Cheap Wax Wednesday Box Breaks: 1989 Pacific Baseball Legends II

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After producing some smaller baseball card sets in the early 1980s, Pacific Trading Cards had their first larger release in 1988 — the first edition of Pacific Baseball Legends. This line ran for three sets over three years, from 1988 to 1990. All have the same card design. At the same time, Pacific also produced two sets focusing on Florida’s Senior Professional Baseball Association, a winter baseball league featuring former major league players. The Senior League featured team names you would think were pulled straight out of a Will Ferrell movie, including the Orlando Juice, and, yes, the West Palm Beach Tropics.

1989 Panini Baseball Legends Series 2 Box

After the Senior League folded halfway through their second season, Pacific moved on to bigger things, a 1991 set focusing on Nolan Ryan. Following that, Pacific began to release full baseball sets featuring current major league players in 1993. During the mid to late ’90s, Pacific Trading Cards was known for producing some of the best insert cards in the hobby. Eye-catching foil inserts and die-cut cards were the norm for Pacific sets. 2001 would see the last of the Pacific Trading Cards baseball releases. In 2004 the rights to Pacific were purchased by Playoff, a Donruss company. With Panin’’s later purchase of Donruss, some of the Pacific designs continue to live on today. Crown Royale, a Pacific baseball release from 1998-2000, is still produced as part of Panini’s NBA product line.

As far as 1989 Pacific Baseball Legends II is concerned, this is a very basic product. There are no inserts. The design is very simple. However, as the name states, the set is full of baseball legends. I am a baseball nut, including baseball history, and the legends of the game. When I see a chance to add cards of legends to my binders (especially if it is cheap), I jump on it. I picked this box up at the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland. I even talked the seller down from his $15 sticker price!

1989 Pacific Baseball Legends II Box Break

Cards per pack: 10
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $10

Shop for 1989 Pacific Baseball Legends II boxes on eBay.

Pack 1 highlights:

Lefty Grove & Reggie Jackson

Pack 2:

Babe Ruth, Lou Boudreau, Casey Stengel & Mel Ott

Pack 3:

Jim “Mudcat” Grant & Joe “Ducky” Medwick

Pack 4:

Walter Johnson, Gaylord Perry, Ted Williams & Harmon Killebrew

Pack 5:

“Shoeless Joe” Jackson, Brooks Robinson, Bob Feller, John “Home Run” Baker & Enos Slaughter

Pack 6:

Johnny Mize, Rogers Hornsby, Honus Wagner & Lou Gehrig. This Wagner card may be one of the creepiest cards I have ever seen.

Pack 7:

Joe Cronin

Pack 8:

Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Bobby Doerr, Ty Cobb & Roberto Clemente

Pack 9:

Tony LaRussa, Hank Greenberg & Eddie Mathews

Pack 10:

Babe Ruth, Casey Stengel & Mel Ott

Pack 11:

Dave Kingman & legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster, Ernie Harwell

Pack 12:

Billy Williams, Walter Johnson, George Foster, Gaylord Perry, Harmon Killebrew & Ted Williams

Pack 13:

Honus Wagner, Joe Jackson, Brooks Robinson, Bob Feller & Enos Slaughter

Pack 14:

Johnny Mize, Rogers Hornsby, Phil Niekro & Lou Gehrig

Pack 15:

Ty Cobb, Joe Cronin & Arky Vaughan

Pack 16:

Eddie Mathews, Bobby Doerr & Roberto Clemente

Pack 17:

Earl Averill, Tony LaRussa & Hank Greenberg

Pack 18:

Paul “Big Poison” Waner, Earl Weaver & Whitey Ford

Pack 19:

Claude Osteen, Joe Medwick & Dave Kingman

Pack 20:

Andy Pafko, Walter Johnson & Joe Sewell

Pack 21:

Honus Wagner, Joe Jackson & Shag Crawford. Crawford was a National League umpire for 20 seasons, retiring in 1975. The following season, Shag’s son, Jerry started a 25-year major league umpiring career. Another fun fact? Shag is also the father of legendary NBA official Joey Crawford.

Pack 22:

Johnny Mize, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig & Phil Niekro

Pack 23:

Ty Cobb, Joe Cronin & Roger “Doc” Cramer

Pack 24:

Eddie Mathews, Bobby Doerr & Jimmy Piersall

Pack 25:

Hoyt Wilhelm, Hank Bauer & Roger Craig

Pack 26:

Paul Waner, Herb Score, Forrest “Smoky” Burgess & Spud Chandler. Spud led the Major Leagues with a 1.64 ERA in 1943.

Pack 27:

Frankie Frisch, Mickey Cochrane & Reggie Jackson

Pack 28:

Walter Johnson, George Foster, Gaylord Perry, Harmon Killebrew & Ted Williams

Pack 29:

Honus Wagner, Shoeless Joe, Brooks Robinson, Bob “Rapid Robert” Feller, Enos Slaughter & the original Frank Thomas

Pack 30:

Rogers Hornsby, Johnny Mize & Lou Gehrig

Pack 31:

Ty Cobb, Joe Cronin & 1950 NL Rookie of the Year, Sam Jethroe

Pack 32:

Eddie Mathews & Roberto Clemente

Pack 33:

Hank Greenberg & Lloyd “Little Poison” Waner

Pack 34:

Paul Waner, Herb Score & Earl Weaver

Pack 35:

Lefty Grove & Reggie Jackson

Pack 36:

Babe Ruth, Mel Ott & Casey Stengel

Lastly, the Babe Ruth card back. I really like these backs. Yes, they’re simple, but they also feature some good information about the players, including Hall of Fame induction years. Plus, how many cards have birth and death dates?

Like I said above, there’s nothing fancy here. No inserts or parallels to chase. No Rookie Cards to search for. But the checklist is absolutely loaded with baseball legends.

I like sets like this because I can learn more about some of the players. I learned a ton from card backs as a kid. You know, before this whole internet thing made finding information so simple. I still enjoy sitting down and learning from card backs. Do the card backs then force me to pull up Baseball Reference to find more information about the players? Maybe, but it all started with the cards in my hand.

Buy 1989 Pacific Baseball Legends II cards on:

Want more installments of Shane Salmonson’s Cheap Wax Wednesday? Check out his other breaks in the archives.

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1 comment

  1. Pedro Pantin 6 April, 2020 at 18:48

    Dear Sir. I am writing you from Venezuela. I am missing from 1989 Pacific legends cards 1 to 122.
    Does any one can help me with this ?
    I have a USA shipping mailing address in case any good person can arrange them to me .

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