Sunday, July 18, 2010
Card back countdown: #47 - 2000 Upper Deck
There are a number of cards or card sets that appear as if they were meant for the Dodgers. Blue refractors. Many of the old Kellogg's issues. 2003 Topps. And a few others.
One of them is 2000 Upper Deck. I find that kind of funny, because if you've read "Card Sharks," you know that there was a man in charge of selecting players for sets in Upper Deck's early days named Tom Geideman. This misguided man didn't like the Dodgers, so he gave Dodgers players the No. 666 in UD card sets.
Anyway, I'm sure Goofaman (see, I can be mature, too) was out of the picture by 2000 or he never would have signed off on Upper Deck's set that year. Not only does the front feature a hint of Dodger blue at the bottom, which balances nicely with the blue in the Dodgers' uniforms ...
... but the back is 100 percent Dodger blue.
It may not be the best card back ever produced, but seeing all that blue in the background when you turn over the card just looks awesome. My favorite color, my favorite team. I love it.
Upper Deck is not known for putting a lot of information on the back of their cards. But this set has all of your basics -- bio info, career stats, write-up and a basic color mug shot.
It's always dicey putting white type on a dark background -- something I know about in the newspaper business -- but it's done quite well here. There are no readability problems, at least not for me.
And, as usual, if you can continue the design theme from the front of the card to the back of the card -- something Upper Deck popularized -- then that's another point for you.
Upper Deck also released a parallel set in 2000 called "gold reserve." The fronts of the cards featured gold highlights instead of blue at the bottom:
Upper Deck scrapped the blue backs for Gold Reserve, as well.
Ick. It doesn't even come close to the regular set. In fact, the black type on the gold background is a bit more difficult to read. The Giants come up short compared to the Dodgers again.
Best of the set:
One of the best attributes of the backs of 2000 Upper Deck was a recent development for the company.
Upper Deck never gave the collector complete career stats, prefering to place a large photo on the back of the card instead. While the photo was cool, not having a player's career history on the back of his baseball card was definitely not.
Upper Deck finally went with career stats for the first time in its base set in 1997. The practice was scrapped in 1998, reinstituted in 1999, and then displayed prominently in the 2000 set.
Look at that! ALL of Orel Hershiser's career stats (except for his brief, forgettable final year with the Dodgers in 2000).
The stats are front and center, almost as if it was a Topps card.
How about that? Upper Deck finally came around.
(Previous card back countdown selections):
50. 1978 SSPC Yankee Yearbook
49. 1993 Score
48. 1999 Skybox Thunder