Saturday, April 8, 2017

Old School Box Breaks: 98-99 Upper Deck Series II Basketball Hobby Box

So here we are..the final box in my old school break for the time being. I started doing this with 98-99 Topps Series 2, 4 weeks ago and here we are 4 boxes later with the Grand Finale, and I saved what is for me the best for last. The main reason I wanted to save this for last was because of the tiny microscopic chance I pull one of the greatest cards ever made...the Jordan Autographed Game Used Jersey. Obviously it's 99.9999% doubtful...but just like Lloyd Christmas' chances with Mary Swanson...there's still a CHANCE!! This box would've been easy to flip for at the very least triple what I paid for it..but honestly..I never gave it a single thought to flip...this is a rare chance to bust a box that typically sells high for a super cheap price..isn't that what collecting is all about? I'm a collector first, not a seller, so there was no doubt in my mind I was always going to break this one open. If by any chance I don't get the holy grail...maybe I can get a Game Used Jersey card...I'd love to pull one from a time when these things were considered holy grail pulls themselves. It really makes me laugh how card companies took something so innovative and desirable and ran it to the ground to the point that 95% of jersey cards are considered as desirable as base cards.

What To Look For: Well obviously the big chase is the Jordan Autograph Game Jersey card, but also regular game used jersey cards. The funny thing, the rookie jersey set is harder to pull (1:2500 packs) but if you don't hit like Vince Carter, it kind of sucks..I'd much rather hit the easier to find jersey cards of veteran players (1:288). Outside of that, rookies are seeded 1:4 packs. Obviously the big rookie hits are of Vince, Dirk, and Paul Pierce. There are UD Exclusive parallels numbered to 100. Also you have serial numbered parallels of the Next Wave, MJ23, and Super Power inserts, so any superstar parallels would be awesome.

Basic Set Info
98-99 UD Series II Basketball Hobby
157 Base Cards
24 Packs Per Box
10 Cards Per Pack

Rookies (1:4)
MJ Base Cards (1:4)
Super Powers (1:5)
Quantum Super Powers Bronze, Silver, Gold (# to 1000, 100, 50)
Next Wave (1:11)
Quantum Next Wave Bronze, Silver, Gold (# to 1,500, 200, 75)
MJ23 (1:23)
Quantum MJ23 Red,Silver, Gold (# to 2,300, 23, and 1)
Game Worn Rookie Jersey (1:2500)
Hobby Exclusive Game Worn Jersey (1:288)
Michael Jordan Autograph Game Worn Jersey (# to 23)
UD Exclusives Bronze, Gold (# to 100, 1) it is...the final break!
So remember that 98-99 was a lockout shortened season which means that anything released before the lockout ended had 0 rookies (some had redemptions for rookies, some products had nothing at all). SPX Finite was one of those products so what UD did was make a special rookie update set and inserted 2 card packs into hobby boxes of 98-99 UD Series 2. It's a nice little bonus that adds some value to the box, especially if you pull the right rookies. They are serial numbered as well, which I believe makes them the first basketball rookie cards to be serial numbered since these came out before SP Authentic, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Anyways, I've always felt these were underrated rookies, but maybe it's because the majority of them are just draft day suit photos and not players in their NBA Uniforms that they aren't as desirable as SP Authentic. Still cool nonetheless and I will start with that pack first.

SPX Finite Rookie Update Pack
Raef LaFrentz (#1536/2500)
Ricky Davis Radiance (#71/1500)

Eh...nothing special here..the Davis is actually a the time maybe LaFrentz had initial hobby love due to being the #3 pick overall and coming from Kansas..but that quickly died down.

Now for the break!
Rookies (1:4)
Bryce Drew
Roshown McLeod
Bonzi Wells
Raef LaFrentz
Vince Carter
Paul Pierce

MJ Base Card Variations (1:4)

Super Powers (1:5)
Tracy McGrady
Hakeem Olajuwon
Allan Houston
Ray Allen
Kobe Bryant

Super Powers Quantum Bronze
Corliss Williamson (#896/1000)

Next Wave (1:11)
Keith Booth
Jermaine O'Neal

Next Wave Quantum Silver
Ron Mercer (#98/200)

MJ23 (1:23)

Overall Thoughts: So nothing big, but at it's price point very worth it. This box is full of MJ's, whether it be the SP Base Cards (in which you get 6 a box) the MJ insert, the chance at the MJ Autograph game used Jersey, heck even the checklists use MJ's images. If this was 1999, the Pierce and Vince SP rookies would be HUGE PULLS. I actually remember buying the Vince myself at The Dugout for $25. It was fun to pull it and own it again. Inserts of Kobe and TMac are nice, wish the serial numbered parallels were of better players. All in all a fun trip down memory lane but here's the big "but"....there's no WAY I recommend breaking this product at it's current price point on Ebay ($125-$150). I got super lucky to get this for a little over $40 and even then it's not the greatest of breaks return wise. At 3-4 times that price, it's an absolute bloodbath. There are only a few cards that would be able to cover the price of it's current market value. Even pulling game jersey cards wouldn't really get you much as they aren't worth as nearly as much as they used to be 20 years ago. If you can find this in the $75-$80's worth a shot, but anything over $100 I'd stay away. Here are pics of some of the hits


Top 5 Pulls of 2017

#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1
#2- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)
#3- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)
#4- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Devontae Booker  
#5- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Paul Perkins





  1. For some reason I never really cared for this set. I don't know why. I have a lot of series 2 but less than half of series 1. I just got one of the jersey cards last year...Been wanting one since new. I remember seeing one in my shops case but not being able to afford it back then. I think it was Grant Hill but I can't remember for sure anymore.

  2. I busted a ton of this product back in the day... mainly for the SPx rookie packs. Congratulations on pulling rookie cards of Pierce and VC. You probably could have sold the Carter for $25 back in the day.