#17: Box Break: 1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball

1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball Box

1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball Box1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball is the premium version of 1997 Score Series 2 Baseball. It features thicker card stock and a distinguished gold emblem on the fronts of the cards. It also showcases some very rare parallels. The Reserve Collection parallels are to some degree mythical by nature in that they are surprisingly tough to pull and find. I did not pull one from this box but I did pull one Artist’s Proof parallel which is shown below. While I do enjoy this product, I’m not entirely sure why it was created. Perhaps it was Pinnacle’s attempt to ride the success garnered by Score’s flagship release. Pinnacle was such a hot shot company in their day and they did some amazing things. While this product is a bit obscure, I do like the concept in that it allows me to add yet another version of a 1997 Score Frank Thomas card to my collection. Let’s look at the results you can expect from opening a single box of this stuff.

Breakdown:

1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball PackA box of 1997 Score Hobby Reserve baseball cards contains 20 packs, each containing 15 cards for a gross total yield of 300 cards. The set consists of 221 cards. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 190/221 cards: % of set complete = 86%
  • Doubles: 96

Inserts

  • Blast Masters: 1/18, 5.6%
  • Heart of the Order: 2/36, 5.6%
  • Showcase Series: 4
  • Showcase Series Artist’s Proof: 1

1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball base

We can see here that the gold emblem distinguishes the Hobby Reserve cards.

1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball parallels

From left to right: Base, Showcase Series, Artist’s Proof

1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball inserts

I really like the Blast Master set. It features similar technology shown on the Showcase Series Artist’s Proof parallels. The sparkles really bring these cards to life. Very good.

Availability:

1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball stackBased on the title of this product, I’m going to assume that this was a hobby exclusive product. Given the exclusivity, I would also assume a premium price point for this product upon release. Current prices for 1997 Score Hobby Reserve sit at around $60. My guess is that this is due to the premium nature of this product and the possibility of obtaining some very rare parallels such as the 1997 Score Hobby Reserve Reserve Collection. Honestly though, I didn’t pay anywhere near $60 for my box, in fact I paid exactly $5 for it. I understand that this isn’t always going to be the case with this box but I would assume an average price closer to $20. I would recommend against paying anything north of that.

Supply & Demand:

My guess is that in the current market, this product is scarcely available. I would also assume that availability is becoming even more limited with each passing year. The demand for tough insert sets like those stated in the above section will, or at least should continue to grow making this product even more sought after. If you have to make an online purchase, do it because this stuff is getting harder and harder to find.

Conclusion:

1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball wrappersThis is a high quality product for its time. With the thick card stock and premium gold foil stamping, this card sets itself apart from the flagship 1997 Score release. If you’re in the market for a premium ’90’s set and the chance to pull some very difficult inserts and parallels, I would recommend 1997 Score Hobby Reserve. Keep an eye out for this product online and in person and consider the purchase either way as it’s becoming harder to find with each passing year. Aim to pay between $20-60 depending on who’s selling. This is a great looking set with lots of hit potential and a nice way to add yet another version of 1997 Score to your player collection run. Buy one - 1997 Score Hobby Reserve Baseball.

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