I plan to regularly open waxboxes and write product reviews here at LinguaSportCards.com. I actually haven’t opened a box of cards for over two years now since I’ve been focusing on singles recently. But it’s time for a change of pace, even though in the long run, buying singles is usually more cost effective.
Up first is this hobby box of 1998 Skybox Premium football. There are 24 packs in a box, and eight cards per pack.
Card packs are pretty much designed just like the box. That is former Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer on the pack. I’m not sure if Mr. Plummer had an endorsement deal with Skybox or not, but he seems to be an odd selection to be the face of a sports cards product. Yes, he had a decent rookie season in 1997 (15 TD passes, 15 INT, 2203 passing yards), but the Cardinals were only 3-6 in games that he started. Jake’s cool nickname “Jake the Snake” and decent receiving core (Frank Sanders, Rob Moore, and fullback Larry Centers) made him an intriguing quarterback at the very least. Jake was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2005 as a member of the Broncos. He last played the following year in 2006 and finished his fine career with exactly 161 TDs, 161 INTs, and 29,253 passing yards.
The back side of each pack lists the odds of pulling various insert sets. In particular, I hope to find a Star Rubies, Autographics, Prime Time Rookies, and/or Intimidation Nation insert in my box. As for the base set, there are 40 short print rookie cards (1:4packs). The big rookies that I’ll be looking for include Peyton Manning, Randy Moss, and Charles Woodson. As can be seen in the above photo, the base set has a total of 250 cards.
Here is a close-up picture of a typical card front. I love the full bleed design of these cards, and the gold foil player and team name makes these cards very attractive, especially in person. So in total, player, team, position, and a facsimile autograph are all included, yet the card does not seem overaly busy. In short, card design is excellent, and when coupled with great overall photography, 1998 Skybox Premium is a winner when it comes to design.
I’m not quite as big a fan of the card backs as I am the fronts. But all of the stats and player demographic data are included, so that is a definition plus.
As for my particular box, I pulled a number of 1990s superstars. I particularly like the Jerry Rice and Barry Sanders cards pictured above.
As you can see, most of the cards in the set were designed vertically, but there are some horizontally designed cards as well. As far as I can tell, receivers were much more likely than other positions to be featured on a horizontal card. That’s a great looking Marvin Harrison card right there.
I pulled six short-printed rookies in my box, just as expected. Unfortunately, Manning, Moss, and Woodson were nowhere to be found. Instead, I ended up with:
- Andre Wadsworth, Defensive End – 3rd overall pick in 1998, but only played in the league for three years following a lengthy holdout after being drafted.
- Mikhael Ricks, Wide Receiver – 155 receptions for 1939 yards in a seven year career that included stops in San Diego, Kansas City, and Detroit.
- Raymond Priester, Running Back – Released by St. Louis in 1998 after being a fifth round pick. Had a great career at Clemson though.
- John Dutton, Quarterback – Released by the Miami during training camp in 1998. Went on to have a distinguished career in the Arena League.
- Rashaan Shehee, Running Back – only played in the NFL for two years, both with Kansas City. Scored his only career touchdown in 1999.
- Cam Quayle, Tight End. Mr. Irrelevant 1998 out of Weber State. Never played in the NFL.
The 40 rookie cards really do feature an eclectic mix of players. I wonder how the folks at Skybox decided which draft picks to include in this set.
I received four D’stroyers insert cards as expected. I really like the design of these cards, but player selection is not that great.
The Soul of the Game inserts were seeded 1:18 packs, so my pull of two cards is more or less about what can be expected. I’m not a fan of these cards; the green and black combination just doesn’t do it for me.
This is a beautiful looking set, and it was great revisiting many of the stars of my youth. However, my particular box was quite disappointing. I did not pull any of the big rookie cards that I was after, and the inserts were underwhelming as well. That is how it goes when buying a box of cards – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I’ll be back to fight another day.
Word of the Day
impetuous: acting or done quickly and without thought; controlled by emotion rather than thought; impulsive; he’s always been an impetuous young man; an impetuous decision