1999 Metal Universe

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Description

1999 Metal Universe was a 300-card set produced by Fleer/Skybox and released in January, 1999. For the first time since the brand was introduced in 1996, base card backgrounds were the same for every player and did not feature a space or fantasy comic book theme (Marvel Entertainment had put its Fleer/Skybox division on the market in late 1998, with the sale closing shortly after this product's release). Instead, card backgrounds all resembled a piece of sheet metal featuring the player's name. All cards are printed on embossed etched foil and were highly susceptible to chipping along the edges and were marked as "condition sensitive" by Beckett, just like the 1996-1998 sets.

In an effort to appeal to a non-traditional demographic, Fleer reoriented all their Skybox brands (E-X, Metal, Molten Metal, Skybox Premium, and Skybox Thunder) toward a younger audience. The language used on card backs has not aged well.

For the first time since 1996, Alex Rodriguez was not the frontman for the Metal Universe product - instead, highly-touted prospect at the time, J.D. Drew held that honor for the 1999 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: $2.69).

Retail: 20 packs per box, 8 cards per pack.

Insertion Ratios

Cards Total Cards Numbered To Hobby Odds Retail Odds
Base 300 - ? ?
Precious Metal Gems 300 50 ? N/A
Gem Masters 300 one-of-one ? ?
Neophytes 15 - 1:6 1:6
Boyz with the Wood 15 - 1:18 1:18
Planet Metal 15 - 1:36 1:36
Diamond Soul 15 - 1:72 1:72
Linchpins 10 - 1:360 1:360
J.D. Drew Autograph 1 35 ? ?

Checklist

Promos

Regular

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A six-card 5" X 10 1/2" sheet was distributed to dealers and the Hobby media to promote 1999 Metal Universe Baseball. Cards on the non-perforated sheet are exact copies of each player's base card, with the word "SAMPLE" replacing the card number. The players featured on this promo sheet were:

Albert Belle J.D. Drew Derek Jeter Mike Piazza Alex Rodriguez Sammy Sosa

Autographed

JD-Drew-(Autographed).jpg?id=0f7fa768-a183-4c0f-a6fe-e7d5920d8678&size=original&side=front.jpg JD-Drew-(Autographed).jpg?id=0f7fa768-a183-4c0f-a6fe-e7d5920d8678&size=original&side=back&.jpg

Fleer/Skybox had J.D. Drew signed 325 of the 6-card promo sheets and distributed them to attendees of the 14th annual Hawaii Trade Conference. Only the J.D. Drew card was autographed and each signed sheet was impressed with a Skybox autograph seal in the center (in between the Drew and Jeter cards). Some people have since cut this promo sheet to obtain the Drew autograph as a single card (see above picture).

Base Set

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NOTE: Since the top of each card is embossed, a stack of '99 Metal Universe cards will tend to "lean."

1 Mark McGwire

2 Jim Edmonds

3 Travis Fryman

4 Tom Gordon

5 Jeff Bagwell

6 Rico Brogna

7 Tom Evans

8 John Franco

9 Juan Gonzalez

10 Paul Molitor

11 Roberto Alomar

12 Mike Hampton

13 Orel Hershiser

14 Todd Stottlemyre

15 Robin Ventura

16 Todd Walker

17 Bernie Williams

18 Shawn Estes

19 Richie Sexson

20 Kevin Millwood

21 David Ortiz

22 Mariano Rivera

23 Ivan Rodriguez

24 Mike Sirotka

25 Dave Justice

26 Carl Pavano

27 Albert Belle

28 Will Clark

29 Jose Cruz, Jr.

30 Trevor Hoffman

31 Dean Palmer

32 Edgar Renteria

33 David Segui

34 B.J. Surhoff

35 Miguel Tejada

36 Bob Wickman

37 Charles Johnson

38 Andruw Jones

39 Mike Lieberthal

40 Eli Marrero

41 Neifi Perez

42 Jim Thome

43 Barry Bonds

44 Carlos Delgado

45 Chuck Finley

46 Brian Meadows

47 Tony Gwynn

48 Jose Offerman

49 Cal Ripken, Jr.

50 Alex Rodriguez

51 Esteban Yan

52 Matt Stairs

53 Fernando Vina

54 Rondell White

55 Kerry Wood

56 Dmitri Young

57 Ken Caminiti

58 Alex Gonzalez

59 Matt Mantei

60 Tino Martinez

61 Hal Morris

62 Rafael Palmeiro

63 Troy Percival

64 Bobby Smith

65 Ed Sprague

66 Brett Tomko

67 Steve Trachsel

68 Ugueth Urbina

69 Jose Valentin

70 Kevin Brown

71 Shawn Green

72 Dustin Hermanson

73 Livan Hernandez

74 Geoff Jenkins

75 Jeff King

76 Chuck Knoblauch

77 Edgar Martinez

78 Fred McGriff

79 Mike Mussina

80 Dave Nilsson

81 Kenny Rogers

82 Tim Salmon

83 Reggie Sanders

84 Wilson Alvarez

85 Rod Beck

86 Jose Guillen

87 Bob Higginson

88 Gregg Olson

89 Jeff Shaw

90 Masato Yoshii

91 Todd Helton

92 David Dellucci

93 Johnny Damon

94 Cliff Floyd

95 Ken Griffey, Jr.

96 Juan Guzman

97 Derek Jeter

98 Barry Larkin

99 Quinton McCracken

100 Sammy Sosa

101 Kevin Young

102 Jay Bell

103 Jay Buhner

104 Jeff Conine

105 Ryan Jackson

106 Sidney Ponson

107 Jeromy Burnitz

108 Roberto Hernandez

109 A.J. Hinch

110 Hideki Irabu

111 Paul Konerko

112 Henry Rodriguez

113 Shannon Stewart

114 Tony Womack

115 Wilton Guerrero

116 Andy Benes

117 Jeff Cirillo

118 Chili Davis

119 Eric Davis

120 Vladimir Guerrero

121 Dennis Reyes

122 Rickey Henderson

123 Mickey Morandini

124 Jason Schmidt

125 J.T. Snow

126 Justin Thompson

127 Billy Wagner

128 Armando Benitez

129 Sean Casey

130 Brad Fullmer

131 Ben Grieve

132 Robb Nen

133 Shane Reynolds

134 Todd Zeile

135 Brady Anderson

136 Aaron Boone

137 Orlando Cabrera

138 Jason Giambi

139 Randy Johnson

140 Jeff Kent

141 John Wetteland

142 Rolando Arrojo

143 Scott Brosius

144 Mark Grace

145 Jason Kendall

146 Travis Lee

147 Gary Sheffield

148 David Cone

149 Jose Hernandez

150 Todd Jones

151 Al Martin

152 Ismael Valdes

153 Wade Boggs

154 Garret Anderson

155 Bobby Bonilla

156 Darryl Kile

157 Ryan Klesko

158 Tim Wakefield

159 Kenny Lofton

160 Jose Canseco

161 Doug Glanville

162 Todd Hundley

163 Brian Jordan

164 Steve Finley

165 Tom Glavine

166 Al Leiter

167 Raul Mondesi

168 Desi Relaford

169 Bret Saberhagen

170 Omar Vizquel

171 Larry Walker

172 Bob Abreu

173 Moises Alou

174 Mike Caruso

175 Royce Clayton

176 Bartolo Colon

177 Marty Cordova

178 Darin Erstad

179 Nomar Garciaparra

180 Andy Ashby

181 Dan Wilson

182 Larry Sutton

183 Tony Clark

184 Andres Galarraga

185 Ray Durham

186 Hideo Nomo

187 Steve Woodard

188 Scott Rolen

189 Mike Stanley

190 Jaret Wright

191 Vinny Castilla

192 Jason Christiansen

193 Paul Bako

194 Carlos Perez

195 Mike Piazza

196 Fernando Tatis

197 Mo Vaughn

198 Devon White

199 Ricky Gutierrez

200 Charlie Hayes

201 Brad Radke

202 Rick Helling

203 John Smoltz

204 Frank Thomas

205 David Wells

206 Roger Clemens

207 Mark Grudzielanek

208 Chipper Jones

209 Ray Lankford

210 Pedro Martinez

211 Manny Ramirez

212 Greg Vaughn

213 Craig Biggio

214 Rusty Greer

215 Greg Maddux

216 Rick Aguilera

217 Andy Pettitte

218 Dante Bichette

219 Damion Easley

220 Matt Morris

221 John Olerud

222 Chan Ho Park

223 Curt Schilling

224 John Valentin

225 Matt Williams

226 Ellis Burks

227 Tom Goodwin

228 Javy Lopez

229 Eric Milton

230 Paul O'Neill

231 Magglio Ordonez

232 Derrek Lee


Caught on the Fly

Juan-Gonzalez.jpg?id=f48ccd64-9b8b-40f5-8a0e-f9d9cd66bf67&size=original&side=front.jpg Juan-Gonzalez.jpg?id=f48ccd64-9b8b-40f5-8a0e-f9d9cd66bf67&size=original&side=back&.jpg

This 15-card subset, which was based on a column in The Sporting News, highlighted a variety of stars in the game on nearly blank silver foil background and a COTF logo that featured a cartoon fly.

233 Ken Griffey, Jr.

234 Randy Johnson

235 Alex Rodriguez

236 Darin Erstad

237 Juan Gonzalez

238 Derek Jeter

239 Tony Gwynn

240 Kerry Wood

241 Cal Ripken, Jr.

242 Sammy Sosa

243 Greg Maddux

244 Mark McGwire

245 Chipper Jones

246 Barry Bonds

247 Ben Grieve


Building Blocks

Eric-Chavez.jpg?id=79c2db30-a985-47d7-a62d-7fa18fe3e7e1&size=original&side=front.jpg Eric-Chavez.jpg?id=79c2db30-a985-47d7-a62d-7fa18fe3e7e1&size=original&side=back&.jpg

This 25-card subset highlighted top young players in the game that clubs could build around for success in the future. Each card in this subject featured an etched foil block design that accented the player's team colors.

248 Ben Davis

249 Robert Fick

250 Carlos Guillen

251 Mike Frank

252 Ryan Minor

253 Troy Glaus

254 Matt Anderson

255 Josh Booty

256 Gabe Alvarez

257 Gabe Kapler

258 Enrique Wilson

259 Alex Gonzalez

260 Preston Wilson

261 Eric Chavez

262 Adrian Beltre

263 Corey Koskie

264 Robert Machado

265 Orlando Hernandez

266 Matt Clement

267 Luis Ordaz

268 Jeremy Giambi

269 J.D. Drew

270 Cliff Politte

271 Carlton Loewer

272 Aramis Ramirez


MLPD

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This 25-card subset featured some of the most "prominent and dominant players" in the game at the time and were printed on gold foil.

273 Ken Griffey, Jr.

274 Randy Johnson

275 Alex Rodriguez

276 Darin Erstad

277 Scott Rolen

278 Juan Gonzalez

279 Jeff Bagwell

280 Mike Piazza

281 Derek Jeter

282 Travis Lee

283 Tony Gwynn

284 Kerry Wood

285 Albert Belle

286 Sammy Sosa

287 Mo Vaughn

288 Nomar Garciaparra

289 Frank Thomas

290 Cal Ripken, Jr.

291 Greg Maddux

292 Chipper Jones

293 Ben Grieve

294 Andruw Jones

295 Mark McGwire

296 Roger Clemens

297 Barry Bonds


Checklists

Kerry-Wood.jpg?id=2b3d441d-4f62-43ca-9436-6035dd6a0a46&size=original&side=front.jpg Kerry-Wood.jpg?id=2b3d441d-4f62-43ca-9436-6035dd6a0a46&size=original&side=back&.jpg

298 Ken Griffey, Jr.

299 Kerry Wood

300 Alex Rodriguez


Parallels

Precious Metal Gems

Hal-Morris.jpg?id=bc3cfbaa-c60d-4554-96e8-04671be8627f&size=original&side=front.jpg Hal-Morris.jpg?id=bc3cfbaa-c60d-4554-96e8-04671be8627f&size=original&side=back&.jpg

Precious Metal Gems fully paralleled the 300-card base set (including all subsets and checklists) and were again exclusive to Hobby packs. Each Precious Metal Gems card was finished with a gold holographic foil and was serial-numbered to 50. Due to the already condition-sensitive nature of the etched foil, combined with the holographic finish, Precious Metal Gems from 1999 were notorious for edge chipping.

Gem Masters

Gem Masters also fully paralleled the 300-card base set (including all subsets and checklists) and represented the first "one-of-one" or "masterpiece" (stylized after the Flair Showcase brand) for the Metal Universe brand. Cards were printed on a holographic, miniature-oval pattern design that repeated throughout the cardfront. On the back, each card was stamped "THE ONLY ONE OF ONE GEM MASTERS" in holographic foil.

Inserts

Neophytes

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This 15-card set highlighted some of the best young players in the game on a silver foil, radiant circle design.

1 NP Troy Glaus

2 NP Travis Lee

3 NP Scott Elarton

4 NP Ricky Ledee

5 NP Richard Hidalgo

6 NP J.D. Drew

7 NP Paul Konerko

8 NP Orlando Hernandez

9 NP Mike Caruso

10 NP Mike Frank

11 NP Miguel Tejada

12 NP Matt Anderson

13 NP Kerry Wood

14 NP Gabe Alvarez

15 NP Adrian Beltre


Boyz with the Wood

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This 15-card set highlighted some of the best hitters in the game. Uniquely, there were two "forms" of the card: the first form of the card featured the player against a orange-flamed background - a collector could keep the card in this original packed-out form or fold the card into a second form that featured a different-colored flame background.

1 BW Ken Griffey, Jr.

2 BW Frank Thomas

3 BW Jeff Bagwell

4 BW Juan Gonzalez

5 BW Mark McGwire

6 BW Scott Rolen

7 BW Travis Lee

8 BW Tony Gwynn

9 BW Mike Piazza

10 BW Chipper Jones

11 BW Nomar Garciaparra

12 BW Derek Jeter

13 BW Cal Ripken, Jr.

14 BW Andruw Jones

15 BW Alex Rodriguez


Planet Metal

Darin-Erstad.jpg?id=4378efd2-f064-448b-95c5-0da98c167153&size=original&side=front.jpg Darin-Erstad.jpg?id=4378efd2-f064-448b-95c5-0da98c167153&size=original&side=back&.jpg

This 15-card set featured some of the biggest names in the game at the time on a holographic gold die-cut design that resembled planet Earth.

1 PM Alex Rodriguez

2 PM Andruw Jones

3 PM Cal Ripken, Jr.

4 PM Chipper Jones

5 PM Darin Erstad

6 PM Derek Jeter

7 PM Frank Thomas

8 PM Travis Lee

9 PM Scott Rolen

10 PM Nomar Garciaparra

11 PM Mike Piazza

12 PM Mark McGwire

13 PM Ken Griffey, Jr.

14 PM Juan Gonzalez

15 PM Jeff Bagwell


Diamond Soul

Frank-Thomas.jpg?id=5eb136de-5031-40d7-9b5a-3a257b034b13&size=original&side=front.jpg Frank-Thomas.jpg?id=5eb136de-5031-40d7-9b5a-3a257b034b13&size=original&side=back&.jpg

This 15-card set featured some of the best players in the game on a multi-colored, lenticular surface.

1 DS Cal Ripken, Jr.

2 DS Alex Rodriguez

3 DS Chipper Jones

4 DS Derek Jeter

5 DS Frank Thomas

6 DS Greg Maddux

7 DS Juan Gonzalez

8 DS Ken Griffey, Jr.

9 DS Kerry Wood

10 DS Mark McGwire

11 DS Mike Piazza

12 DS Nomar Garciaparra

13 DS Scott Rolen

14 DS Tony Gwynn

15 DS Travis Lee


Linchpins

Cal-Ripken-Jr.jpg?id=5098d42a-5736-4ccf-a32a-aef9912aa75f&size=original&side=front.jpg Cal-Ripken-Jr.jpg?id=5098d42a-5736-4ccf-a32a-aef9912aa75f&size=original&side=back&.jpg

This ten-card set featured players that were considered to be the foundation his team. Each card had yellow-orange background resembling sparks flying from metal welding and a unique die-cutting design that created pin-shaped holes throughout the card.

1 LP Mike Piazza

2 LP Mark McGwire

3 LP Kerry Wood

4 LP Ken Griffey, Jr.

5 LP Greg Maddux

6 LP Frank Thomas

7 LP Derek Jeter

8 LP Chipper Jones

9 LP Cal Ripken, Jr.

10 LP Alex Rodriguez


Autographs

J.D. Drew Autograph

In an unannounced bonus, J.D. Drew autographed 35 copies of his promo card for random insertion into packs. Each autograph is hand numbered in the bottom center of the card, embossed with an Skybox autograph seal, and sequentially-numbered "SAMPLE" on the back.

NOTE: This card is not to be confused with the Sample Sheet autograph (see above).

SAMPLE J.D. Drew 35