Insert Set Flashback: 2002-03 Hoops Stars Raising Up


The Set:
2002-03 Hoops Stars Raising Up

Set Odds:
1 in 5 packs

Key Cards:
Michael Jordan $10.00
Kobe Bryant $8.00
Yao Ming $5.00

Why I Like It:
Hoops stars was an exciting set for me to open. The rookie cards are short-printed but not impossible to collect, inserted at 1:4 packs.  Serial numbered parallel sets, game used versions of the inserts. To me this set had it all.  The draw for me was the variety and creativity in the inserts and the star players available in those sets.   All the insert sets have a nice glossy finish as well. Each has a blue parallel version.

Only complaint on this insert set is showing the same picture on both the front and back. Would have liked to have seen some variety. Still feel like creative sets such as these are what’s missing from today’s products.


Holiday Pickups, Part 3

Welcome to the last portion of the cards I added to my collection during the 2011 holiday season. Today I show off some non-Pacer additions. One is of a player I used to despise, but I have since come to appreciate his greatness and place as an elite scorer and likely future hall-of-famer. I am talking about Celtic star Paul Pierce.  Incredibly difficult to defend, Paul can jab-step into a jumper from just about anywhere on the floor, as well as drive to the  basket with relative ease. Paul has a nice signature, which you can see in the on-card autographed 1999-00 Topps card below.

Second is an autograph from a set that I was intrigued by after reading an article on Cardboard Connection. It’s a multi-sport set, 1994 Signature Rookies Gold Standard Hall of Fame Autographs. I wasn’t aware that this set existed but the on-card signatures and an opportunity to pick up autographs of hall-of-famers (Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald, Rick Barry, Bob Cousy, and Bill Walton, among others) on the cheap had me browsing ebay within minutes. Elvin Hayes is the first I’ve picked up. Thanks to Cardboard Connection for the article, as there’s no doubt this set is undervalued, and probably unknown to many.


Wednesday Wax: 1998-99 Bowman’s Best

The Set:
1998-99 Bowman’s Best
24 packs, 6 cards per pack
Base set contains 100 base cards, 25 rookies (1 in 4 packs)
Refractors 1 in 25 packs
Atomic Refractors 1 in 100 packs
Veteran Autograph Atomic Refractors 1 in 10,073 packs
Rookie Autograph Atomic Refractors 1 in 12,515 packs
Veteran Autograph Refractors 1 in 3,358 packs
Rookie Autograph Refractors 1 in 4,172 packs
Franchise Best 1 in 23 packs
Mirror Image 1 in 12 packs
Mirror Image Refractors 1 in 628 packs
Mirror Image Atomic Refractors 1 in 2,504 packs
Best Performers 1 in 12 packs
Best Performers Refractors 1 in 628 packs
Best Performers Atomic Refractors 1 in 2,504 packs

Our Break:


94/100 base cards, 38 duplicates


Rookies (6): Tyronn Lue, Bryce Drew, Keon Clark, Brian Skinner, Al Harrington, Paul Pierce


Best Performers (3): Grant Hill, Antawn Jamison, Mike Bibby


Refractors /400 (1): Chauncey Billups
Franchise Best (1): Karl Malone


Mirror Image (1): Shawn Kemp/Keith Van Horn

Impressions:

Wouldn’t take much to complete the base set of 100 cards, as we were just a handful short from our one box.  It’s always enjoyable to open 90’s products to see the league where the league was heading at that time.  You’ve got Shaq and Kobe just before their Finals runs.  The overlap of the end of Robinson’s career and the beginning of Duncan’s.  Pippen, Barkley along with Hakeem on the Rockets.   All of the base cards have golden strips at the top and bottom.  Imagine how nice these would have looked if these sections were colored to correspond with a player’s team colors.

1998-99 Bowman’s Best was one of the first products to have short printed rookie cards in the base set.  While we would have loved to have seen a Dirk rookie, Paul Pierce was a fine second choice.  The rookies, inserted at 1 in 4 packs, have the same glossy and metallic look as the rest of the base set, but have silver top and bottom sections, with a darkened background of an arena crowd.

The number of inserts in this product is certainly on the low side, particularly since only one refractor is usually included in each box.  This was also one of the first products to include serial numbered cards.  The refractor we did pull (Chauncey Billups) is really a beautiful card.  Could have done worse there for sure.

The chase inserts are the Kobe Mirror Image card and the Jordan Franchise Best card, and of course the refractor and atomic refractor versions of any of the inserts, which all have extremely tough odds.  The odds on the autographs are pretty mind-blowing as well.

Recap:

Base Set: 3/5 Stars
Inserts: 3/5 Stars
Value: 3/5 Stars
Overall: 3/5 Stars

A fun break, but half of the packs held nothing but base cards, and the inserts we did pull weren’t necessarily worth the wait.  Best card was probably the Pierce rookie.  One insert refractor, a Dirk rookie, or even a star refractor would have pushed this break another direction though.