Buzz 12 in 12: Busting a 1994 Upper Deck Series 1 Hobby Eastern Region baseball wax box (Hour 3)

Do you like Buzz Breaks? Today’s your day then as we launch 12 in 12 — a series of a dozen breaks of past wax boxes and wax packs in a dozen hours. We’ll post one every hour on the hour all day long today … this is Hour 3.

12in12-logo-smallerThe box: 1994 Upper Deck Series 1 Hobby Eastern Region baseball cards
The cost now: 
The cost then: $72 (or more … it was hot)

What’s inside this box? Keep reading …

Packs per box: 36 (plus one box-topper checklist)
Cards per pack: 12
Cards in this box: 433
Base set completion: 257 of 280 (92 percent)
Duplicates: 138
Triplicates: 8

Notables on base cards: Carlos Delgado, Manny Ramirez, Randy Johnson, Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds, Albert Belle, Mike Mussina, Ken Griffey Jr., Rickey Henderson, Mark McGwire, John Smoltz, Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Wade Boggs, Bo Jackson, Jose Canseco, Chipper Jones, Tony Gwynn, Fred McGriff, Ivan Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker

Rookie Cards (10) — Brian Anderson (2), Ricky Bottalico (2), Michael Jordan (2), Alex Rodriguez, Brian Looney, Phil Leftwich, Curtis Pride … that’s it for legit RCs despite all those “Star Rookies.”

Inserts: 31 (some in gallery below)
Jumbo checklist (1) –
Ken Griffey Jr. (hobby box-topper)
Diamond Collection (2) – 
Lenny Dykstra, Cecil Fielder
Electric Diamond (28) – 
Notables include Randy Johnson, Mike Piazza (2), Barry Larkin, Jeff Bagwell, Albert Belle, Andre Dawson, Wade Boggs, Mark McGwire

Autographs/Memorabilia: None

What’s Buzz-worthy: When Buzz found this box for a lower price than the typical rate, it was time to rip for fresh copies of two Star Rookies — Michael Jordan and Alex Rodriguez — and a trip back to the days just before hunting hits became the norm. This box delivered pretty well with two Jordans and one A-Rod but fell short of completing a set. … You have to be careful when opening these as the cards can stick together — if you’re careful you won’t damage most of them, but if you’re not then you’ll see snow. This box delivered just as it should have on the Diamond Collection inserts (two per box) but came up short of having an Electric Diamond insert in every pack. Interestingly, only six of those Electric cards had the correct silver-striped backs (see above) — the rest had the standard gold-ink stripe. (That’s a variation that I’m sure someone out there is patiently chasing.) All in all, this was a successful rip but one that would have been better with some improved collation, but that’s how it was back then — it’s that same collation that can make these boxes more interesting for chasing those top two rookies, too. I’ve seen boxes with multiple Jordans and Rodriguezes as well as Electric Diamond parallels of those, too.

Product Grade: A
Box Grade:
Fun Grade: A-

What’s next? Be back in an hour …

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