Cheap Wax Wednesday Box Breaks: 1995 Fleer Baseball
For most of the ’90s, Fleer Baseball was known for consistency. You knew what to expect with each year’s release. Yes, the base design always changed but many of the inserts could be found year-in and year-out. 1995 Fleer Baseball takes a wonky turn from the norm, though.
There’s still the large, 600-card base set collectors were accustomed to. While big, the base set is also strange. Fleer decided to go with six different designs in 1995, one for each division. The card fronts also included a bunch of information that was typically only found on card backs like height, weight, birthdate and hometown.
This approach didn’t go over well with collectors, and I tend to agree with the consensus. There is just too much going on. Luckily 1995 Fleer Baseball does have a saving grace, the inserts.
Among them is Pro-Visions, one of my favorite ’90s inserts. These debuted in 1991 and were found in the set every year until 1995. It’s a shame it didn’t keep going.
1995 Fleer Baseball Box Break
Cards per pack: 12
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $33
Pack 1 highlights:
Trevor Hoffman & David Cone Award Winners (1 in every 24 packs)
David Cone won the 1994 AL Cy Young Award, posting a 16-5 record and 2.94 ERA. That would be Cone’s only career Cy Young, though he did finish in the top six another four times.
Cliff Floyd, Dave Stewart, Rick Aguilera & Jimmy Key League Leaders (1:8 packs)
Alan Benes Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
Alan just couldn’t keep up with his older brother, Andy who played 14 major league seasons, finishing his career with a 3.97 ERA. Alan pitched in just eight major league seasons, holding an ERA of 4.59.
Craig Biggio & Jose Canseco Lumber Company (1:24 packs)
Greg Vaughn, Frank Viola, Chili Davis & Frank Thomas/Gregg Jefferies All-Stars (1:3 packs)
And here is the Jefferies side.
As a player sorter, I really need to find two of each of the All-Star cards so I can sort one into each player’s section of my binders.
Joe Girardi & Ivan Rodriguez/Mike Piazza All-Stars (1:3 packs)
Quite the catching duo on this one. Both are in the Hall of Fame now.
Cliff Floyd, Craig Biggio, Alan Trammell & Alex Rodriguez Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
The NL East design, like the Cliff Floyd pictured here, was really something. If that isn’t a ’90s base card, I don’t know what is.
Pedro Martinez, Wally Joyner & Kirby Puckett League Leaders (1:8 packs)
Eddie Murray & Jeff Bagwell Pro-Visions (1:9 packs)
See what I mean about Pro-Visions? These are amazing! All six cards in the set could be placed next to each other to form a larger puzzle.
Paul Molitor & Brian Hunter Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
Chuck Finley, Eric Young & another Jeff Bagwell Pro-Visions (1:9 packs)
Finley won 200 games over his 17-year career. He finished with 15 wins or more in seven different seasons.
Mike Mussina, Robin Ventura, Curt Schilling, Bret Boone & Ray Durham Major League Prospects (1:9 packs)
Tino Martinez, Javier Lopez & Manny Ramirez Pro-Visions (1:9 packs)
This is a fitting image for Manny Ramirez. One of the most-feared hitters of his time, Ramirez won nine Silver Slugger awards, including eight in a row from 1999-2006. His .585 career slugging percentage ranks 11th all-time.
An insert hot pack! An all-inserts hot pack was found once in every two boxes, on average.
Greg Maddux Pro-Visions (1:9 packs), Garret Anderson & Charles Johnson Major League Prospects (1:6 packs), Randy Johnson/John Hudek, Frank Thomas/Gregg Jefferies, Ivan Rodriguez/Mike Piazza, David Cone/Ken Hill, Kenny Lofton/Moises Alou & Pat Hentgen/Danny Jackson All-Stars (1:3 packs) & Kevn Mitchell, Frank Thomas and Matt Williams Lumber Company (1:24 packs)
Cal Ripken, Jr., Reggie Sanders & Armando Benitez Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
Reginald Laverne Sanders doesn’t get a whole lot of hobby love. He played for eight different teams over a 17-year major league career, finishing with nearly identical home run (305) and stolen base (304) totals.
Lenny Dykstra, David Cone & Raul Mondesi Pro-Visions (1:9 packs)
Jeff Kent, Raul Mondesi & Tony Gwynn League Leaders (1:8 packs)
Jeff Kent just doesn’t look right to me in a Mets uniform. He did play parts of five seasons in New York, collecting over 500 hits.
Kenny Lofton, Carlos Delgado & Pat Hentgen/Danny Jackson All-Stars (1:3 packs)
Wade Boggs, Mike Piazza, Lenny Dykstra & David Cone Award Winners (1:24 packs)
Wade Boggs seems very under-appreciated for the type of numbers he put up over an 18-year career. He was recognized as an AL All-Star 12 seasons in a row from 1985-1996.
Dave Winfield, Darryl Strawberry, John Kruk & David Cone Award Winners (1:24 packs)
Clearly this is a David Cone hot box. I have already pulled three of his Award Winners insert, crushing the 1:24 pack odds.
Terry Pendleton, Mo Vaughn, Tim Raines, Tony Gwynn & Orlando Miller Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
Tim Raines stole 808 bases during his career, ranking him fifth all-time. Rickey Henderson barely edges him out for career steals…by 598.
Ruben Sierra (check out that leg kick) & Wilson Alvarez/Rod Beck All-Stars (1:3 packs)
Bernie Williams, Jose Canseco, Rondell White & Joe Carter/Barry Bonds All-Stars (1:3 packs)
Bernie Williams played his entire 16-year career for the Yankees. While he was a very good, consistent player, he saved some of his best work for the ALCS. Bernie hit .321 in 41 career ALCS games, helping send the Yankees to six World Series, winning four of them.
Frank Viola & Garret Anderson Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
Frank Thomas, Manny Ramirez, Bo Jackson & Frank Thomas Award Winners (1:24 packs)
The Big Hurt won his second straight AL MVP Award in 1994. He hit .353 with 38 home runs and 101 RBI, while also leading the league in runs scored, walks, OBP, slugging & OPS.
Gary Sheffield, Mark McGwire & Jimmy Key League Leaders (1:8 packs)
Lou Whitaker, John Smoltz & Raul Mondesi Pro-Visions (1:9 packs)
Raul Mondesi won the 1994 NL Rookie of the Year Award, batting .306 with 27 doubles, 16 home runs and 56 RBI. Mondesi also had a cannon of an arm, racking up 112 outfield assists.
Cliff Floyd, Craig Biggio & Charles Johnson Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
Goose Gossage, Albert Belle, Tim Salmon & another Charles Johnson Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
Tim Salmon, the original Angels fish, racked up 299 home runs over 14 seasons, all in Anaheim.
Joe Carter, Alan Trammell & James Baldwin Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
Randy Johnson, Cecil Fielder & Kirby Puckett League Leaders (1:8 packs)
Puckett led the American League with 112 RBI in 1994, his second-to-last season. He was on pace for 160 RBI during the strike-shortened season.
Dante Bichette, Mark McGwire & Ken Griffey, Jr./Tony Gwynn All-Stars (1:3 packs)
David Cone, Bret Saberhagen & Alan Benes Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
Saberhagen won the AL Cy Young twice in Kansas City. In 1989 Sabes finished with a 21-6 record and 2.16 ERA. Somehow he failed to make the All-Star team that year.
Joe Carter & Randy Johnson League Leaders (1:8 packs)
Darren Daulton, Goose Gossage, Paul Molitor, Jim Abbott & Wilson Alvarez/Rod Beck All-Stars (1:3 packs)
Wilson Alvarez made his major league debut as a 19-year-old on July 24, 1989. He faced just five batters, walked two, and allowed three hits, including two home runs. He fared just a bit better in August, 1991 when he pitched a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles.
Randy Johnson & Armando Benitez Major League Prospects (1:6 packs)
Lastly, the Randy Johnson card back. The Big Unit seemed to just get better with age.
The base designs are too much in this one. With an insert in every pack, they definitely saved it for me. I certainly beat the odds on many of them too, especially when you include the all-insert hot pack. I do wish I wouldn’t have pulled duplicates on the Pro-Visions cards, but now I will have to track down the two I didn’t pull, Mussina and Salmon.
At under $1 per pack, this one was a no-brainer. Boxes can still be found close to this price if you are patient. They have been selling as high as $60.
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