Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The worst card of 2009, contestant #11

As the year grows nearer to an end, and I grow wearier of 2009 card product, the chance of stumbling across more "worst card of 2009" candidates grows slimmer by the day.

The opportunities should be great, given what's out there. But I just can't get fired up enough to buy any more Goodwin or Ticket to Humdrum or Updates & Highlights. I haven't taken SP Authentic out for a test drive yet, but I know how it handles already. It's been boring for years.

Still, I would like to get the number of "worst card" candidates to at least an even dozen. And Brian of Play at the Plate got me one step closer to that number by sending me a card that I have wanted to be an "honoree" since the moment I saw it.

Brian is a Rangers fan, so I'm hoping he kept a copy of this card for himself.

I think everyone has seen this card by now and just about everyone has commented on it. I still can't figure out what Upper Deck was attempting to do or say by issuing this card. I think they're saying, "Isn't it funny that Michael Young -- one of the top players in the American League -- has to hold up a card to identify himself."

But this is a common practice during mug shot photo shoots. Photographers take pictures of dozens of people, they're not necessarily fans of baseball or whatever sport they're shooting, and having people hold up a card with their name while the photographer takes pictures is an easy way to get the identifications correct.

The thing that kills any "moment" that Upper Deck is trying to get across -- if that's what they're trying to do -- is the look on Young's face. He looks drugged. Why would you do something like that to player? I know there's the story about Jason Varitek refusing to appear in Topps sets for years after Topps issued an Olympic team card of him in 1992. I have no idea if the reason was that Varitek was unhappy with his appearance on the card. But if I was Michael Young, I'd consider pulling a Varitek on Upper Deck. And it would be about my appearance on the OPC card.

Do you think teammates got ahold of this card during the season? Did they blow it up poster size and plaster it over his locker? A practical joker could do all kinds of things with this card.

Maybe that was Upper Deck's intent: give Rangers teammates a way to relieve boredom during the long season.

O-Pee-Chee may be the most baffling set of the year. I like the old cardboard and the colorful card fronts. Some of the photos are pretty cool. But there are many, many examples -- from an epidemic of studio shots to bizarre photo choices -- that stump me. You know that look the dog gives you when he's trying to figure out what you're saying -- the head tilt?

That's what OPC, and this card does to me. But never mind me. What does Young think of this card?


  1. Holy crap, that card sucks.

  2. That card is so awful that it's wonderful in its awfulness. :)

    I admit that I haven't been keeping track of the contenders, but I don't see how you can top it for worst card of 2009.

  3. I did keep a copy and I can't imagine that card didn't get some kind of locker room time. I may send mine for a TTM request next spring training and see if it comes back.

  4. I agree with Paul. It is "wonderful in its awfulness"

  5. I can't help but notice that the photo is totally crooked as well.

  6. Haha, I acquired this card in trade with my eight year old nephew. It's so bad it's good!

  7. I always wonder who at the card companies says 'Yes, this is the one'. I want their job!!!