Sunday, January 24, 2016

C.A.: 2009 Upper Deck X Jack Cust

(Today is National Compliment Day. Unfortunately it lands on January 24, a day without any baseball, and I can't compliment a day like that. It's time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 236th in a series):

Have you ever realized that you sized up a person wrong? You discovered that what you thought about him or her, whatever negative tendencies they had, whatever grated on you about that person, were gone? That either they had changed or you had changed, but, hey, that guy/gal isn't really all that bad after all?

Well, that can happen with cards, too.

Welcome to my relationship with Upper Deck X.

Upper Deck X -- for you card blog-reading newbies -- was a short-lived product of a completely random nature issued in just 2008 and 2009. Focused around the letter "X," for nobody knows what reason, it was one the many forgettable sets unleashed in the card deluge of that time.

I was so puzzled by the set when it came out that you can find many off-hand criticisms of it in the early days of this blog. Stuff like:

-- "pointless."

-- "It's only an X card."

-- "X sucks in all phases of the game."
Eh, what did I know?

Look at that Jack Cust card. The bright, colorful, monochrome background, the largest, overstuffed X you've ever seen on a card, the way it contrasts with the background and the way it frames the player. Isn't that one of the more brash, more in-you-face designs of that time?

I'm supposed to like designs and cards that look like that.

Granted, the first version of X, from 2008, is a little more muted, if you can describe anything about a background with 47 different angles as "muted." But even this appeals to me now. And it looks even more appealing in stack of other X cards.

Imagine -- *gasp* -- what it looks like in a binder!

OK, maybe it's a little jarring. But I like it.

And I haven't even gotten to the inserts. The xponential cards and all that. Sure, it reminds me of math class and I don't need a card set doing that. But if I stick to just the base cards, we don't have to get into that nastiness.

So, does this mean I'm collecting it?

Not formally, no. I'm collecting it like I collect 1989 Donruss and 1995 Topps. I won't give away cards from sets like those -- or now, X -- in trade packages unless I have dupes. But actively acquiring them? I have too many other priorities for that.

Still, this conversion proves that a night owl can change his spots. Or feathers. Or whatever.

Sorry I made fun of you back then, X.

Now, Upper Deck Spectrum, that's a card fellow that I'll never like.


  1. I was with you until you insulted math class.

    1. I'm glad there are people like you in the world who enjoy math. It frees me up to pursue the things that I enjoy (and understand).

  2. I think I have a random unopened box of this stuff (08 edition) sitting around in my room somewhere. Perhaps I should actually open it...

  3. I love any set that uses a lot of team color-codedness!

    These sets hit the nail on the head for me.