Card of the Day: Roy Halladay 1998 Bowman Certified Blue Auto

Card of the Day: Keith Brooking 1998 Score #239

Card of the Day: Ryan Leaf 1998 Topps #332

Card of the Day: Jermaine Allensworth 1998 Fleer Tradition #424

Product Highlight: 1998 Upper Deck SP Authentic Baseball

Boxes can be expensive.  Sometimes an older product might take care of that pack busting itch for a much lower cost.  Just because that new box guarantees ten hits doesn’t mean you’ll come close to pulling something anywhere near what you paid.  One hit from an older set could easily be better than ten from that newer product.  Then again, making money shouldn’t be your #1 concern.  Cards are for fun, not investing.

If you’re looking for an affordable box from the 1990s that has an autograph checklist which hasn’t dwindled too much, I’d suggest 1998 Upper Deck SP Authentic Baseball.  Upper Deck introduced the high-end SP brand in 1993, but in 1998 they changed the name to SP Authentic.  This is mainly due to each box containing an autograph.

The 1998 SP Authentic set consists of (198) base cards.  They’ve got a foil-photo in the middle which is then surrounded by an all-white border.  Magglio Ordonez is the most notable rookie.  David Ortiz has a somewhat popular second year card.  As far as inserts go, there really is only one – Sheer Dominance.  These come in Silver, Gold #’ed/2000, and Titanium #’ed/100.

Autographs are the main attraction.  Glancing over the checklist you’ll notice its fairly solid.  Of course there are some duds, but what product doesn’t have those?  Key autographs include Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones, Gary Sheffield, Ivan Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Mussina, Mo Vaughn, Nomar Garciaparra, Paul Molitor, Roberto Alomar, Roger Clemens, Scott Rolen, Tony Gwynn, Todd Helton, and Vladimir Guerrero.  Every Chirography autograph is signed on-card.

Upper Deck included various Trade Cards for oversized 5″ x 7″ jersey cards as well as full size autographed memorabilia.  If this were 1998, you could redeem them.  Given that they’re decades old, I highly doubt you would receive anything for them today.

On the bottom of the box Upper Deck lists how many of each Trade Card was made, and the approximate retail value of that item.

  • Ken Griffey Jr. Signed Mariners Jersey #’ed/30 – $399
  • Ken Griffey Jr. Signed Glove #’ed/30 – $449.95
  • Ken Griffey Jr. Life Size Standee #’ed/200 – $29.95
  • Ken Griffey Jr. Oversized Jersey Card #’ed/125 – $50
  • 5″ x 7″ Ken Griffey Jr. 300th Home Run Commemorative Card #’ed/1,000 – $10
  • Robin Ventura Signed Baseball #’ed/50 – $89.95
  • Raul Mondesi Signed Baseball #’ed/100 – $89.95
  • Albert Belle Signed Baseball #’ed/100 – $89.95
  • Brian Jordan Signed Baseball #’ed/50 – $89.95
  • Roberto Alomar Signed Baseball #’ed/100 – $89.95
  • Tony Gwynn Oversized Jersey Card #’ed/415 – $50
  • Greg Maddux Oversized Jersey Card #’ed/125 – $50
  • Alex Rodriguez Oversized Jersey Card #’ed/125 – $50
  • Gary Sheffield Oversized Jersey Card #’ed/125 – $50
  • Jay Buhner Oversized Jersey Card #’ed/125 – $50

Browsing over this price list is fun.  I certainly wouldn’t use it as an official guide though.  There is no way to know if everything on that list was even redeemed.  Quantities could be lower.

Card of the Day: Barry Larkin 1998 Fleer Ultra #180

Card of the Day: Dwayne Rudd 1998 SkyBox Premium #29

Card of the Day: The Rock 1998 WWF Wrestling Superstarz #15

Card of the Day: Peyton Manning 1998 Press Pass Kick-Off #1

Product Highlight: 1998 Topps SportzCubz

Cube crazy!  That’s exactly how you could describe some card companies in 1998.  Pacific and Pinnacle both released products based on cube-shaped cards.

Along with the packs, inside boxes of 1998 Pacific Aurora baseball, football, and hockey you’ll find one card in the shape of a three-dimensional cube.  Between all three sets, the most notable cube would be that of Peyton Manning since its a rookie.  Some people actually remove the card from the cube so it can lay flat.  I would never do that because you can cause serious damage to the card during the removal process.  Its best left wrapped around the cube, otherwise you’ll just have a squashed box.

Pinnacle’s Sport Block is a real conversation piece.  Each team specific Sport Block contains nine different images.  They remind me of a baseball-themed Rubik’s Cube.  You can rearrange the block just like pieces of a puzzle.  Not every team received the Sport Block treatment.  Only the Angels, Diamondbacks, Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Indians, Dodgers, Yankees, Mariners, and Devil Rays got one.

In that same year, Topps looks to have wanted to throw their two cents into the cube fad.  Very little is known about 1998 Topps SportzCubz.  The main reason for this is because it never made it past the test phase.  About five prototype cards are rumored to have been made for each player.  Then the idea was canned.  What the end product would have looked like is a mystery.  Judging by the prototype, it looks as if it would have been wrapped around something.  I guess we’ll never know.

Neither the 1998 Pacific Aurora Cubes or Pinnacle Sport Block carry much value.  The 1998 Topps SportzCubz are a completely different story.  Player collectors don’t mind spending into the hundreds for a single prototype.  The following players are in this set: Derek Jeter, Greg Maddux, Tony Gwynn, David Justice, Vladimir Guerrero, Bernie Williams, Ken Griffey, Jr., Tony Clark, Albert Belle, Barry Larkin, Mark McGwire, Mo Vaughn, Livan Hernandez, Raul Mondesi, Chuck Knoblauch, Andy Pettitte, Dante Bichette, Hideki Irabu, Roberto Alomar, Paul O’Neill, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Juan Gonzalez, Mike Piazza, and Mark Grace.