I spend a lot of time wondering what if. While a lot of details on the days of our hobby in the 80s and 90s isn’t readily available, one thing that is clear is that Upper Deck introduced pack-inserted autographs to baseball card collectors in 1990. Looking back as an adult, I always felt that their selection, Reggie Jackson, was a mistake. Jackson, a Hall of Famer, didn’t have the best reputation and had retired three years earlier.
Can you imagine if this historic card featured the star of its time, Jose Canseco? How about a legend with lots of gas left in the tank, like Nolan Ryan? Or better yet, its 1989 Golden Boy, Ken Griffey, Jr. Reggie seemed like an odd choice but considering he was a friend of the owner, it was probably an easy one. I don’t know what these were worth in their prime but in 2018, the card can be had for about $100, raw.
There are 2,500 of these signed cards. The non-signed versions fell at less than 1 per case. Let’s do some quick math. There are 15 cards per pack and 36 packs per box. At 20 boxes per case, you were realistically looking at bustin’ 720 packs with over 10,000 cards pulled and odds were against you finding the unsigned version, let alone the much more rare, auto’d Reggie. It should be noted that you can buy sealed cases for about $120 or less on eBay.
So with so many unopened cases left one has to believe that there are still fresh, signed cards to be discovered. Cards that haven’t seen the light of day since 1990. Cards that have been trapped in cheap foil for 28 years. I don’t know about you but I could think of much worse things to drop a C-note and a quarter on than a case of ’90 Upper Deck. It may take an entire afternoon but again, you could be doing much, much worse.
With Wax Heaven back and running on a semi-regular basis, I will make bustin’ a case of 1990 Upper Deck on camera one of my goals for 2018. It will truly be hit or miss but my guess is that it will be a first of its kind, the longest box break on YouTube, and also very likely the least watched. I LIKE THOSE NUMBERS!