24 packs per box, five cards per pack
Base Set: 95 of 191 (49.74%)
Short Set: 93 of 100 (93.00%) with one doubleParallels: NONE
1 Rookie Jersey Autograph: (36 cards*, production varies) B. Bocock, numbered to 599
1 Rookie Autographs: (55 cards*, production varies) G. Petit, numbered to 999
12 Authentic Achievements (50 cards^): D. Jeter, K. Griffey, Jr., B. Webb, E. Bedard, Dice-K, Big Papi, J. Peavy, J-Roll, Phat Albert, L. Berkman, M. Teixeira, M. Buehrle
12 Marquee Matchups (50 cards^): Beckett/Jeter, Pujols/Lidge, Rivera/Ortiz, Willis/Hafner, F. Hernandez/V. Martinez, Griffey, Jr./Oswalt, P. Martinez/Howard, Wagner/Teixeira, Reyes/Glavine, Zambrano/Fielder, Hamels/Beltran, Smoltz/H. Ramriez
6 Yankee Tedium Luncay (1:4): #2029 (V. Raschi), #2054, 2389, & 2439 (A. Reynolds), #2079 & 2414 (P. Rizzuto)
1 By The Letter Autographed Manufactured Patch (47 players on multiple cards*, production varies): C. Lee "N," numbered to 15#
* Overall odds of finding any autograph: 1:8/packs
^ Overall odds of finding an Authentic Achievements or a Marquee Matchups: one-per-pack
# The Carlos Lee "N" I pulled is serial numbered to 15 copies, but the cumulative production run for all Lee BTL's is 160 copies.
The Bottom Line
It's been seven years since I've busted a box of SP Authentic, and after busting this box I remember why I quit collecting SPA. It's a set that's not even worth the trouble to collect.
Oh sure, you can get autographed rookie cards of Evan Longoria, Jay Bruce, Clayton Kershaw, and an un-autoed, game jersey card of Kosuke Fukudome. But for every RC of these guys, there are dozens players similar in caliber to the two I pulled out of this particular waxbox: Brian Bocock and Gregorio Petit. Caveat Emptor.
All of which begs the question: Why are there 90 different autographed rookie cards (there are two different Evan Longoria's -- one with and one without a jersey swatch) in SPA anyway? Are there really 90 players worthy of an autographed rookie card serial numbered to 999 or less in a $100/waxbox product? How exactly does an AUed RC of a guy who was called up and sent down from Triple-A three times this past season (Petit) and of another guy who hit .220 in Single-A (Bocock) "add value" to a product like this? If I had actually paid the street value of $100 for this box, why would I want to spend another C-Note on another box if what I'm expecting to receive are two AUed RCs of obscure all-glove, no-bat shortstops?
With that said, the rest of the base set -- the part that you can actually collect -- looks great. You can't really tell from the video, but the way the player's jersey number is "spot glossed" into the whitespace is really neato.
Other positives: You get one of 100 different insert cards in each pack, meaning you get something of value for your money. In addition, you get one of those autographed manufactured "By The Letter" patch cards in every box -- for those of you who are into that.
Box Rating: 3 Gumsticks (out of five)
Product Rating: 2 Gumsticks (out of five)
... and another thing.
You know what 2009 SPA needs? (Well, other than about 75 fewer autographed rookie cards) HoloViews.
I'm just saying....