Cheap Wax Wednesday: 1998 Pacific Online Baseball

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The 1990s saw the internet really take off in popularity. And, of course, a card manufacturer wanted to capitalize on booming internet usage. Enter, 1998 Pacific Online Baseball.

It has a 780-card checklist. While there are only 780 numbered cards in the set, there are actually 800 different cards. Twenty players on the checklist had two different base cards. The photos on the front and the back of each card are different, but the card numbers were identical.

Online also, technically, doesn’t feature any insert cards. Team Checklist cards are found just once in every three packs, but were numbered as part of the base set. There is also a parallel to chase. Web Cards featured gold foil names on the fronts, and on the backs there was a code to be entered on the Pacific website. Some entered codes were “winners” and the owner would receive an “Online Winner” card. 

Each base card features the player’s team website and also a website for each player. The bigleaguers.com player sites no longer exist. There ware 32 rookie cards in the checklist with Magglio Ordonez and Kevin Millwood being the best of the bunch. 

1998 Pacific Online Baseball Box Break

Cards per pack: 9
Packs per box: 36
Price paid: $21

Shop for 1998 Pacific Online Baseball boxes on eBay.

Pack 1 highlights:

Magglio Ordonez RC, Chuck Knoblauch, Ivan Rodriguez & Scott Bailes Web Card (1 in every pack)

Magglio sure could hit. He retired with a career .309 batting average. 

Pack 2:

Barry Bonds & Mike James Web Card

Pack 3:

Ben Grieve & Scott Kamieniecki Web Card

Pack 4:

Otis Nixon, Jose Cruz, Jr., Jeff Bagwell & Russ Springer Web Card

Otis Nixon played just one season in Minnesota, appearing in 110 games and stealing 37 bases as a 39-year-old. 

Pack 5:

Randy Johnson, Troy O’Leary, Rondell White, Mark Wholers Web Card & Vladimir Guerrero Team Checklist (1:3 packs)

Pack 6:

Robb Nen, Jesse Orosco Web Card & Tony Womack Team Checklist (1:3 packs)

Pack 7:

Barry Bonds, Mike Mussina & Troy Percival Web Card

My first variation! This Bonds card features a different photo from the one I found in Pack 2.

Pack 8:

Terry Pendleton, Jason Kendall, Scott Brow Web Card & Wade Boggs Team Checklist (1:3 packs)

Pack 9:

Tim Wakefield, Chan Ho Park, Mike Piazza & Brian Edmondson Web Card

Pack 10:

Vladimir Guerrero, Kevin Mitchell & Jeff Reboulet Web Card

1998 was Mitchell’s last big league season, and his only season in Oakland. He did not play all that well, batting just .228 with two home runs in 136 at bats. 

Pack 11:

Scott Rolen, Joe Girardi & Craig Shipley Web Card

Pack 12:

Ken Griffey, Jr. & Norberto Martin Web Card

Pack 13:

Will Clark, Steve Avery, Omar Vizquel & Clint Sodowsky Web Card

Will “The Thrill” Clark was extremely consistent. He never hit below .282 in a season, and hit over .300 in 10 of his 15 seasons. 

Pack 14:

Mike Piazza & Walt Weiss Web Card

Pack 15:

Bobby Abreu, Rey Ordonez, Mike Hampton, Rod Beck, John Smoltz, Alan Mills Web Card & Mike Piazza Team Checklist (1:3 packs)

Pack 16:

Jimmy Key, Mike Cameron, Phil Nevin Web Card & Mark McGwire Team Checklist (1:3 packs)

Mike Cameron was a really good outfielder, winning three Gold Glove awards. 

Pack 17:

Ken Griffey, Jr., Ramon Martinez & John Burkett Web Card

Pack 18:

Jason Giambi, Tom Gordon, Edwin Diaz Web Card & Juan Gonzalez Team Checklist (1:3 packs)

Pack 19:

Raul Mondesi, Mark Lemke, Jermaine Dye, Carlos Delgado & Eli Marrero Web Card

Often overlooked as a premier slugger, Delgado finished his career with 473 home runs. That is good enough to rank him 34th all-time. 

Pack 20:

Tino Martinez, Mark Grace & Arthur Rhodes Web Card

Pack 21:

Mark McGwire, Keith Foulke & Matt Walbeck Web Card

Pack 22:

Alex Rodriguez, Tim Salmon & Barry Manuel Web Card

A-Rod finished ninth in AL MVP voting following the 1998 season after leading the league with 213 hits. 

Pack 23:

Juan Gonzalez, Carl Everett & Felipe Crespo Web Card

Pack 24:

Curt Schilling, Gerald Williams Web Card & Paul Molitor Team Checklist (1:3 packs)

Pack 25:

Shawn Green, Mike Mussina Web Card & Bernie Williams Team Checklist (1:3 packs)

Mussina won seven Gold Glove awards, including four straight between 1996 and 1999. 

Pack 26:

Mark McGwire, Bret Boone & Omar Olivares Web Card

Pack 27:

Dennis Eckersley, Jack McDowell, Devon White Web Card & Barry Bonds Team Checklist (1:3 packs)

Pack 28:

Juan Gonzalez, Bobby Bonilla, David Wells & Adam Butler Web Card

“Juan-Gone” won AL MVP honors in 1998. He hit .318 with 45 home runs, 157 RBI and a league-leading 50 doubles. 

Pack 29:

Paul Konerko & Domingo Cedeno Web Card

Pack 30:

Bernie Williams, Rafael Palmeiro & Nerio Rodriguez Web Card

Pack 31:

Tony Gwynn & Allen Watson Web Card

Tony Gwynn’s career-high strikeout total for a season? Just 40. 

Pack 32:

Fred McGriff, Hideki Irabu & Gregg Olson Web Card

Pack 33:

Jose Canseco & John Smoltz Web Card

Pack 34:

Garret Anderson, Kevin Brown & Jimmy Key Web Card

Jimmy Key led the American League with a 2.76 ERA. He finished second to Roger Clemens in Cy Young balloting. 

Pack 35:

Damon Mashore Web Card & Ben Grieve Team Checklist (1:3 packs)

Pack 36:

Tony Gwynn, Kevin Millwood & Andy Stankiewicz Web Card

Lastly, the Tony Gwynn card back. It is about what you would expect from a ’90s set called “Online.”

Especially with this being a Pacific product, I feel like more could have been done like some fun, internet-themed insert sets. Typically I enjoy Pacific products, but this one didn’t quite live up.

With that, the Cheap Wax Wednesday baseball season has come to an end. Starting next week, I will be featuring football products through the end of the season.

Shop for 1998 Pacific Online Baseball cards on:

Want more installments of Shane Salmonson’s Cheap Wax Wednesday? Check out his other breaks in the archives.