1998 Flair Showcase

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1998 Flair Showcase box

Description

1998 Flair Showcase is a 480-card fractured set released by Fleer in July of that year that was similar in structure to [1997 Flair Showcase|the previous year's release]. Each of the 120 players in the set were again featured on different levels/"Rows", which each Row featuring a unique front design:

  • Row 3: "Flair" design
  • Row 2: "Style" design
  • Row 1: "Grace" design
  • Row 0: "Showcase" design

The Row 3 cards were easiest to find, while the Row 0 cards were the toughest.

Each "Row" was then sub-divided into four, 30-card sub-sections featuring a different cardback design and banner:

  • Showtime: Team-colored headshot design, light-blue banner text
  • Showstopper: Torso picture design, golden-yellow banner text
  • Showdown: Torso picture and nameplate design, red banner text
  • Showpiece: Glowing, full-body picture design, white banner text

Each of the 120 players in the set had one card in each of the four rows, with a specifically assigned cardback design per Row, meaning each player had 4 base cards total. The "Seat" number on back represented the card number in the set.

Distribution

24 packs per box, five cards plus one Diamond Ink point card per pack (MSRP: $4.99)

Reviews

Old School Breaks: 1998 Flair Showcase Baseball

Insertion Ratios

Cards Showtime Showstopper Showdown Showpiece
Flair (Row 3) 1-30 (1:0.9) 31-60 (1:1.1) 61-90 (1:1.5) 91-120 (1:2)
Style (Row 2) 31-60 (1:2.5) 1-30 (1:2) 91-120 (1:3.5) 61-90 (1:4)
Grace (Row 1) 61-90 (1:6) 91-120 (1:10) 1-30 (1:16) 31-60 (1:24)
Showcase (Row 0) 91-120 (serial-numbered to 2000) 61-90 (serial-numbered to 1000) 31-60 (serial-numbered to 500) 1-30 (serial-numbered to 250)

Although the odds are not listed on the box, a typical 24-pack Hobby box should yield two Showcase Showtime cards, one Showcase Showstopper and either a Showcase Showdown or Showcase Showpiece card.


Cards Total Cards Numbered To Odds
Legacy Collection 480 100 ?
Masterpiece 480 one-of-one ?
Wave of the Future 12 - 1:20
Perfect 10 10 10 ?
Diamond Ink 10 - one-per-pack

Checklist

Promos

1998flairpromo.jpg1998flairpromob.jpg

Fleer distributed a four-card strip to dealers and The Hobby media a few months prior to the release of 1998 Flair Showcase. The strip contained the four Cal Ripken, Jr base cards later issued in packs and featured "PROMOTIONAL SAMPLE" text diagonally across the front and back.

P8 Cal Ripken, Jr.

Base Set (Section 2)

  • Row 3 (Flair front; Showtime back)

Juan-Encarnacion.jpg?id=b5249ba3-3c22-4229-a1c2-11de8fa04e63&size=original&side=front.jpg Juan-Encarnacion.jpg?id=b5249ba3-3c22-4229-a1c2-11de8fa04e63&size=original&side=back&.jpg


  • Row 2 (Style front; Showpiece back)

Matt-Stairs.jpg?id=62558074-ba96-46c5-a546-3aa47a511022&size=original&side=front&.jpg Matt-Stairs.jpg?id=62558074-ba96-46c5-a546-3aa47a511022&size=original&side=back&.jpg


  • Row 1 (Grace front; Showdown back)

Travis-Lee.jpg?id=d3baca89-0505-4e30-98cf-b58b22aab777&size=original&side=front&.jpg Travis-Lee.jpg?id=d3baca89-0505-4e30-98cf-b58b22aab777&size=original&side=back&.jpg


  • Row 0 (Showcase front; Showstopper back)

Craig-Biggio.jpg?id=b85f27ee-df93-4017-9449-d650703b9d16&size=original&side=front&.jpg Craig-Biggio.jpg?id=b85f27ee-df93-4017-9449-d650703b9d16&size=original&side=back&.jpg

For brevity's sake, only one "Row" is listed below as the checklist for all four Rows is identical. Also note that only Row 3 cards are considered "true" rookie cards for those players. All base cards are labeled "Section 2" on the back, distinguishing them from the parallel sets, which were labeled either "Section 0" (Masterpieces) or "Section 1" (Legacy) on the back.

1 Ken Griffey, Jr.

2 Travis Lee

3 Frank Thomas

4 Ben Grieve

5 Nomar Garciaparra

6 Jose Cruz, Jr.


7 Alex Rodriguez

8 Cal Ripken, Jr.

9 Mark McGwire

10 Chipper Jones

11 Paul Konerko

12 Todd Helton

13 Greg Maddux

14 Derek Jeter

15 Jaret Wright

16 Livan Hernandez

17 Mike Piazza

18 Juan Encarnacion

19 Tony Gwynn

20 Scott Rolen

21 Roger Clemens

22 Tony Clark

23 Albert Belle

24 Mo Vaughn

25 Andruw Jones

26 Jason Dickson

27 Fernando Tatis

28 Ivan Rodriguez

29 Ricky Ledee

30 Darin Erstad

31 Brian Rose

32 Magglio Ordonez RC

33 Larry Walker

34 Bob Higginson

35 Chili Davis

36 Barry Bonds

37 Vladimir Guerrero

38 Jeff Bagwell

39 Kenny Lofton

40 Ryan Klesko

41 Mike Cameron

42 Charles Johnson

43 Andy Pettitte

44 Juan Gonzalez

45 Tim Salmon

46 Hideki Irabu

47 Paul Molitor

48 Edgar Renteria

49 Manny Ramirez

50 Jim Edmonds

51 Bernie Williams

52 Roberto Alomar

53 Dave Justice

54 Rey Ordonez

55 Ken Caminiti

56 Jose Guillen

57 Randy Johnson

58 Brady Anderson

59 Hideo Nomo

60 Tino Martinez

61 John Smoltz

62 Joe Carter

63 Matt Williams

64 Robin Ventura

65 Barry Larkin

66 Dante Bichette

67 Travis Fryman

68 Gary Sheffield

69 Eric Karros

70 Matt Stairs

71 Al Martin

72 Jay Buhner

73 Ray Lankford

74 Carlos Delgado

75 Edgardo Alfonzo

76 Rondell White

77 Chuck Knoblauch

78 Raul Mondesi

79 Johnny Damon

80 Matt Morris

81 Tom Glavine

82 Kevin Brown

83 Garret Anderson

84 Mike Mussina

85 Pedro Martinez

86 Craig Biggio

87 Darryl Kile

88 Rafael Palmeiro

89 Jim Thome

90 Andres Galarraga

91 Sammy Sosa

92 Willie Greene

93 Vinny Castilla

94 Justin Thompson

95 Jeff King

96 Jeff Cirillo

97 Mark Grudzielanek

98 Brad Radke

99 John Olerud

100 Curt Schilling

101 Steve Finley

102 J.T. Snow

103 Edgar Martinez

104 Wilson Alvarez

105 Rusty Greer

106 Pat Hentgen

107 David Cone

108 Fred McGriff

109 Jason Giambi

110 Tony Womack

111 Bernard Gilkey

112 Alan Benes

113 Mark Grace

114 Reggie Sanders

115 Moises Alou

116 John Jaha

117 Henry Rodriguez

118 Dean Palmer

119 Mike Lieberthal

120 Shawn Estes


Parallels

All 480 base cards (120 players from all four "Rows") are available in a Legacy or Masterpiece parallel. These parallels are distinctive from the base cards as both feature a black and white background and are either labeled "Section 1" or "Section 0" on the cardback, differing from all base cards which are labeled "Section 2". However, a number of "Section 0" Legacy Collections exist and are legitimate as they were erroneously printed by Fleer's subcontractor.

Legacy Collection (Section 1)

Wilson-Alvarez.jpg?id=2f49c729-5167-48d4-b48a-b45ab83529ad&size=original&side=front&.jpg Wilson-Alvarez.jpg?id=2f49c729-5167-48d4-b48a-b45ab83529ad&size=original&side=back&.jpg

Legacy Collection parallels are recognizable for the use of a distinctive and reflective-blue foil on the player's nameplate (front and back of card), Flair Showcase logo (front), "Legacy Collection" logo (front), and serial-number stamp (back). However, the player photos, Row design, and holographic finish were the same as the base versions. All Legacy Collections were serial-numbered to 100 copies and were labeled "Section 1" on the cardback.

Masterpiece (Section 0)

Masterpiece parallels are recognizable for the use of a distinctive and reflective-purple foil on the player's nameplate (front and back of card), Flair Showcase logo (front), "Legacy Collection" logo (front), and serial-number stamp (back). However, the player photos, Row design, and holographic finish were the same as the base versions. All Masterpieces were stamped: "The Only 1 of 1 Masterpiece" on the back and were labeled "Section 0" on the cardback.

98MPf.jpg98MPb.jpg

Proofs & Counterfeits

A number of incomplete prints of Legacy Collections and Masterpieces emerged on the secondary market after Fleer's bankruptcy in the summer of 2005. These "proofs" featured a complete/finished cardfront (nameplate, blue Legacy or purple Masterpiece foil) but an incomplete/unfinished cardback (no serial-number stamping and/or no colored-foil nameplate).

Collectors have rumored that uncut sheets of Legacy Collections and Masterpieces were either stolen from the factory or were backdoored during the time of Fleer's bankruptcy; whatever the case may be, these incomplete prints are plentiful in the secondary market and it is important to be aware of these and know how to spot them.

While the exact list of players and Rows with unfinished Legacy or Masterpiece cards is unknown, Row 0 Legacy Collections and Row 3 Masterpieces have been the most common that have surfaced. Of those that have surfaced, there are multiple versions that are either legitimate or altered/counterfeited - see this Griffey Row 0 Legacy for reference:

  • Pack-issued: Legitimate. Blue-foil nameplate and vertical blue-foil serial number stamp in correct location (bottom-left corner of cardback)

1998Legacyreal.jpg


  • Proof: Legitimate. Missing blue-foil nameplate and blue-foil serial-number stamp:

1998legacynostamp.jpg


  • Unstamped Proof: Legitimate. Blue-foil nameplate but incomplete serial-number stamp in correct location:

1998legacyrealincstamp.jpg


  • Counterfeit: Missing blue-foil nameplate, serial-number stamp is incorrectly horizontal and in wrong location, and different font stamp:

1998legacyfake.jpg

Identifying Counterfeits

Unscrupulous fraudsters have counterfeited the Proof or Unstamped Proof versions by adding a fake serial-number to the cards.

  • Look at serial number location: real, pack-issued Legacies featured the serial-number stamped vertically down the bottom-left corner of the cardback. If you see a Row 0 Legacy with serial-number stamp that is horizontal across the center-right of the card, it is a counterfeit.
  • Look at serial number font: real, pack-issued Legacies utilize a font that clearly distinguishes between the letter "O" and the number "0". However, if you see a Row 0 Legacy with a serial-number stamp that uses the number "0" as the "O" in "OF", it is a counterfeit.
  • Real: 1998legacyrealnumber.jpg
  • Fake: 1998legacyfakenumber.jpg
  • For the Griffey Row 0 Legacy, the following serial numbers have a confirmed counterfeit double: 023, 031, 032, 033, 040, 043, 054, 064, 067, 068, 076, 079, 092, 094

Inserts

Wave of the Future

Magglio-Ordonez.jpg?id=808787e8-af8f-4f6d-8e48-8e642353c239&size=original&side=front.jpg Magglio-Ordonez.jpg?id=808787e8-af8f-4f6d-8e48-8e642353c239&size=original&side=back&.jpg

This 12-card insert featured thick plastic cards filled with vegetable oil and sparkles in an attempt to mimic ocean waters. 1998 was the last year that this staple, future stars-themed insert was featured in the 90's decade.

1 Travis Lee

2 Todd Helton

3 Ben Grieve

4 Juan Encarnacion

5 Brad Fullmer

6 Ruben Rivera

7 Paul Konerko

8 Derrek Lee

9 Mike Lowell

10 Magglio Ordonez

11 Rich Butler

12 Eli Marrero


Perfect 10

1998P10.jpg1998P10b.jpg

This 10-card insert featured color player photography using silk-screen technology. Only 10 hand-numbered copies of each card were produced, making it one of the scarcest, non-parallel inserts of the era.

1 Ken Griffey, Jr.

2 Cal Ripken, Jr.

3 Frank Thomas

4 Mike Piazza

5 Greg Maddux

6 Nomar Garciaparra

7 Mark McGwire

8 Scott Rolen

9 Alex Rodriguez

10 Roger Clemens


Autographs & Game Used

See 1998 Fleer Diamond Ink