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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