Will Ken Griffey Jr. Please Punch Spider-Man in the Head

I can't recall a card having more synergy than the 1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes inserts. Produced at a time when Marvel owned Fleer, the cards match up a superstar with a superhero. The connections range from the hokey (Alex Rodriguez, a Seattle Mariner with Namor, the Sub Mariner) to the slam-over-you-head obvious (Cal Ripken "The Iron Man" with Iron Man).

Somewhere in between is this card.

1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Baseball Superheroes 3. Ken Griffey Jr. and Spider-Man
1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Baseball Superheroes 3. Ken Griffey Jr. and Spider-Man

Arguably the two biggest stars in their respected arenas at the time, we've got Ken Griffey Jr and Spidey in a bland looking, yet oddly gimmicky card. Their connection? Climbing walls. I am literally shaking my head as I write this.

What throws this card off for me isn't the concept. I actually kind of like the blending of the two. The backgrounds kill the card. Plain green. Seriously? Comics are supposed to be colorful and filled with action. Unless, of course, they're a black and white comic with minimal action. But the superhero stuff is all about movement, vibrancy and action. And we get a green background. I'd have optioned for something more along the lines of a comic box background, largely washed out so as not to distract from the subjects.

On the plus side, the concept is carried over into the card stock. The cards are printed on a canvas feeling back that lends to the idea of comics being art. With Fleer not around and Marvel out card manufacturing, I can see a revisit to this concept being a logistical issue. But I still think combining heroes of the page with baseball stars could work again, particularly with the increased popularity of sketch cards.

1998 Skybox Dugout Superheroes is a ten-card insert set. Cards were seeded 1:20 packs. You shouldn't expect to pay more than a couple of dollars per card.

1998 SkyBox Dugout Axcess Superheroes Checklist

1SH Barry Bonds, Thor
2SH Andres Galarraga, Mr. Fantastic
3SH Ken Griffey, Jr., Spider-Man
4SH Chipper Jones, Chipper Jones
5SH Andruw Jones, Silver Surfer
6SH Hideo Nomo, Human Torch
7SH Cal Ripken, Jr., Iron Man
8SH Alex Rodriguez, Namor
9SH Frank Thomas, Colossus
10SH Mo Vaughn, Incredible Hulk

1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #3SH Ken Griffey Jr Seattle Mariners
1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #3SH Ken Griffey Jr Seattle Mariners
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1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #2SH Andres Galarraga Atlanta Braves
1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #2SH Andres Galarraga Atlanta Braves
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1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #2SH Andres Galarraga Atlanta Braves Card
1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #2SH Andres Galarraga Atlanta Braves Card
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1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #2SH Andres Galarraga Atlanta Braves Card
1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #2SH Andres Galarraga Atlanta Braves Card
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1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #2SH Andres Galarraga Atlanta Braves Card
1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #2SH Andres Galarraga Atlanta Braves Card
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1998 Dugout Access Super Heroes #SH7 Cal Ripken Jr
1998 Dugout Access Super Heroes #SH7 Cal Ripken Jr
$2.85
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1998 Dugout Acess Super Heroes #1 of 10 Barry bonds
1998 Dugout Acess Super Heroes #1 of 10 Barry bonds
$2.85
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1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #3SH Ken Griffey Jr Seattle Mariners Jr.
1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #3SH Ken Griffey Jr Seattle Mariners Jr.
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1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #3SH Ken Griffey Jr Seattle Mariners Jr.
1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #3SH Ken Griffey Jr Seattle Mariners Jr.
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1998 (MARINERS) SkyBox Dugout Axcess SuperHeroes #SH8 Alex Rodriguez
1998 (MARINERS) SkyBox Dugout Axcess SuperHeroes #SH8 Alex Rodriguez
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1998 SkyBox Dugout Axcess SuperHeroes Braves Baseball Card #SH4 Chipper Jones
1998 SkyBox Dugout Axcess SuperHeroes Braves Baseball Card #SH4 Chipper Jones
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1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #8SH Alex Rodriguez Seattle Mariners Card
1998 Skybox Dugout Axcess Superheroes #8SH Alex Rodriguez Seattle Mariners Card
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