Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Reference Cards #8 - 2000 E-X and Finest

2000 E-X (a Fleer product) and Finest (from Topps) are both higher-end sets that I typically don't buy a lot of. Therefore, my collection is pretty weak in this area.

2000 E-X

Fleer had the E-X brand (with a few name changes) from 1997 (when it was called E-X 2000) until 2004. In the early years the cards were printed on plastic but by 2000, the cards were printed on more conventional white card stock.

The cards feature a hard glossy finish. Although it's hard to tell in the scan, the colored sections on the front are refractive. The center of the card is, I think, meant to be evocative of the days when the cards were printed on plastic. The backs are rather plain featuring a reverse of the front photo, again evocative of the plastic days when you could see the front photo through the back of the card. I have exactly three cards from this 90-card set. This one and another I pulled from repacks. Coincidentally, in 2000, a 3-card pack sold for $3.99. Pretty pricey.  The other card I have is this Biggio card I got in a trade.
There weren't a lot of inserts in this set. Of the 90 cards, the last 30 are prospects, serial numbered to 3,499.

There was a 15-card set called E-Xceptional, which came in three flavors, Blue (numbered to 250), Green (numbered to 999) and Red (numbered to 1999). I don't have any of those.

2000 E-X E-Xciting
This 10-card set was inserted 1:24 packs. The cards are die-cut in roughly the shape of a tee-shirt and have a similar finish to the base cards. The printing on the front is gold foil stamping. I only have this one which I paid $2.50 for in eBay in 2005.

2000 E-X Generation E-X
A 15-card set with a similar finish, only with silver foil on the front. I paid $3.00 for this card in 2004. The set features young, up-coming players. As to the predictions on this card, the closest Burrell came to hitting .300 was in 2002, when he hit .282. He finished his career with a .253 average. He did hit 30 or more home runs in 3 years, finishing with a respectful 292 dingers.

2000 E-X Genuine Coverage
Relic cards were still pretty rare in 2000. This 10-card set was inserted 1:144 packs. It would have been a tough pull, especially at $3.99 a pack. I paid $2.50 for this at a card chow in 2010.

OK, let's shift gears.

2000 Finest

Topps introduced Finest in 1993 and it caused quite a stir in the hobby. A super glossy card with weird backgrounds, the set still exists today with much the same formula. These cards have always been hard to get for me since they usually are only available in hobby shops. In the early days I could always score a pack or two, but I haven't had easy access to a card store in 10 years. Consequently I don't buy much of this product, and most of what I have is stuff I specifically targeted on eBay. Here's what the 2000 version looked like.

Since I have 35 cards from the 286-card set, I probably bought a few packs back in the day. 6-card packs went for $4.99 so they were a little cheaper than the E-X cards.

2000 Finest Refractor
Refractors were also introduced in 1993. In 2000, they were inserted 1:24 packs. I paid $4.99 for the Bagwell on eBay on 2000. 

In 1993, insert cards, in general, were rare and 1993 Finest didn't have any. By 2000, there were 5 inserts, including a autographed card.

2000 Finest Ballpark Bounties
This is a 30-card set inserted 1:24. I don't know where I got this but I probably pulled it from a pack. It's the only one I have. I thought this card was kind of purple because Helton was a Rockie, but looking at some images on I see they're all purple.

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