I gotcha. Perhaps you've heard -- I feel the same way. It can be difficult to decipher the subtleties of the UD brand. I mean, if you had only 10 seconds to place the year with the Upper Deck card, could you do it with these four?
I probably could. But I'm a card expert. I blog about cards for a living. Well, not for a living. It's more like I blog about cards for my sanity. But you get the idea. I think about cards a lot. So sometimes knowledge seeps into the ol' noggin.
But what about the rest of you poor souls? How are you ever going to be able to tell the 2008 Upper Deck base card from the 2003 Upper Deck base card? A work promotion could be riding on your very answer. Or at least a card contest.
That's where I come in. Right here on this post, I am going to feature a card from each year of Upper Deck going back to 2000. I could go back farther, but the last 10 years is about where the confusion lies. (But don't ask me to tell '96 and '97 UD apart -- I still don't know).
Bookmark this post. When you are sitting there with your Upper Deck cards in your hand, and your lady friend tells you to find the UD set that corresponds with the year you two first dated, you are definitely going to want to have this post handy.
Pay close attention:
2010 Upper Deck
2009 Upper Deck
2008 Upper Deck
2007 Upper Deck
2006 Upper Deck
2005 Upper Deck
2004 Upper Deck
2003 Upper Deck
2002 Upper Deck
2001 Upper Deck
(yeah, I know he's facing the wrong way. I have like 6 cards from 2001).
2000 Upper Deck
You're welcome. Use your new Upper Deck knowledge wisely.
(Explainer: Yes, UD fans, I realize that you could take any card brand and find a simliar pose for each year. That's not my point. My point is there are only so many different kinds of photos you can take. Upper Deck is quite good at taking photos. But if there's no design or minimal design, you can't enhance the photo or make the card distinct. A photo by itself won't make a card stand out enough to differentiate it from year-to-year.
A set won't stay in your brain on photo alone unless there's a separate memory to attach to it -- like it was the first card set you ever collected. Iconic card sets -- '75 Topps, '93 Upper Deck -- are iconic because of photo and design. A photo is rarely iconic by itself unless it's Glenn Hubbard wearing a boa constrictor. True, you can't make an iconic set every time. But there's zero chance at all if you're not going to try).
Anyway, while going through my UD cards, I immediately noticed how this year's Upper Deck really pales in comparison to the Upper Deck cards of just a few years ago, especially 2006. That's probably because of its half-attempt to hide logos. Too bad Upper Deck didn't go full-on rebel and show logos in all of their glory like in years past. Now, that would be something to admire.
But the biggest disappointment for me, by far, has been the same disappointment there has been with UD ever since 1993, when Upper Deck was king.