Cheap Wax Wednesday Box Breaks: 1996 Sportflix Baseball

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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

Shop for 1996 Sportflix Baseball boxes on eBay.

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. 

Pack 2:

Derek Jeter, Mo Vaughn, Pedro Martinez, Deion Sanders & Jay Buhner Power Surge (1:35 packs)

Pack 3:

Cal Ripken, Jr., Barry Bonds & Will Clark

Pack 4:

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. 

Pack 5:

Matt Williams & Sammy Sosa

Pack 6:

Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds, Albert Belle & Wade Boggs

Pack 7:

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. 

Pack 8:

Reggie Sanders, Mark McGwire & Roberto Alomar

Pack 9:

Rafael Palmeiro, Ozzie Smith & Sammy Sosa

Pack 10:

Manny Ramirez, Ken Griffey, Jr. CL, Manny again & Craig Biggio

Checklist cards are so much better when they feature a player front.

Pack 11:

Edgar Martinez & Ken Griffey Jr.

Pack 12:

Tony Gwynn & Reggie Sanders Artist’s Proof (1:48 packs)

Pack 13:

Roger Cedeno, Rafael Palmeiro & Ken Griffey, Jr.

Only one of the Rookies subset cards, Matt Lawton, is considered an actual RC. 

Pack 14:

Tony Clark, Tim Salmon, David Cone, Dante Bichette & Bobby Bonilla

Pack 15:

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. 

Pack 16:

Jason Schmidt, Sammy Sosa & Ruben Rivera ProMotion (1:17 packs)

Pack 17:

Cal Ripken, Jr., Raul Mondesi, Paul Molitor & Rondell White

Pack 18:

Tim Salmon, Mark McGwire & Tino Martinez

Pack 19:

Rafael Palmeiro, Joe Carter & Jason Isringhausen

I have always loved cards featuring photos of the players interacting with the fans.

Pack 20:

Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez & Mo Vaughn

Pack 21:

Chipper Jones & Ray Lankford

Pack 22:

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.

Pack 23:

Derek Jeter, Dante Bichette & Garret Anderson

Pack 24:

Albert Belle, Fred McGriff & Mike Mussina

Pack 25:

Johnny Damon, Paul O’Neill, Jose Canseco & Andres Galarraga

Another great fan shot of Galarraga. “Big Cat” has always been a fan favorite. 

Pack 26:

Cecil Fielder, Kenny Lofton & Matt Williams

Pack 27:

Gary Sheffield, Mo Vaughn & Chipper Jones

Pack 28:

Roger Cedeno, Cal Ripken, Jr., Chipper Jones & Juan Gonzalez

Runnin’ Roger Cedeno would steal 171 bases over a four-year span from 1999-2002. 

Pack 29:

Tony Clark, Mark McGwire & Mike Mussina

Pack 30:

Jeff Bagwell, Chan Ho Park, Mike Piazza & Fred McGriff

Pack 31:

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.

Pack 32:

Chipper Jones, Cecil Fielder, Randy Johnson & Eddie Murray

Pack 33:

Eddie Murray & Garret Anderson ProMotion (1:17 packs)

Pack 34:

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. 

Pack 35:

Albert Belle & Roger Clemens

Pack 36:

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.

Shop for 1996 Sportflix Baseball on:

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

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