Cheap Wax Wednesday Box Breaks: 1999 UD Choice Baseball

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Upper Deck released Collector’s Choice Baseball for the first time in 1994. This low-priced set became a favorite among many collectors during the mid to late ’90s. The set always seemed to have good looking parallels (Silver and Gold Signature), as well as fun, sometimes interactive inserts. For example, You Crash the Game cards could be redeemed for prizes if players completed certain goals. 

In 1999, Upper Deck changed the Collector’s Choice set to UD Choice. Why? I don’t know. Even though the box says Series 1 on it, there was no Series 2. The set consists of just 155 base cards. Included are 27 Rookie Class cards but only one (Ramon Martinez) is considered an actual Rookie Card.

1999 UD Choice Baseball Box

Each pack of 1999 UD Choice Baseball has a Starquest insert. These cards came in four different colors, each with differing pack odds. Gold Starquest cards are numbered to 100 and are very tough to pull. 

1999 UD Choice Baseball Box Break

Cards per pack: 12
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $25

Shop for 1999 UD Choice Baseball boxes on eBay.

Pack 1 highlights:

Frank Thomas, Juan Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Chipper Jones, Roger Clemens CG, Eric Chavez, Barry Bonds Starquest (1 in each pack) & Omar Vizquel Mini Bobbing Head (1:5 packs)

Imagine the Twins never released David Ortiz? He went on to play 14 seasons in Boston, hitting 483 home runs and driving in 1,768 runs. 

Pack 2:

Barry Bonds, Derek Jeter, Ivan Rodriguez, Jeter CG, Tony Gwynn CG & Ben Grieve Starquest Red (1:23 packs)

Pack 3:

Larry Walker, Tony Gwynn, Juan Gonzalez CG, Chipper Jones CG & Randy Johnson Starquest

Pack 4:

Carlos Delgado, Sammy Sosa, Andruw Jones, Cal Ripken, Jr. CG, Matt Williams Prime Choice Reserve (062/100), Greg Maddux Starquest Green (1:8 packs) & J.D. Drew Yardwork (1:13 packs)

Pack 5:

Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Troy Glaus CG, Carlos Beltran & Curt Schilling Starquest

Beltran played his first full season in the majors in 1999. He won the AL Rookie of the Year award, batting .293 with 22 HR, 108 RBI and 27 stolen bases. Somehow two other players received first place votes for the ROY, Freddy Garcia and Brian Daubach.

Pack 6:

Ken Griffey, Jr., Will Clark, Jim Thome, Sammy Sosa CG, J.D. Drew, Gabe Kapler, Vladimir Guerrero Starquest & Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez Mini Bobbing Head (1:5 packs)

Pack 7:

Miguel Tejada, Mike Piazza, Mike Lowell, David Wells CG, Greg Maddux CG & Roger Clemens Starquest

Pack 8:

Craig Biggio, Paul O’Neill, Albert Belle, Todd Helton, Randy Johnson CG, Adrian Beltre & Kenny Lofton Starquest

Pack 9:

Andres Galarraga, Scott Rolen, Moises Alou, Kerry Wood CG & Alex Rodriguez Starquest

Kerry Wood edged out Todd Helton to win 1998 NL Rookie of the Year honors. He then missed the entire 1999 season to injury. 

Pack 10:

Johnny Damon, Pedro Martinez, Bernie Williams, Trevor Hoffman, Mark McGwire CG, Scott Rolen CG, Orlando Hernandez & Adrian Beltre Starquest

Pack 11:

Kenny Lofton, Vladimir Guerrero, Jason Giambi, Bartolo Colon CG, Troy Glaus, Travis Lee Starquest & Tony Gwynn Mini Bobbing Head (1:5 packs)

Pack 12:

Cal Ripken, Jr., Darin Erstad, Roger Clemens, Nomar Garciaparra CG & Larry Walker Starquest Green (1:8 packs)

Pack 13:

Bill Mueller, Kerry Wood, Mark Grace, Greg Vaughn, Derek Jeter CG, Tony Gwynn CG, Juan Gonzalez CG & Cal Ripken, Jr. Starquest

Always under the radar, Bill Mueller put it all together in 2003, winning the batting title. He hit .326 for Boston that season, finishing 12th in AL MVP balloting.

Pack 14:

Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Nomar Garciaparra, Ken Griffey, Jr. CG, Roger Clemens CG & Jeff Bagwell Starquest

Pack 15:

Alex Rodriguez, Greg Maddux, Jeff Bagwell, Randy Johnson, Derek Jeter CG, Eric Chavez & Troy Glaus Starquest

Pack 16:

Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez, Omar Vizquel, Tony Gwynn CG, Juan Gonzalez CG, Nomar Garciaparra Starquest & Ken Griffey, Jr. Mini Bobbing Head (1:5 packs)

Pack 17:

Minnesota Twins legend David Ortiz, Juan Gonzalez, Jason Varitek, Chipper Jones, Chipper CG, Sammy Sosa Starquest & Jose Cruz Jr. Yardwork (1:13 packs)

Jose Cruz Jr. was the 12th-ranked prospect in all of baseball prior to the 1997 season. He finished second in the 1997 AL ROY race, but never really turned into the star many expected he would. 

Pack 18:

Barry Bonds, Larry Walker, Derek Jeter, Ivan Rodriguez, Cal Ripken, Jr. CG, Troy Glaus CG & Scott Rolen Starquest

Pack 19:

Miguel Tejada, Craig Biggio, Paul O’Neill, Chipper Jones CG, Cal Ripken, Jr. CG & Tony Gwynn Starquest

Pack 20:

Albert Belle, Andres Galarraga, Scott Rolen, Todd Helton, Carlos Beltran, Sammy Sosa CG & Frank Thomas Starquest

Pack 21:

Johnny Damon, Pedro Martinez, Bernie Williams, Livan Hernandez, Greg Maddux CG, Gabe Kapler, J.D. Drew & Tony Clark Starquest

Livan Hernandez was the 1997 World Series MVP. He would pitch in one other World Series, with the Giants in 2002. His overall World Series ERA? 7.91. Ouch. Hernandez pitched for nine different teams during his major league career, always wearing number 61. 

Pack 22:

Kenny Lofton, Trevor Hoffman, Jason Giambi, Randy Johnson CG, David Wells CG, Mike Lowell & Ben Grieve Starquest

Pack 23:

Vladimir Guerrero, Cal Ripken, Jr., Roger Clemens, Kerry Wood CG, Adrian Beltre, Scott Rolen Starquest Green (1:8 packs) & Rickey Henderson Mini Bobbing Head (1:5 packs)

Pack 24:

Kerry Wood, Greg Vaughn, Mark Grace, Scott Rolen CG & Ken Griffey, Jr. Starquest

Pack 25:

Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Jose Guillen, Mark McGwire CG, Orlando Hernandez, Troy Glaus & Jim Thome Starquest

Thome led the American League in two categories during the 1999 season, strikeouts (171) and walks (127).

Pack 26:

Nomar Garciaparra, Alex Rodriguez, Greg Maddux, Bartolo Colon CG, Nomar CG & Ivan Rodriguez Starquest

Pack 27:

Jeff Bagwell, Bobby Abreu, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Omar Vizquel, Ken Griffey, Jr. CG & Juan Gonzalez Starquest

Pack 28:

Gary Sheffield, Nomar Garciaparra, Alex Rodriguez, Mike Lowell, David Wells CG, Randy Johnson CG & Scott Rolen Starquest

Pack 29:

Greg Maddux, Jeff Bagwell, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Adrian Beltre, Kerry Wood CG & Mike Piazza Starquest

Adrian Beltre ranks 15th all-time with 2,933 games played. In a million years I wouldn’t have guessed the player that ranks just ahead of him. Rusty Staub played 2,951 major league games. 

Pack 30:

Frank Thomas, Juan Gonzalez, Omar Vizquel, Jason Varitek, Scott Rolen CG, El Duque Hernandez & Chipper Jones Starquest

Pack 31:

David Ortiz, Barry Bonds, Chipper Jones, Mark McGwire CG, Big Mac Starquest & Tino Martinez Mini Bobbing Head (1:5 packs)

Pack 32:

Larry Walker, Derek Jeter, Ivan Rodriguez, Bartolo Colon CG, Nomar Garciaparra CG & Derek Jeter Starquest

Pack 33:

Tony Gwynn, Andruw Jones, Ken Griffey, Jr. CG & Frank Thomas Starquest Green (1:8 packs)

Andruw Jones played 11 full seasons in Atlanta, never playing less than 153 games. 

Pack 34:

Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens CG, Eric Chavez & Kerry Wood Starquest

Pack 35:

Rafael Palmeiro, Ken Griffey, Jr., Will Clark, Derek Jeter CG, Tony Gwynn CG, Juan Gonzalez CG & Greg Maddux Starquest

Pack 36:

Jim Thome, Mike Piazza, Larry Walker Starquest, Jeff Bagwell Yardwork (1:13 packs) & Adrian Beltre Mini Bobbing Head (1:5 packs)

And a Jim Thome back:

This product seemed to fit right in with the fun, inexpensive Collector’s Choice brand. I pulled everything you can expect to find in one box, but was unable to find a Gold Starquest card. The Gold Starquest cards don’t pop up for sale often. When they do, star players sell for well over $100.

Sadly, this was the last baseball product Upper Deck released in the Collector’s Choice/UD Choice brand name. Upper Deck unveiled the MVP brand later in the 1999 season, and retired the Choice branding. 

Shop for 1999 UD Choice Baseball on:

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

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