1997 Fleer Skybox Metal Universe Baseball Retail Box Factory Sealed 18 Pack
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1997/98 Metal Universe Championship Preview Hobby Box
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1997 Metal Universe Retail Factory Sealed Box 18 Packs NFL Football RARE L@@K!!!
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Kobe Bryant 1997-98 Sky Box Metal Universe LAKERS card #86
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1997 Metal Universe

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Description

1997 Metal Universe was a 250-card single-series set produced by by Fleer/Skybox. Continuing from the previous year's design, all cards were printed on colored, etched foil with UV-coating that combined outer space and fantasy comic book elements to create a background that complimented or even "interacted" with the player photo - thus, almost all card backgrounds were unique with only a few being used multiple times for different players. Once again, due to the etched foil finish, all base cards were highly susceptible to chipping along the edges and were marked as "condition sensitive" by Beckett.

Fleer/Skybox was owned by Marvel Entertainment at the time and many of the famed comic book publisher's artists were involved in the design of the set, giving Metal Universe its trademark look.

Curiously, there were no parallels in this year's set, in contrast to the previous and subsequent years. The basketball edition of this product, 1997-98 Metal Universe Basketball (which featured the same base set design), had the famous Precious Metal Gems (PMG) parallels, which were included in baseball for the first time the following year. The 1997-98 Metal Universe Basketball PMGs are some of the most valuable basketball cards of the era -- with Michael Jordan's Emerald PMG (serial-numbered to ten) selling in the high six figures.

Alex Rodriguez was the "face" of Fleer/Skybox at the time and was the featured frontman for this product and other Fleer/Skybox Brands (e.g., 1997 Circa).

There were no notable Rookie Cards in this set.

Distribution

Although Hobby boxes were wrapped in plastic marked "Hobby Exclusive", Retail boxes were also distributed.

Hobby: 24 packs per box, 8 cards per pack (MSRP: $2.49).

Retail: 18 packs per box, 8 cards per pack.

Insertion Ratios

Cards Total Cards Numbered To Hobby Odds Retail Odds
Base 250 - ? ?
Mining for Gold 10 - 1:9 1:9
Magnetic Field 10 - 1:12 1:12
Titanium 10 - N/A 1:24
Platinum Portraits 10 - 1:36 1:36
Blast Furnace 12 - 1:48 N/A
Mother Lode 12 - 1:288 1:288
Emerald Autographs 6 - 1:480 N/A

Checklist

Promos

Alex Rodriguez promotional cards were distributed to dealers and the Hobby media several weeks prior to the product's release and had "PROMOTIONAL SAMPLE" printed diagonally across the front and back of the card.

Alex-Rodriguez.jpg?id=83fd8369-4467-42c3-a83d-db19c685eb5e&size=original&side=front.jpg Alex-Rodriguez.jpg?id=83fd8369-4467-42c3-a83d-db19c685eb5e&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • 149 Alex Rodriguez

Base Set

Pedro-Martinez.jpg?id=dd44f1f7-f151-43ee-af98-7614f53b3bc2&size=original&side=front.jpg Pedro-Martinez.jpg?id=dd44f1f7-f151-43ee-af98-7614f53b3bc2&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • 1 Roberto Alomar
  • 2 Brady Anderson
  • 3 Rocky Coppinger
  • 4 Chris Hoiles
  • 5 Eddie Murray
  • 6 Mike Mussina
  • 7 Rafael Palmeiro
  • 8 Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • 9 B.J. Surhoff
  • 10 Brant Brown
  • 11 Mark Grace
  • 12 Brian McRae
  • 13 Jaime Navarro
  • 14 Ryne Sandberg
  • 15 Sammy Sosa
  • 16 Amaury Telemaco
  • 17 Steve Trachsel
  • 18 Darren Bragg
  • 19 Jose Canseco
  • 20 Roger Clemens
  • 21 Nomar Garciaparra
  • 22 Tom Gordon
  • 23 Tim Naehring
  • 24 Mike Stanley
  • 25 John Valentin
  • 26 Mo Vaughn
  • 27 Jermaine Dye
  • 28 Tom Glavine
  • 29 Marquis Grissom
  • 30 Andruw Jones
  • 31 Chipper Jones
  • 32 Ryan Klesko
  • 33 Greg Maddux
  • 34 Fred McGriff
  • 35 John Smoltz
  • 36 Garret Anderson
  • 37 George Arias
  • 38 Gary DiSarcina
  • 39 Jim Edmonds
  • 40 Darin Erstad
  • 41 Chuck Finley
  • 42 Troy Percival
  • 43 Tim Salmon
  • 44 Bret Boone
  • 45 Jeff Brantley
  • 46 Eric Davis
  • 47 Barry Larkin
  • 48 Hal Morris
  • 49 Mark Portugal
  • 50 Reggie Sanders
  • 51 John Smiley
  • 52 Wilson Alvarez
  • 53 Harold Baines
  • 54 James Baldwin
  • 55 Albert Belle
  • 56 Mike Cameron
  • 57 Ray Durham
  • 58 Alex Fernandez
  • 59 Roberto Hernandez
  • 60 Tony Phillips
  • 61 Frank Thomas
  • 62 Robin Ventura
  • 63 Jeff Cirillo
  • 64 Jeff D'Amico
  • 65 John Jaha
  • 66 Scott Karl
  • 67 Ben McDonald
  • 68 Marc Newfield
  • 69 Dave Nilsson
  • 70 Jose Valentin
  • 71 Dante Bichette
  • 72 Ellis Burks
  • 73 Vinny Castilla
  • 74 Andres Galarraga
  • 75 Kevin Ritz
  • 76 Larry Walker
  • 77 Walt Weiss
  • 78 Jamey Wright
  • 79 Eric Young
  • 80 Julio Franco
  • 81 Orel Hershiser
  • 82 Kenny Lofton
  • 83 Jack McDowell
  • 84 Jose Mesa
  • 85 Charles Nagy
  • 86 Manny Ramirez
  • 87 Jim Thome
  • 88 Omar Vizquel
  • 89 Matt Williams
  • 90 Kevin Appier
  • 91 Johnny Damon
  • 92 Chili Davis
  • 93 Tom Goodwin
  • 94 Keith Lockhart
  • 95 Jeff Montgomery
  • 96 Craig Paquette
  • 97 Jose Rosado
  • 98 Michael Tucker
  • 99 Wilton Guerrero
  • 100 Todd Hollandsworth
  • 101 Eric Karros
  • 102 Ramon Martinez
  • 103 Raul Mondesi
  • 104 Hideo Nomo
  • 105 Mike Piazza
  • 106 Ismael Valdes
  • 107 Todd Worrell
  • 108 Tony Clark
  • 109 Travis Fryman
  • 110 Bob Higginson
  • 111 Mark Lewis
  • 112 Melvin Nieves
  • 113 Justin Thompson
  • 114 Wade Boggs
  • 115 David Cone
  • 116 Cecil Fielder
  • 117 Dwight Gooden
  • 118 Derek Jeter
  • 119 Tino Martinez
  • 120 Paul O'Neill
  • 121 Andy Pettitte
  • 122 Mariano Rivera
  • 123 Darryl Strawberry
  • 124 John Wetteland
  • 125 Bernie Williams
  • 126 Tony Batista
  • 127 Geronimo Berroa
  • 128 Scott Brosius
  • 129 Jason Giambi
  • 130 Jose Herrera
  • 131 Mark McGwire
  • 132 John Wasdin
  • 133 Bob Abreu
  • 134 Jeff Bagwell
  • 135 Derek Bell
  • 136 Craig Biggio
  • 137 Brian Hunter
  • 138 Darryl Kile
  • 139 Orlando Miller
  • 140 Shane Reynolds
  • 141 Billy Wagner
  • 142 Donne Wall
  • 143 Jay Buhner
  • 144 Jeff Fassero
  • 145 Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 146 Sterling Hitchcock
  • 147 Randy Johnson
  • 148 Edgar Martinez
  • 149 Alex Rodriguez
  • 150 Paul Sorrento
  • 151 Dan Wilson
  • 152 Moises Alou
  • 153 Darrin Fletcher
  • 154 Cliff Floyd
  • 155 Mark Grudzielanek
  • 156 Vladimir Guerrero
  • 157 Mike Lansing
  • 158 Pedro Martinez
  • 159 Henry Rodriguez
  • 160 Rondell White
  • 161 Will Clark
  • 162 Juan Gonzalez
  • 163 Rusty Greer
  • 164 Ken Hill
  • 165 Mark McLemore
  • 166 Dean Palmer
  • 167 Roger Pavlik
  • 168 Ivan Rodriguez
  • 169 Mickey Tettleton
  • 170 Bobby Bonilla
  • 171 Kevin Brown
  • 172 Greg Colbrunn
  • 173 Jeff Conine
  • 174 Jim Eisenreich
  • 175 Charles Johnson
  • 176 Al Leiter
  • 177 Robb Nen
  • 178 Edgar Renteria
  • 179 Gary Sheffield
  • 180 Devon White
  • 181 Joe Carter
  • 182 Carlos Delgado
  • 183 Alex Gonzalez
  • 184 Shawn Green
  • 185 Juan Guzman
  • 186 Pat Hentgen
  • 187 Orlando Merced
  • 188 John Olerud
  • 189 Robert Perez
  • 190 Ed Sprague
  • 191 Mark Clark
  • 192 John Franco
  • 193 Bernard Gilkey
  • 194 Todd Hundley
  • 195 Lance Johnson
  • 196 Bobby Jones
  • 197 Alex Ochoa
  • 198 Rey Ordonez
  • 199 Paul Wilson
  • 200 Ricky Bottalico
  • 201 Gregg Jefferies
  • 202 Wendell Magee, Jr.
  • 203 Mickey Morandini
  • 204 Ricky Otero
  • 205 Scott Rolen
  • 206 Benito Santiago
  • 207 Curt Schilling
  • 208 Rich Becker
  • 209 Marty Cordova
  • 210 Chuck Knoblauch
  • 211 Pat Meares
  • 212 Paul Molitor
  • 213 Frank Rodriguez
  • 214 Terry Steinbach
  • 215 Todd Walker
  • 216 Andy Ashby
  • 217 Ken Caminiti
  • 218 Steve Finley
  • 219 Tony Gwynn
  • 220 Joey Hamilton
  • 221 Rickey Henderson
  • 222 Trevor Hoffman
  • 223 Wally Joyner
  • 224 Scott Sanders
  • 225 Fernando Valenzuela
  • 226 Greg Vaughn
  • 227 Alan Benes
  • 228 Andy Benes
  • 229 Dennis Eckersley
  • 230 Ron Gant
  • 231 Brian Jordan
  • 232 Ray Lankford
  • 233 John Mabry
  • 234 Tom Pagnozzi
  • 235 Todd Stottlemyre
  • 236 Jermaine Allensworth
  • 237 Francisco Cordova
  • 238 Jason Kendall
  • 239 Jeff King
  • 240 Al Martin
  • 241 Rod Beck
  • 242 Barry Bonds
  • 243 Shawn Estes
  • 244 Mark Gardner
  • 245 Glenallen Hill
  • 246 Bill Mueller RC
  • 247 J.T. Snow
  • 248 Checklist CL 1-107
  • 249 Checklist CL 108-207
  • 250 Checklist CL 208-250

Inserts

Mining for Gold

This 10-card set featured some of the top young players in the game that were expected to "pan out" as a gem find by his team. Cards were die-cut to resemble a gold-bar and printed on gold foil.

Scott-Rolen.jpg?id=e42da4d2-90b0-40c7-92ca-6acc42788115&size=original&side=front.jpg Scott-Rolen.jpg?id=e42da4d2-90b0-40c7-92ca-6acc42788115&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • 1 Bob Abreu
  • 2 Kevin Brown C
  • 3 Nomar Garciaparra
  • 4 Vladimir Guerrero
  • 5 Wilton Guerrero
  • 6 Andruw Jones
  • 7 Curt Lyons
  • 8 Neifi Perez
  • 9 Scott Rolen
  • 10 Todd Walker

Magnetic Field

This 10-card set featured some of the top players in the game on a colored (purple, green, or orange), dot-holographic foil design that resembled radiant magnetic waves.

Jeff-Bagwell.jpg?id=832a53ad-530d-4871-83be-f941feb46f86&size=original&side=front.jpg Jeff-Bagwell.jpg?id=832a53ad-530d-4871-83be-f941feb46f86&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • 1 Roberto Alomar
  • 2 Jeff Bagwell
  • 3 Barry Bonds
  • 4 Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 5 Derek Jeter
  • 6 Kenny Lofton
  • 7 Edgar Renteria
  • 8 Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • 9 Alex Rodriguez
  • 10 Matt Williams

Titanium

This 10-card set also featured some of the top players in the game on a die-cut foil design resembling two pieces of titanium metal sheets welded together. Titanium cards were exclusive to retail packs.

Greg-Maddux.jpg?id=11098e59-80df-42d2-b3cd-9d0b4549bb4a&size=original&side=front.jpg Greg-Maddux.jpg?id=11098e59-80df-42d2-b3cd-9d0b4549bb4a&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • 1 Jeff Bagwell
  • 2 Albert Belle
  • 3 Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 4 Chipper Jones
  • 5 Greg Maddux
  • 6 Mark McGwire
  • 7 Mike Piazza
  • 8 Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • 9 Alex Rodriguez
  • 10 Frank Thomas

Platinum Portraits

Jermaine-Dye.jpg?id=d8ca2168-e86c-45c7-8f8d-342435376641&size=original&side=front.jpg Jermaine-Dye.jpg?id=d8ca2168-e86c-45c7-8f8d-342435376641&size=original&side=back&.jpg

This 10-card set also highlighted some of the top young players in the game and featured the player's headshot on a silver, etched foil background.

  • 1 James Baldwin
  • 2 Jermaine Dye
  • 3 Todd Hollandsworth
  • 4 Derek Jeter
  • 5 Chipper Jones
  • 6 Jason Kendall
  • 7 Rey Ordonez
  • 8 Andy Pettitte
  • 9 Edgar Renteria
  • 10 Alex Rodriguez

Blast Furnace

This 12-card set featured some of the top power hitters in the game on a translucent, colored-flame acetate. This set was exclusive to Hobby packs.

Frank-Thomas.jpg?id=29fce14f-108b-4a3e-9d0b-65166aea953a&size=original&side=front.jpg Frank-Thomas.jpg?id=29fce14f-108b-4a3e-9d0b-65166aea953a&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • 1 Jeff Bagwell
  • 2 Albert Belle
  • 3 Barry Bonds
  • 4 Andres Galarraga
  • 5 Juan Gonzalez
  • 6 Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 7 Todd Hundley
  • 8 Mark McGwire
  • 9 Mike Piazza
  • 10 Alex Rodriguez
  • 11 Frank Thomas
  • 12 Mo Vaughn

Mother Lode

Ken-Griffey-Jr.jpg?id=0875ce43-e145-416d-8e4e-773c06c33169&size=original&side=front.jpg Ken-Griffey-Jr.jpg?id=0875ce43-e145-416d-8e4e-773c06c33169&size=original&side=back&.jpg

This 12-card set also featured some of the top players in the game. Each card was die-cut to resemble an elaborately designed statue featuring the origin or "mother lode" of something valuable (i.e., the player featured on the card) and finished on silver etched foil.

  • 1 Roberto Alomar
  • 2 Jeff Bagwell
  • 3 Barry Bonds
  • 4 Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • 5 Andruw Jones
  • 6 Chipper Jones
  • 7 Kenny Lofton
  • 8 Mike Piazza
  • 9 Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • 10 Alex Rodriguez
  • 11 Frank Thomas
  • 12 Matt Williams

Autographs

Emerald Autographs

Emerald Autograph Exchange cards were randomly inserted in packs at a rate of 1:20 boxes and were good for an on-card autograph of the player depicted. Each redeemed card was exactly the same as the base card but featured an autograph on the front and had unique markers: The nameplate and "Metal Universe" logo were finished in emerald green foil and, there was an embossed "Fleer/Skybox" stamp on the front, and the area used for the card number on back was replaced by a logo stating "Certified Emerald Autograph Card."

Each pack-inserted Emerald Autograph Exchange card expired February 1st, 1998.

Todd-Hollandsworth.jpg?id=ffe95312-8291-4eca-bc46-02dfd586cb37&size=original&side=back.jpg Todd-Hollandsworth.jpg?id=ffe95312-8291-4eca-bc46-02dfd586cb37&size=original&side=back&.jpg

  • 40 Darin Erstad
  • 100 Todd Hollandsworth
  • 149 Alex Rodriguez
  • 197 Alex Ochoa
  • 205 Scott Rolen
  • 215 Todd Walker