Once I got through 1995 – I actually was at a point where I had to go back and start buying some more boxes online. I think this is the last one I bought a REALLY long while ago – like early 2011 – and apparently I decided to go retail instead of hobby. Looking at the insert possibilities, that’s fine. Basically, the difference is a 2 per box hobby only insert – Masters of the Game – and a 3 per box retail only insert – Profiles. The retail packs also have a better rate for the Mickey Mantle reprints (1:6 retail vs. 1:9 hobby) – so I’m glad I went with the cheaper retail packs. This one cost me 25 bucks. As part of my project, I’ll eventually go after each of these standard inserts – but not as quickly or as urgently as the base set.
The box collation is interesting this year. They went down to a 440 card set, or 220 per series. This is incredibly small – and you’d think you’d easily get the full base set. This was not to be, though – I ended up 21 cards short. Still a decent percentage, but that leaves a TON of doubles. Thankfully, though – no damaged cards in this box!
First up – I got 2 of these kind of cards. The front is black, the back is shown below.
These are the Mystery Finest cards – but I’m only supposed to get 1 per box, so this was kind of weird. There are three players on the back, one of whom is shown on the front when you peel away the black. More on that later.
Next up, I got the expected 6 Mickey Mantle inserts. And the vaunted 1952 Topps, which is card #2 of 19, behind his 1951 Bowman RC. I also got the expected 1 Power Booster – but only 1 Profiles insert. The odds say, I was supposed to get 3 of those. So one extra Mystery Finest, but 2 less Profiles.
OK, let’s peel those “Mystery” suckers…
Two Dodgers – and if this was 1996, those would be the last 2 NL Rookies of the Year. More importantly, if you can’t tell from the scan – that Nomo is a refractor! Ah – so that’s why I got 2! I beat the odds and got a 1 in 6 box insert (1:216 pack odds) – the Mystery Finest refractor. It sure is nice and shiny!
As always, the stats below don’t factor out the “damaged” cards, as I think they’d have been fine if I had bought this box when it came out in 1996. But – at least for this box, since I didn’t get any damaged, that number is the same. Hoo-ray!
Stats for the box:
36 packs per box * 12 cards per pack = 432 cards
25 quadruples and more
199 of the 220 card series. (90% set completion)
1 Power Booster (Bagwell)
6 Mantle Reprints
1 Mystery Finest (Mondesi)
1 Mystery Finest Refractor (Nomo)