Cheap Wax Wednesday Box Breaks: 2003 Fleer Tradition Update Baseball

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The base checklist for 2003 Fleer Tradition Update Baseball boasts 398 cards. Included are a few subsets: All Stars, Interleague Play, and Tale of the Tape. Also on the checklist are 15 Rookie 03 cards that are short prints compared to the rest of the set. If that wasn’t enough, there are also 99 cards only found in the 25-card Rookie bonus boxes found in each hobby box.

Parallel and inserts are also available. Glossy parallels are limited to 100 copies. These cover both Update and the main Fleer Tradition set that came out before it. There are two different sets of relics, Milestones and Throwback Threads. Turn Back the Clock inserts are the toughest pulls landing about every tenth box.

2003 Fleer Tradition Update Baseball Box Break

Cards per pack: 10
Packs per box: 32 plus a 25-card Rookie box
Price paid: $50

Shop for 2003 Fleer Tradition Update Baseball boxes on eBay.

Pack 1 highlights:

Javier Vazquez, Jeromy Burnitz, Keith Foulke AS, Melvin Mora, Reyes/Jeter IP & Hideki Matsui TT

Tale of the Tape cards look good enough to be inserts, but they’re a subset within the main checklist.

Pack 2:

Todd Walker, Eric Gagne, Magglio Ordonez AS, Fred McGriff, Rolen/Garciaparra IP & Barry Bonds TT

Pack 3:

Luis Gonzalez AS, Gabe Kapler & Rafael Palmeiro Milestones Jersey Relic (1:20 packs)

Pack 4:

Maddux/Zito IP, Vladimir Guerrero TT, Manny Ramirez AS, Mark Loretta & David Dellucci Glossy (053/100)

Pack 5:

Jose Vidro AS, Mike Sweeney AS, Pat Burrell & Chipper Jones Milestones (1:8 packs)

Sweeney was a very solid player. His career .851 OPS would’ve ranked him in the top 20 last season.

Pack 6:

John Lackey, Roger Clemens AS & Miguel Cabrera

Pack 7:

Cliff Floyd, Luis Castillo AS, Barry Zito AS, Jose Contreras RC, Bill Mueller, Prior/Wells IP & Gerald Laird (044/100)

Pack 8:

Barry Bonds, Bonds AS, Mike Lowell AS & Albert Pujols TT

Pack 9:

Jorge Posada AS, Bonds/Hunter IP & Rocco Baldelli Diamond Debut (1:10 packs)

I am trying to figure out how they came up with some of these Interleague Play combos, but I can’t figure it out. 

Pack 10:

Carlos Baerga, Vladimir Guerrero, Dunn/Giambi IP & Sammy Sosa TT

Pack 11:

Torii Hunter, Curt Schilling, Jamie Moyer AS, Jason Giambi AS, Troy Percival & Tom Glavine

Pack 12:

Dontrelle Willis AS, Kevin Brown AS, Berkman/Rodriguez IP & Al Kaline Glossy (017/100)

Pack 13:

Kenny Lofton, Nomar Garciaparra AS, Javy Lopez AS, Rod Beck, Carlos Delgado TT & Jeremy Bonderman Diamond Debut (1:10 packs)

One of my favorite things about Update sets is the cards of guys in uniforms you don’t see very often. Such as Lofton in a Cubs uniform. He played just 56 games for Chicago. 

Pack 14:

Jim Thome, Eric Gagne AS, Garret Anderson AS & Jones/Suzuki IP

Pack 15:

Francisco Rodriguez, Coco Crisp, Mark Prior AS, Mark Mulder AS, Bartolo Colon & Josh Bard Glossy (052/100)

Pack 16:

Roy Halladay AS, Chien-Ming Wang, Adam Dunn Glossy (40/100) & Guerrero/Delgado IP

Pack 17:

Alex Rodriguez, Kerry Wood AS & Rafael Palmeiro Milestones (1:8 packs)

The back of the Palmeiro Milestones insert talks about him hitting his 500th home run on May 11, 2003.

Pack 18:

John Smoltz, Edgar Renteria AS, Andruw Jones AS, David Ortiz & Jose Reyes Diamond Debut (1:10 packs)

Pack 19:

Alfonso Soriano AS, Gary Sheffield AS, Garret Anderson, Sosa/Ordonez IP & Wilkin Ruan Glossy (077/100)

Pack 20:

Roberto Alomar, Paul Konerko, Jim Thome TT & Thome Milestones (1:8 packs)

Pack 21:

Robin Ventura, Rafael Furcal AS, Scott Rolen AS, Sammy Sosa, Bagwell/Soriano IP & Jose Reyes 

For those that didn’t realize, the Astros used to be in the National League. They switched to the AL in 2013.

Pack 22:

Carlos Delgado AS, Albert Pujols AS, Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Tejada & Alfonso Soriano TT

Pack 23:

Adam Dunn, Billy Wagner AS, Rich Harden, Benito Santiago, Pujols/Sweeney IP & Jose Contreras Glossy (018/100)

Pack 24:

Livan Hernandez, Alfonso Soriano, Derek Lowe & Miguel Cabrera Diamond Debut (1:10 packs)

Pack 25:

I honestly have no idea what happened to this picture. But it shrunk beyond the point of me being able to tell what is there. Wild.

Pack 26:

Keith Foulke, Aramis Ramirez, Hideki Matsui AS & Mike Piazza TT

Pack 27:

Vernon Wells AS, Todd Helton AS, Ivan Rodriguez, Thome/Martinez IP & Rays Team Leaders Glossy (092/100)

Pack 28:

Rickey Henderson, Ichiro Suzuki AS, Octavio Dotel, Jones/Blalock IP & Jason Giambi Long Gone (379/440)

Pack 29:

Melvin Mora AS, Julio Lugo & Troy O’Leary

O’Leary had some good seasons in Boston, including the 1999 season when he hit .280 with 28 home runs and 103 RBI. 

Pack 30:

Jeff Kent, Andres Galarraga, Bill Hall Glossy #ed 100/100, Wood/Clemens IP & J.D. Drew TT

Pack 31:

Alex Rodriguez AS, Jim Edmonds AS, Marquis Grissom & Roy Oswalt

Pack 32:

Edgar Martinez AS, Sandy Alomar, Jr., Raul Mondesi, Willis/Baldelli IP & Troy Glaus Throwback Threads Jersey Relic (1:64 packs)

Lastly, the Mondesi card back. 

I can’t forget the 25-card rookie box.

A couple highlights, Shane Victorino & Rickie Weeks. These 25 cards are only found in these boxes, they will not be found in any packs. 

This was a fun one! I dig the throwback design for sure. I did not expect to pull as many Glossy parallels as I did in this one. Nine of them. That is impressive, and may be worthy of ripping another box. Obviously the best of the bunch was the Kaline.

Shop for 2003 Fleer Tradition Update Baseball cards on:

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

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