Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Nostalgic Box Break: 1996 Collector's Choice Series Two (Part Two)

I posted 9 packs yesterday, and I'm posting 9 packs today. It's that simple. Until we actually get spring training photos, these box breaks are really all I can do with the blog.

Still, this is a hella fun set to break, so at least there's some entertainment value in it.

 Pack 10-
Hall of Famers: 2/12
Potential Future Hall of Famers, Maybe?: 1/12
White Sox: 2/12

 Right back into the swing of things with this photography. I forget how much I liked the shade of green the A's used in the mid-90's.

 By 1996 Danny Tartabull was treading about the league in search of a team willing to put up with him. He didn't last long in Chicago.
Meanwhile, Harold Baines is a legend there. He played fair.

 Curt Schilling's HOF chances are dwindling with every boneheaded comment he makes.
Mike Piazza, on the other hand, is a respected Hall of Famer now. He's also the Dodgers team-checklist.

 Pack 11-
'Has to be seen to be believed' photos: 2/12
Rockies: 2/12
 Travis Fryman SINGS! Classic in 90's cardboard.
The Hudler photo on the front is already pretty good, as it's a nice DP shot, but...



Rex Hudler milks a cow. Oh my lord. I mean, everybody knows the 'Rex Hudler angrily defends a pole' card, or 'Rex Hudler is befuddled in Studio'...but how do more people not talk about this one??? HOW?

 Luis Sojo is rather happy here.  Armando Reynoso's card is a pretty great action shot.

 The TC for the Twins was Marty Cordova...okay, even if he was the 95 ROY, that's still a lot of weight to put on a guy with a year's experience.

 Pack 12-
Checklists: 2/12
Blue Jays: 3/12
Shannon Stewarts: 2/12

 A rather bored-looking John Mabry during the national anthem.

 We've seen Piazza, but Kenny Lofton was the Indians' TC, and after his pretty great '95 season I'm all for it. a pretty fantastic Tom Pagnozzi card. Just in mid-reach. Fantastic.
Shannon Stewart's rookie card here was so awkward that I got two of them.

 Pack 13-
Steroid Abusers: 2/12
Hall of Famers: 2/12
Teams Currently/Formerly Based in Boston: 4/12
 Mike Stanley was catching for the Red Sox in 1996. Huh.
Andrew Lorraine doesn't seem too confident in him.

 A pretty nice action shot for a fairly unspectacular Braves pitcher.


...Roger Clemens is also a checklist.

 Pack 14-
Chicago: 4/12
Padres: 3/12
Mets: 2/12
People I Never Expected to Land in a Phillies Uniform: 1/12

 Fausto Cruz DIVES! He misses it because Miguel Tejada is still in the minors.
Andy Ashby takes a knee while there is clearly a young person somewhere about. This is a very great shot.

 ...Very weird shot of a guy I have never, ever heard of.


Benito Santiago played for a ton of teams over the course of his career. He played for the Phillies for one season, to take over for Darren Daulton in between he and Mike Lieberthal. And oh...even if he didn't do the greatest's Benito Santiago as a Phillie. It's still amazing.

 Sammy Sosa is the Cubs' checklist. Frank Thomas is the set checklist.

 Pack 15-
Hall of Famers: 1/12
Former MLB Managers: 1/12
 Two very cool shots of not-so-cool players. Collector's Choice could do this to even so-so players. They didn't care.

 Another WAY-COOL Hideo Nomo insert, as well as a Mariners TC of the poster boy.

 Pack 16-
Hall of Famers: 1/12
Potential Future Hall of Famers: 1/12
Brothers of Future Hall of Famers: 1/12

 Three relatively cool fielding shots.

 Joey Hamilton's has some nice depth, in the banner in the backstop. Cordova's is another checklist. Really putting all those eggs into the Cordova basket, eh UD?

 Wilton Guerrero's rookie is in this set. Huh.
WADE BOGGS rightfully got the CL gig for the Yankees. Well done, UD.

The way it works? This pack contains a You Crash the Game card of Manny Ramirez. The sweepstakes worked so that if Man-Ram hit a homer in between the time radius, you'd be entered in to win something cool.
So, did Manny Ramirez hit a home run from September 9th to the 12th of 1996? WHY YES HE DID! He hit one on the 10th against the Angels!'d have won something, at least...

 Pack 17-
Cool-ish Rookies: 4/12
Giants: 2/12

 Luis Vizcaino runs, while Rich Aurilia looks awesome for the camera.

 More really, really cool horizontals. The Greer we've seen before.

 Livan Hernandez and Chan Ho Park have rookies in this set. Good to note.

 The Royals were so dire in 1995 that they gave the checklist to rookie and future standout Johnny Damon. Good for him.

 Pack 18-
Hall of Famers: 2/12
Hall of Quite Good-ers: 2/12
More People That Feel Weird in Phillies Uniforms: 1/12

 Kevin Jarvis escapes from the smoke, while Mike Deveraux seems relieved to still be in Baltimore.

 That is a VERY COOL, and very unusual card of Mark Whiten on the Phillies. Wish there were more.
Meanwhile, Mike Macfarlane signs autographs, and doesn't seem too happy about it.

 Moises Alou was the checklist for the Expos...which means the Upper Deck fell into that unfortunate habit of forgetting Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez exists.

 Tony Gwynn gets a set-checklist, while Matt Williams gets what must be one of the first full-bleed base cards in several packs.

Welp, Dante Bichette's is a You Crash the Game card, which means we get to play WOULD YOU HAVE CRASHED THE GAME?
So, did Dante Bichette hit a home run between Sept. 9th-12th of 1996? No, he did not. Welp.
Thankfully, we did manage to pull the last of the five FIRST CLASS inserts I needed, which was the Great Bambino himself, BABE RUTH. And a pretty nice Babe Ruth at that.

So...that's part two. Maybe it's all the You Crash the Game inserts, but this box is getting good. Part 3 will be up soon.


  1. Collector's Choice was easily my favorite set of 1996, and (also easily) one of my favorites of the 1990's. I'm enjoying looking at your box break and remembering what I liked so much about the set.

  2. Bichette had a better first half in 1996. He didn't crash the game, but his Upper Deck Predictor card did better since Dante led the league in RBIs during the month of June.