1998 Upper Deck SP Authentic Box Break

Just because I haven’t been posting a whole lot doesn’t mean I haven’t been up to my old box-breaking tricks again. This is another cheapo break courtesy of the eBay, and what appealed to me about this particular product are the one-per-box on-card autographs of some of the greatest players from the 1990’s. I wasn’t collecting cards in 1998, and was barely even following baseball at all, which was another reason why this box peaked my interest. Not going to lie though, the opportunity to pull a Roberto Alomar or Mike Mussina Orioles autograph definitely had more to do with this purchase than anything else. The Chirography auto checklist also includes bigger names, like A-Rod, Griffey, Molitor, Gwynn and Chipper. Two of those guys have already made their way to Cooperstown, and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of them land in the Hall as well (sadly, even Gay-Rod).

CONFIGURATION: 24 packs per box, 5 cards per pack.

98 UD SP Authentic pack wrapper

Hey look, a shiny foil wrapper! There are cards in there you know. Look at that guy on the front? Was there any player who even came to being as popular as Griffey was in the 90’s?

BASE CARDS (ORIOLES):

Raffy, Robbie & sideways Cal

These cards really don’t scan well at all, and look a lot better in person. Card companies love to use metallic foil, and I personally don’t mind, but the cards always look terrible when scanned. The effect used on these cards almost looks like a fresh oil leak on pavement, if that makes sense to anyone but me. You know how dirty oil always looks purple and blue and shiny when it comes in contact with pavement? That’s kind of how the layer photos look on these cards. It sounds a lot worse than it really is, because I happen to think it looks pretty nice, and works quite well. While they aren’t overly impressive now, these must have been damned nice cards in 1998.

Base Card back

The backs of the base cards are pretty simple, and compliment the design of the front quite well. These cards are classy all around, and not in the Jersey Shore sense of the word.

As you’ve already seen, Junior Griffey’s likeness is all over this product. Not only is he on every pack, and the box, but he’s also on every checklist card, as you can see below.

Junior Griffey checklist & base card

The Griffey base card has to be one of the coolest Griffey’s I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to tell from the scan, but that’s the Seattle cityscape in the background with a good bit of sky above it to boot. That is one badass card!

FUTURE WATCH INSERTS:

From Top (L-R): Todd Helton & Paul Konerko, Aaron "Bleeping" Boone & Juan Encarnacion, Derrek Lee & David Ortiz

From Top (L-R): Todd Helton & Paul Konerko, Aaron "Bleeping" Boone & Juan Encarnacion, Derrek Lee & David Ortiz

I’m only showing you some of the better ones here, cause there were certainly a lot of “duds”. One of the five cards you receive in a standard pack, meaning a pack that doesn’t contain an auto or game-used card, will be of the insert persuasion. I probably received around 16 or so of the Future Watch cards you see above, and 8 or 9 from the Sheer Dominance set, which you are about to see.

SHEER DOMINANCE INSERTS:

Junior Ripken & Junior Griffey

The foil in the background of these cards is silver, and really looks like poo in scanned form. In person, these cards are a lot nicer, but I find them a tad dull. It would have been a lot cooler if Upper Deck had printed these on some sort of sheer or translucent paper, and that really would have made the Sheer Dominance moniker make sense. After all, this was the 90’s. Cards were being printed on a lot of crazier things than translucent paper.

GOLD SHEER DOMINANCE INSERTS:

The Big Unit & The Big Liar

As you probably guessed from the scans, replace the silver foil on the standard Sheer Dominance card with gold foil, and you have yourself a serially numbered parallel. In this case, these cards are numbered to 2000, henceforth making them “rare” on eBay. I can’t seem to get away from Clemens, no matter how hard I try. This has to be at least the third or fourth Clemens hit in my last 4 or 5 boxes. Ridiculous! I have an aunt that looks a bit like Roger Clemens, and have never cared much for either of them.

Gold Sheer Dominance card back

CHIROGRAPHY AUTOGRAPH:

This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for. If you haven’t been waiting for it, I have, and that’s all that really matters here anyway. It’s no secret; I love on-card autographs, and I’m not afraid to let the world know it. There are some pretty serious names on this checklist, so let’s see how I fared.

Gary Sheffield autograph

Could have been better, but also could have been a LOT worse. It could have been Mark Kotsay, or Ben Grieve. Given my recent run of luck, I half expected to pull Andruw Jones or Clemens again. Sheffield isn’t too far off though, and is another guy I just plain never liked a whole lot. It was always fun to watch him swing the bat though. There’s a particular brand of violence to it that was always intriguing, sort of like when Vladdy swings the bat. I really like the design of these cards. They’re absolutely beautiful actually. I’d stumbled upon examples on eBay over the years, and always thought they were sharp looking.

You can find these boxes on eBay or at Dave & Adams for right around $100 (there are none listed currently). I can assure you I did not pay that much, nor do I advise you to pay that much if this is a product you are interested in busting. I picked up this box from eBay, in a straight auction format listing. The opening bid was $49.99, and I was the only bidder. That SHOULD serve as a wake up call to DA, and all the other jabronis out there charging WAAAAAYYYY too much for older wax. Yes, it may have cost them around $100/box around the time of release, but that was a long time ago You lost your money already. Get over it, and stop over-charging collectors for boxes that are just collecting dust on your shelves.

BEARD-O-METER RATING: 

Grizzly Adams did have a beard.

I’m taking the era these cards were released into account here, which explains the high rating. Like I said earlier, I wasn’t in the cardboard game in 1998, but I have since seen a lot of the cards that were released around that time, and the majority of them don’t look as nice as these do. I’m sure this stuff was pricey at the time, and for good reason. The base set is classy, and the feel as expensive as they look. It also wasn’t commonplace to find an autograph in every box you opened back in the 90’s, and this set has some of the nicest hard-signed autographs I have ever seen.

As per usual, all non-Orioles cards are for trade. Drop me an email if you’re interested.

-b

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8 responses to “1998 Upper Deck SP Authentic Box Break

  1. Speaking of Hall Of Famer thats a freaking sweet chef dude!!! I used to collect him back in the day…He somehow escape the whole steroid era, or maybe his crazy ass stance had something to do with it

  2. I’d like any Pedro Martinez cards you pulled, plus maybe the Papi.

  3. The base cards look an awful lot like ’95 Topps

  4. BUT THE BEST PART IS the autographs for these cards are on card and not on a crummy sticker! I had busted a few of these boxes and I still love this set more than any of the other sp sets. I won 2 Ken Griffey oversized cards from 2 of the 4 boxes I had opened at the time it came out. Thank GOD you didn’t pull a winner redemption out of this box!

  5. Let me know if you need any singles as I have some!

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