 miles).

Let’s go with another measure – surface area.  Each card measures 2.5″ x 3.5″.  With those dimensions, 4 billion cards would cover an area of 27 million square yards.  That area would cover…

  • a football field over 4,200 times (160′ x 360′).
  • Central Park in New York City nearly 7 times (843 acres).
  • Key West over 1.5 times (3,370 acres).

The 1991 issue of Donruss had a crazy production run.  That’s why you can pick up a box of this stuff for $10 or less without trying on eBay.  Buy two or more boxes, and you can get the price down to $7.50 without searching too hard.  This truly is junk wax.  Don’t be fooled though – buying enough to get an Elite card is no picnic.  Keep in mind that the least expensive Elite cards can be bought for under $10.    They are numbered to 10,000 after all.

Pack – 1999 Paramount

Beckett Set Notes (from set page)

“The 1999 Paramount set was issued in one series for a total of 250 cards and distributed in six-card packs with a suggested retail price of $1.49. The set features color action photos of some of today’s biggest superstars and tomorrow’s up-and-comers in their 1999 uniforms. As was typical with 1999 Pacific products, a Tony Gwynn Sample card was produced and distributed to dealers and hobby media several weeks prior to the product’s release. The large “SAMPLE” text running across the back, and lack of a card number make this an easy card to distinguish.”

Pack Contents

6 card

Cost

$0.25 (part of a large group of packs picked up at a show)

Description

Whoo hoo!  A pack from 1999 – absolute top shelf material for this blog.

Insert / Parallel List (taken from the pack)

Platinum Blue parallel – 250 cards – 1:73 packs
Copper parallel (hobby) – 250 cards – 1:1 packs
Gold parallel (retail) – 250 cards – 1:1 packs
Holographic Silver parallal (hobby) – 250 cards – unknown
Holographic Gold parallel (retail) -250 cards – unknown
Team Checklists – 30 cards – 2:37 packs
Personal Bests – 36 cards – 1:37 packs
Fielder’s Choice – 20 cards – 1:73 packs
Cooperstown Bound – 10 cards – 1:361 packs

Base cards

220 – Alex Rodriguez (front and back)

14 – Luis Gonzalez (front only)
49 – Lance Johnson (front only)

169 – Ryan Christenson (front only)
220 – Dan Wilson (front only)

Inserts and parallels

235 – Copper Parallel – Rusty Greer (front and back)

Comments

I have recently liked just about everything that I’ve opened.  From packs of newer stuff to boxes of junk, I have found something redeeming in all of it.  It stops here.  This product, 1999 Paramount, is lousy.  Allow me to elaborate.

The white borders don’t work well.  I have never liked new, glossy cards with white borders.  I think these cards look like some lame effort from Topps.  (That might be hitting below the belt.)  Look around your house.  Are there any pictures framed in a white mat?  No.  Frames are dark.  Maybe in the 70s white borders were OK and accepted without question.  Even I like the look of the 1973 and 1977 sets.  But, by 1999, the white border looks washed out.  (Glossy white borders are also hard to crop and trim in scans.)

What else don’t I like?  Let’s see, the backs don’t look like real card backs.  The font size is so big that I feel like I’m in the third grade.  Maybe the writers at Pacific didn’t feel like creating too much text.  Maybe these cards are designed for the visually impaired.  Whatever the reason, the backs just don’t feel like real backs.  (Whatever that means.)

A final point is that I have no idea whether I opened a retail or hobby pack.  The one insert card looks like a Copper parallel, which would make the pack a hobby pack.  Then again, the insert could be a Gold parallel, which is retail only.  Gold and Copper are kind of hard to differentiate based on foil lettering alone.

In conclusion, this pack is kind of a bust.  Pacific put out a ton of different sets in the late 90s.  They can’t all be great products.

Other 1999 Paramount pack rips or box breaks

Pack Rip by The Priceless Pursuit

Part of a box break by Nachos Grande