Wednesday, December 24, 2008

1998 Fleer Tradition Series 1

I found this unopened pack in the basement while emptying a box of junk. I'm not sure why I never opened it up before, but why not open it up now? This was a pretty decent base set for the late '90s, clean design on the front, colorful on the back and a hefty 600 card checklist over two series. Since it's Fleer there are inserts a plenty and a couple of short printed shiny subsets. Every pack also has a retro design '63 Fleer card, a Million Dollar Moment game card and a useless points card that no one outside dealers busting a truckload of cases had any use for. Time to open 'er up and free the contents from their 10 year imprisonment.

25 Mark McGwire
19 Juan Gonzalez
136 Paul Molitor
28 Kirk Rueter
6 of 20 PG Jose Cruz Jr. Power Game
Vintage '63 7 Rafael Palmeiro
217 Jim Edmonds
178 Orlando Cabrera
134 Quilvio Veras
291 Wally Joyner
Diamond Ink - 1 point Jose Cruz Jr.
25 of 50 Maury Wills Million Dollar Moments

Jeez, imagine opening this sucker in 1998! Big Mac, Juan Gone and Mollie 1-2-3 in the pack. Thankfully Kirk Rueter brings us back down to reality before hitting the inserts. Four straight good cards before landing into the inserts might have caused me to faint. The insert is an embossed teal card with purple foil of Jose Cruz Jr. Jose had two homers against Kansas City his rookie season which qualified him for the high honor of an insert card featuring Charlotte Hornets team colors. The '63 card is the fifth card in the pack so far that was awesome in '98 and not so much now. I'm starting to think Raffy got jobbed now that all the wonderful details about Miggy's pharmacological history have come out. Who shares Vitamin B12 shots though? Eh, I'm probably too trusting. BURN 'EM ALL. THROW THEIR SHRIVELED CHESTNUTS RIGHT ON THE YULE LOG. MERRY CHRISTMAS JUICERS!!!

Ok, that's out of my system. I haven't bought all my presents yet so I'm a bit hIGH StRUnG today. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, the rest of the pack is pretty decent too. Jim Edmonds, Orlando Cabrera MLB Debut (not rookie) card and Wally Joyner were all pretty good cards in '98. Veras and Rueter are the only stinkers in the whole pack in 1998 terms. The Diamond Ink cards are stupid though, you had to collect 500 points to get an autographed baseball of the player on the card. They were one per pack and there were eleven different players you could pull in 1, 5 or 10 point cards. Mostly one point cards were all you found though. For perspective, at one point a pack, 500 packs equals about twenty one hobby boxes. So, yeah. These were junk. The last card in the pack was another giveaway contest, you had to collect a 50 card set of "Million Dollar Moments" to win (what else) One Meelion Dollars! Of course the last 5 cards in the set were horrifically short printed so it was damn near impossible. According to my price guide, the 1-45 set could be exchanged for a full 50 card set, something I didn't know back in 1998 or I would have done it. The set is actually pretty nifty, the one I pulled features Maury Wills with the stolen base that broke Ty Cobb's single season record.

This was a pretty dang good pack as long as you're in a late '90s mindset. Senator Mitchell kinda screwed up the pack though. Ah well. Still, it was a nice random unopened pack out of nowhere to open.

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