Welcome to our community

Be apart of something great, join today!

Retro Donruss, Fleer, and Topps box breaks: First post (and visit) in the forums in 13 years

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.


Aug 7, 2008
Binghamton, NY
Well, it's been 13 years since I've been to the forums. In 2009 I lost my job, sold my entire collection, and said goodbye to sports cards completely. Most of that collection was Shane Victorino. I considered myself a super collector of Victorino who was, and still is, a cult hero and/or local hero in recent Philadelphia sports. I made it my mission to have one of every card of his, which was relatively easy considering he was well known, but not a superstar who was seen by card companies as a must-add player to every short print and insert set. Of course he had a bunch of low numbered cards and some autos, game used, etc., but they occasionally popped up and went for much less than many players. According to Beckett's track-keeping thing-a-ma-jig, I had over 95% of his available cards. However, I lost my job, I had a small mental meltdown over it (surely no one here remembers that, along with the TMI heavy thread) and sold it all off to continue paying some bills.

Now 13 years later, I have a secure job, greater financial self control, and a small curiosity toward card collecting. A few weeks ago I randomly came upon the youtube channel called "The Past is Alive", and it's kept by someone who enjoys collecting rookie cards and opening retro (most 2000 and older) boxes and packs... along with vintage cards and such found at flea markets and garage sales. After watching some videos, I had a small interest in trying a few older wax boxes just for fun. A couple came from a nearby antique mall and the rest from someone I know at a nearby flea market. All for roughly $20 apiece. Of course I opened them and the glittering results, or rather the lack thereof, are listed below. It was actually fun and nostalgic.

I'm really not sure I'm going to stick around. Probably going to buy a cheap box or two per month and see how it goes. While I'm here jib-jabbing, does anyone happen to possess an unopened hobby box of the 1998 Donruss flagship product or 1998 Donruss Update? It was my favorite childhood product for multiple reasons. eBay has an unsealed one for $160 and a sealed "magazine box" (what is that even?) for $140. That's just asking way too much for a bunch of base, a couple /2500 die-cut cards, a Diamond Kings insert #'d /10,000, and a few "Rated Rookies". Furthermore, what the heck is up with prices in general since I last paid attention? Goodness sakes.

1985 Topps O-Pee-Chee (16 packs):

-Bunch of stale gum and no salvageable posters
-No Puckett or Gooden rookies
-Bunch of 'meh stickers, with a Bobby Cox and Bert Blyleven
-Noteworthy base: Ozzie Smith, Steve Garvey, Tim Raines, Joe Morgan, George Foster, George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr., Dave Kingman, Jim Rice, Goose Gossage, Keith Hernandez, Carlton Fisk, Julio Franco, Tony Gwynn, Phil Niekro, Dave Parker, Jack Morris, Robin Yount, Ted Simmons, etc

1989 Fleer Box:

-Just about every team sticker and combination possible
-Griffey, Johnson (full black box, no Marlboro sign variations), Smoltz rookies in packs 1-3; No Biggio or Sheffield
-Billy Ripken with "the phrase" visible in all its glory (sold)
-'89 Fleer All Stars: Mike Scioscia, Darryl Strawberry, Frank Viola, Alan Trammell
-The regular assortment of star base
-Jeff Treadway without the bullseye/crosshairs

1993 Donruss Series 1 and 2 Boxes:

- Piazza RC, 3x Chipper Jones fake rookie
-Diamond Kings: McGwire, Sheffield, Sandberg, Bip Roberts, Ventura
-Spirit of the Game: Thomas, Lofton, Gonzalez/Canseco, Bip Roberts, Thomas/George Bell

2 1994 Stadium Club Series 3 Boxes:

-First box had no SC Finest or Dugout Dirt inserts, but had the promised 1st Day Issue; second box had all the promised inserts but no 1st Day Issue... huh
-Stadium Club Finest: Thomas, Salmon, Piazza, Bonds
-Dugout Dirt: Thomas (2x), Kent, Daulton
-1st Day Issue: Greg Harris
-Golden Rainbow: Klesko, Thomas, Leiter, Ozzie Smith, Viola, Wells, Sandberg, Manny Ramirez, and other 'meh players
-One complete set of Series 3; one almost complete set; and a decent number of thirds

1995 Topps Box:

-Not quite a complete set
-Spectra: Lofton, Nixon, Palmer, Ozzie Smith, Eddie Murray, Dykstra, Clemens, McGriff, Caminiti, Tino Martinez
-League Leaders: Benes, Clemens, McGriff, Bagwell, Belle, Galarraga
-Average assortment of stars, minor stars, and afterthoughts

Hope you enjoyed!


Super Moderator
Aug 17, 2008
Near Philly
IF you haven't yet looked, take a look at basketball prices. Even early 90s "junk" like 90-91 Fleer and SkyBox have gone crazy...


Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
Lake in the Hills, IL
Your 1998 Donruss box prices are all about the Crusade chase. You're likely to get the inserts you mention - plus a cool production line card - and no Crusade, but there is the chance. You have seen the crazy amounts people are paying for Crusades, correct?

Honestly, not a great time to be buying 90's boxes. Better off scouring for 90's singles deals. But prices on rare 90's stuff have blown up across the board.


Jan 19, 2010
You've stumbled back to find that card "collecting" is now ALL about gambling for a good portion of those involved. That aspect has always been there, especially since it grew big in the early 90s. There are still collectors who like and appreciate the cards for what they are, but with situations like the Crusades mentioned above, value will always drive the conversation more than the cards themselves. When people don't care if they get a Jason Dickson or Todd Greene, simply because it is a rare Crusade and the odds have been beaten, then you have crossed over.

I believe that anyone gambling on old boxes is eventually going to be priced out on everything, while feeling like they got ripped off for pulling squat from the boxes they can afford or they are going to kick it up to bigger (more expensive) boxes. As much as I enjoyed the chase in the 90s, the insert trend has ruined pack opening for me. I have been buying only what I like since the late 90s and have mostly moved on beyond the pack opening thrill. Don't get me wrong, I'd open boxes now if they were cheap enough, but even then, failing to pull something of significance always left me feeling empty.

Was just in Maui this past February, where Victorino hails from. He (and his father, one time Mayor) are well known there to this day. I have some of his early stuff because he was a Dodger prospect. Glad to have stumbled upon it before his career took off and also glad he actually came back and played for them later, rather than just being another prospect player who never appeared for the team they were drafted by.

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts