Thursday, February 5, 2009

For the EIGHTH time, 2009 Upper Deck

There are certain advantages to working at night: never having to fight crowds at malls or restaurants, never needing an alarm clock, and skipping breakfast and going straight to lunch. But when it comes to breaking news on a blog, working at night sucks.

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:

PACK ONE

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


PACK TWO

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?

PACK THREE

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


PACK FOUR

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.

14 comments:

  1. I thought the exact same thing about Upper Deck (well, except the diarrhea part), and I'm really not sure I want to chase the set this year. Even the inserts are boring. I just wish I'd thought of it before I bought 2 hobby boxes of the stuff, though.

    Now get out there and find those Topps cards...

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  2. Team Leader cards? How very Topps of them. I'm not sure I like the design either, but I'll collect the Cardinals of course.

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  3. I think Topps has caught up photography wise. I do like Documentary as an insert set of just playoff games - not as unruly as the regular documentary. The Phils will have 14 of those which will be cool to collect. I didn't see any of the 75 OPC cards. 4 hobby packs and not one of them. thats a bit disappointing.

    I am glad that all you hunting paid off -- sorry you didn't get more Dodgers.

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  4. Georgia Tech!
    And Chipper!
    And.. how many insert sets does Upper deck have, anyway?

    I'm liking the UD set. I'll probably focus on that until Heritage shows up.

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  5. matt kemp was my first 09 ud dodger too!
    i'll trade you one of my 4 griffey coupon thingys for one of the kemp ones.

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  6. Don't like these much. You are right, Topps has caught up in the photography, but it is because UD has gone downhill, not Topps improving. This year's Topps, which I busted last night, has the same average and questionable photos.

    If you are interested in trading the Laffey autograph, let me know. I'll try to find an auto or a few relics, if that will even it up.

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  7. Geez, Huff was the only Oriole you got, and he was the first card of the bunch! I kind of enjoy the fact that he's listed as a DH (which was his primary position the past two years to be fair) and he's pictured playing the field.

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  8. Fear not Night Owl. My blaster was filled with Dodgers:

    Lowe, DeWitt, Hu, Billingsley, Manny, and a Manny Team Checklist.

    If you want to get rid of that stupid Damon insert, I'll take it.

    -John

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  9. Hey, now! What's wrong with Nick Blackburn?

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  10. Crackin: Nothing wrong with Nick Blackburn. Or Adrian Gonzalez or Joba Chamberlain (weeelll ...) I was just envisioning that Stadium Club collation run where those guys pop up over and over.

    John: Great Dodgers, thanks! The Damon card is yours.

    Dan: I'll certainly trade you the Laffey card.

    gcrl: Kemp coupon heading your way. I don't even need a Griffey in return.

    I'll be collecting Dodgers in this set. But that's probably about it.

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  11. I know how you feel brother. I'm glad I was able to get one of the first Topps vids up and with better luck I could've scooped UD too but I blew it. Yesterday afternoon before there were any posts or videos of UD yet I stopped at Target after work. They didn't have any UD yet so I picked up some more Topps. I didn't even bother with WalMart which is on the way *sigh* because they haven't had anything yet. So I get home and during Sooz and Marie's case break dayf and Chris post scans and vids after going to Wally World. Scooped again! I don't even care now I'll pick some up if I see them but I'm not making a separate trip. Besides, I think you and I are the ONLY bloggers who think Topps is better this year. Maybe I'll get the first scoop on Heritage.

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  12. I will gladly take the Lincecum Giants cards off your hands if you would like. In fact, check out my newest contest and you might find yourself a nice little trade contest.

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  13. We've got 2009 Topps down here in Texas but still looking for the Upper Deck. I pulled 4 Dodgers (including Manny) from my first 5 packs of Topps.

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  14. Congrats on finding something. I finally got my hands on some 2009 cards tonight and it was Upper Deck as well. I'm jealous of that Lackey jersey.

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