Cheap Wax Wednesday Box Breaks: 1996 Sportflix Baseball
1996 marked the 10th anniversary of Sportflix cards. The spelling had changed over the course of a decade and not all of those years had sets, but the product remained similar thanks to its cornerstone feature: lenticular technology.
1996 Sportflix Baseball features a 144-card base checklist. Included in the base set are a couple of subsets, UC3 and Rookies, as well as three checklist cards. By this time, however, they were including both inserts and a parallel set. 10th Anniversary Artist’s Proof parallels are copies of the base card with a gold stamp on the card front. There are also four insert sets: Power Surge, ProMotion, Hit Parade and Double Take, which are exclusive to jumbo packs.
This would be the last Sportflix release.
1996 Sportflix Baseball Box Break
Cards per pack: 5
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $28
Pack 1 highlights:
Matt Williams, Bernie Williams, Alex Rodriguez & Barry Larkin
Bernie Williams finished off a 16-year Yankees career with 2,336 hits and a .297 career average.
Derek Jeter, Mo Vaughn, Pedro Martinez, Deion Sanders & Jay Buhner Power Surge (1:35 packs)
Cal Ripken, Jr., Barry Bonds & Will Clark
Jay Buhner, Hideo Nomo & Ivan Rodriguez
Hideo Nomo finished fourth in the NL Cy Young voting following both of his first two seasons in the majors.
Matt Williams & Sammy Sosa
Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds, Albert Belle & Wade Boggs
Greg Maddux, Larry Walker & Carlos Baerga
Baerga hit double-digit home runs in six straight seasons from 1991-1996, but never did so again over the final seven years of his career.
Reggie Sanders, Mark McGwire & Roberto Alomar
Rafael Palmeiro, Ozzie Smith & Sammy Sosa
Manny Ramirez, Ken Griffey, Jr. CL, Manny again & Craig Biggio
Checklist cards are so much better when they feature a player front.
Edgar Martinez & Ken Griffey Jr.
Tony Gwynn & Reggie Sanders Artist’s Proof (1:48 packs)
Roger Cedeno, Rafael Palmeiro & Ken Griffey, Jr.
Only one of the Rookies subset cards, Matt Lawton, is considered an actual RC.
Tony Clark, Tim Salmon, David Cone, Dante Bichette & Bobby Bonilla
Chan Ho Park, Gary Sheffield, Moises Alou, Larry Walker & Cal Ripken, Jr. Hit Parade (1:35 packs)
These Hit Parade cards with the generic player backgrounds don’t do a whole lot for me. They would have been a whole lot better with an actual player background animation.
Jason Schmidt, Sammy Sosa & Ruben Rivera ProMotion (1:17 packs)
Cal Ripken, Jr., Raul Mondesi, Paul Molitor & Rondell White
Tim Salmon, Mark McGwire & Tino Martinez
Rafael Palmeiro, Joe Carter & Jason Isringhausen
I have always loved cards featuring photos of the players interacting with the fans.
Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez & Mo Vaughn
Chipper Jones & Ray Lankford
Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Jr. CL & Frank Thomas
That’s right, Frank Thomas finished the 1995 season with an even 40 home runs. He did it again in 1996.
Derek Jeter, Dante Bichette & Garret Anderson
Albert Belle, Fred McGriff & Mike Mussina
Johnny Damon, Paul O’Neill, Jose Canseco & Andres Galarraga
Another great fan shot of Galarraga. “Big Cat” has always been a fan favorite.
Cecil Fielder, Kenny Lofton & Matt Williams
Gary Sheffield, Mo Vaughn & Chipper Jones
Roger Cedeno, Cal Ripken, Jr., Chipper Jones & Juan Gonzalez
Runnin’ Roger Cedeno would steal 171 bases over a four-year span from 1999-2002.
Tony Clark, Mark McGwire & Mike Mussina
Jeff Bagwell, Chan Ho Park, Mike Piazza & Fred McGriff
Jason Schmidt, Frank Thomas, Jose Canseco, Jim Thome & Kirby Puckett
Jason Schmidt finished second in Cy Young voting following the 2003 season. He led the NL with a 2.34 ERA. The only starter with a better ERA that season? Pedro Martinez with an AL-best 2.22.
Chipper Jones, Cecil Fielder, Randy Johnson & Eddie Murray
Eddie Murray & Garret Anderson ProMotion (1:17 packs)
Dante Bichette, Greg Maddux CL, Jim Edmonds & Jeff Bagwell
Maddux won four straight Cy Young awards 1992-1995. Over those four seasons combined, Mad Dog posted a 1.98 ERA.
Albert Belle & Roger Clemens
Johnny Damon, Tom Glavine, Johnny again & Lenny Dykstra
Lastly, the Glavine card back. Glavine sure did have a wicked change up!
Sportflix always seemed to get a bad rap from collectors, but I like it. The insert sets definitely add to the enjoyment for me. Those clear Power Surge cards are actually pretty nice. Double Take are too. But I did get any here because of their exclusivity to jumbo packs.
If the Derek Jeter “Rookies” cards were actual Rookie Cards I am sure this product would’ve had some legs. Having said that, I don’t think I would have been able to find a box for less than $1 per pack.
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Want more installments of Shane Salmonson’s Cheap Wax Wednesday? Check out his other breaks in the archives.