I never really expected to break news here. I didn't even want to. But when I found 2009 Upper Deck at my area card shop Wednesday afternoon, I thought, "hey, here's something that I haven't seen on any blog yet. Maybe I'll be the first to post."
But then I went to work after going to the card shop, while everyone else came home after going to the card shop. After seeing 2009 Upper Deck pack breaks for the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh time -- all while I was at work -- I knew whatever delusions I had were exactly that -- delusions.
But still, everyone's got a story to tell, and I've got mine. And it's all about four hobby packs of 2009 Upper Deck and how I think I'm already sick of the product. Really.
First the background. And then the cards.
I set out today to find 2009 Topps after several failed attempts. I headed back to my usually trusty Target and found the same old 2008 stuff. I cannot believe how many NBA card products they have there. Almost of them looked untouched. I know exactly one person who buys NBA cards. They can't possibly sell well. Around here anyway.
Disgusted, I headed almost across the street to the WalMart, which has had a notoriously skimpy card selection ever since September. It was just as skimpy Wednesday and also overrun with World of Warcraft nonsense. I jumped in my car and headed to the jumbo WalMart north of town.
When I got there, I could tell, even from a distance, that the card aisle had been fixed up. It's usually a wreck. So I figured someone had just added some new '09 cards and tidied up the place. Wrong. Same stuff. I stared and stared at an '08 Stadium Club blaster, completely deflated. Then I even picked up a couple of Stadium Club packs, thinking, in my stupor, that I'd save a few bucks. Then I thought about pulling another Nick Blackburn card, and put them back.
That was it, I thought. Real life intruded and I stopped thinking about cards for a few hours. But on a dinner run for the family I remembered the card shop and I stopped by to see what they had. The guy who runs the place was chatting up some hot teenage girl. I told him what I was looking for and he turned my "Do you have any 2009 cards in yet?" into "this year's cards? You want this year's cards? We've got a whole bunch of 2008 right here."
Then he starts talking about Donruss Threads. Seriously. I cut him off and said, "No, no. 2009. Topps. Upper Deck. You got any?" Finally, the light bulb goes on and he pulls out a box of Upper Deck that he just got the day before. I buy four packs (20 cards each) for an insane 7 bucks a pack and he goes back to talking to the girl. I'm seriously growing sour on this card shop.
Still, I was very happy. I've got the first cards of 2009! So without any further rambling, here they are. I didn't scan them all, because it's four packs and 80 cards. On we go with the show:
1. #35 - Aubrey Huff, Orioles. I've got to show the first card.
I believe this is the first time my first card of the year is anything other than a Topps card (*sniff* little night owl is growing up). But it doesn't bode well that Huff is my first card.
The back of the card is on the left. It seriously reminds me of '08 UD Documentary as you can tell by the side-by-side comparison. That's not a good sign, either.
2. #98 - Edison Volquez, Reds
3. #63 - Aramis Ramirez, Cubs
4. #43 - Coco Crisp, Red Sox
5. #195 - Matt Kemp, Dodgers. Woo-hoo! First Dodger! And it's not Jeff Kent or Juan Pierre.
6. #139 - Todd Jones, Tigers
7. #115 - Matt Holliday, Rockies
8. #178 - Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
9. #490 - Roy Halladay, Blue Jays, team checklist
10. Lance Berkman, Astros, Stars of the Game. I guess this is a subset. I believe this card will be going to Cliff at Capewood's Collections.
11. 20th anniversary card, 1990 college football champions. Ugh. I can't stand college football. Anyway, just about all of these cards that I get will go to Rob at Voice of the Collector, who is aiming to collect them all.
Upper Deck Store discount decoy thingy. But it's one of Matt Kemp. That's nice.
12. #475 - Hanley Ramirez, Marlins, team checklist
13. #426 - Josh Geer, Padres
14. #202 - Takashi Saito, Dodgers. Let me pause for a couple of comments about the front. Not loving it. The team logo in the corner is OK, but it'd be nice if they coordinated the color with the team colors. The colors appear to be random. But the overwhelming issue I have is with the gold bar at the bottom.
First of all, to me it's not gold. It's brown. And brown is rarely a good color choice. We all know how much of a beating the Padres' uniforms of the '70s took. And it's not even a good color of brown. It's diarrhea brown. Yuck.
Even the fronts remind me of Documentary as you can see here. Same theme across the bottom anyway.
15. #219 - Mike Cameron, Brewers
16. #236 - Francisco Liriano, Twins
17. #270 - Ian Kennedy, Yankees
18. #354 - Cesar Izturis, Cardinals
19. #307- Ryan Doumit, Pirates
20. #375 - Ian Kinsler, Rangers
1. #96 - Aaron Harang, Reds
2. #40 - Mark Kotsay, Red Sox
3. #7 - Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks
4. #42 - Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox. Someone would like this card.
5. #118 - Brian Fuentes, Rockies
6. #181 - Chone Figgins, Angels
7. #146 - Luis Gonzalez, Marlins
8. #111 - Franklin Gutierrez, Indians
9. #436 - Cardinals team leaders (Ludwick, Pujols, Wellemeyer)
10. Rivals, Johan Santana and Chipper Jones. Another subset series.
11. Oh, crikey. They're inserting Documentary into '09 UD. I guess that's appropriate, given how much they resemble each other.
You can see by the back that these cards cover the postseason, which is kind of neat. Of course, they're featuring a Ray when the Red Sox won the game.
Another Kemp decoy card. It's not nice anymore.
12. #405 - Jason Pridie, Twins
13. #434 - Yankees Team Leaders. The team leaders cards are neat. They might be the highlight of the entire base set.
14. #257 - Billy Wagner, Mets
15. #274 - Chien-Ming Wang, Yankees
16. #291 - Chase Utley, Phillies. Nice run of stars here.
17. #247 - Carlos Beltran, Mets. Card I've seen once already today.
18. #363 - Carlos Pena, Rays
19. #346 - Adam Kennedy, Cardinals
20. #329 - Bengie Molina, Giants. Andre Ethier is SO safe on this play. Nice chest protector, Bengie. Did you just get off work at Home Depot?
1. #75 - Rich Hill, Cubs
2. #91 - Jose Contreras, White Sox
3. #56 - Tim Wakefield, Red Sox
4. #21 - John Smoltz, Braves
5. #174 - Joey Gathright, Royals
6. #104 - Ryan Freel, Reds
7. #167 - Alex Gordon, Royals
8. #461 - Carlos Zambrano, Cubs, season highlights, no-hitter
9. #471 - David Wright, Mets, team checklist
10. 2009 Predictors card. First African-American woman Supreme Court Justice. These are those crystal ball card gimmicky things. I don't really mind them. Harmless fun. But I don't collect non-baseball cards, so it has no meaning.
11. 20th anniversary, Michael Jordan and Bulls win 1991 title. A card of Jordan is nice, but the only Jordan cards I have are of him playing baseball, because I know zip about the NBA.
Kemp store-decoy thing. AGAIN.
12. Inkredible, Aaron Laffey Indians autogra -- hey, I saw this card already. Is there such a thing as an autographed card that's a common? Geez.
13. #482 - Adrian Gonzalez, Padres, team checklist
14. #418 - Josh Roenicke, Reds
15. #298 - Brad Lidge, Phillies
16. #281 - Bobby Crosby, A's
17. #377 - Hank Blalock, Rangers
18. #394 - Chad Cordero, Nationals
19. #309 - Jack Wilson, Pirates
20. #326 - Aaron Rowand, Giants
Well, that was a snoozefest at the end of the pack
1. #84 - Jim Thome, White Sox
2. #14 - Brandon Lyon, Diamondbacks
3. #77 - Alexei Ramirez, White Sox
4. #125 - Armando Galarraga, Tigers
5. #188 - Gary Matthews, Angels
6. #153 - Lance Berkman, Astros
7. #132 - Marcus Thames, Tigers
8. #425 - Kila Ka'aihue, Royals
9. #451 - Mariners team leaders (Ibanez, Suzuki, Hernandez)
10. Johnny Damon, YSL. Oh, goody. The gift that keeps on giving.
11. Nick Franklin, USA baseball. I'll echo everyone: "I don't know who this guy is. I hope he's good."
John Lackey, Angels, Triple Swatch. Nice. All three letters feature a jersey swatch (although I think it's the same swatch, so technically it's not a triple swatch). I've seen the single-letter swatch UD card and the double swatch, but not the triple.
12. #454 - Giants team leaders (Lincecum, Winn, Molina). Waaaay too many Giants in these packs
13. #264 - Bobby Abreu, Yankees
14. #230 - Joe Nathan, Marlins
15. #240 - Daniel Murphy, Mets
16. #213 - Yovani Gallardo, Brewers
17. #314 - Trevor Hoffman, Padres
18. #341 - Jose Lopez, Mariners
19. #358 - B.J. Upton, Rays
20. 324 - Matt Cain, Giants (of course!)
There you have it. Only two Dodgers (excluding the decoy) out of 80 cards. Not good.
I don't think I'll be picking up many Upper Deck flagship cards this year. That means my hopes are resting on Topps.
I don't know what the distribution deal is with Topps. You seem to be able to find Upper Deck anywhere. But when it comes to Topps there are dead spots, and I'm in one of them. I'll be trying again on Friday.
In the meantime, just about all the UD cards are up for trade.