Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2009 Baseball Cards are out!

As many, many other sports card bloggers have probably already made you aware, both Topps and Upper Deck have released their first 2009 Baseball Cards, and thankfully both releases are their "base" brands. I have managed to snag a few packs of bother series, and I have comments below.

I also found Topps American Heritage at retail and a couple packs managed their way home as well. This set it right up my alley, as it combines American History and trading cards with a decidedly 21st Century sports-related twist. I'd have to say that Topps has been utilizing the most post-modern designs lately, except that I can't really say that since the only thing making them PoMo is the fact that 90% of what makes their design concepts solid is that they use them over and over making them ubiquitous. TAH follows pretty much all of the "Heritage" design hallmarks, old-style cardboard, classic card designs that follow the quintessential Topps sets of the 60s and 70s, and kitschy cartoons on the backs that compliment the actual blurbs nicely.

Here's three of my favorites out of the two packs I got:

Could John Calhoun look any more menacing? He belongs in the streching room of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion!

This is just a kick-arse card of Malcolm X. I could be a tool and say that this is my homage to Black History Month, but then I'd be a tool. Suffice to say that I really appreciate the fact that this American Heritage set isn't made up of nothing but white males.

I think more people ought to remember who Crispus Attucks was, after all without him the Revolutionary War might not have happened. He was truly the first American Martyr.

I did manage to pull one of the 25 short-prints, but it's a John McCain card, so I don't really feel like scanning it and posting it. I would love to piece this set together, but in the end I'll probably end up purchasing a full set on eBay, since they're running pretty cheap right now. I would love to pull a relic though out of this set, there's so many cool ones, including cards with wood that came from the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy. You know "Old Ironsides."

2009 Upper Deck Baseball Series 1 First Impressions

As I said earlier, I bought my first two hobby packs of UD today, while I deplore the $6 to $7 price point for the hobby packs, I'm pleased with my first two. Then again, I got the box relic hit, so why woulnd't I be pleased?

I'm REALLY not fond of all of the gold that's plastered all over these cards, and the front design harkens back to several years ago which is never a good sign. The backs are just as pedestrain, but at least UD is going with full stats these days. Again there's way too much gold ink on these cards, and I wonder what the First Edition cards are going to be looking like. I also wonder if I'm going to like them better.

Frankie's last card as an Angel. That's the way I'll remember him, fired up. I would have loved the Halos to have kept Krod, but I know why they let him go and I can't say I disagree with them. I don't hate him though, as other Angel fans seem to. He's a ballplayer like all the rest, he goes where the money is, and right now it's in New York. I'd be surprised though if he succeeds there.

Each hobby pack has 20 cards, seems like at least one of them is a Team USA Card, I pulled 2 of the Under 18 players. I have no idea who they are to be honest, but hey who knows, someday one of them might become an Angel.

I got two other inserts, one in each pack: one was a Yankee Stadium Legacy Continuation, and the other was a Documentary Continuation. While I think the latter is fine, the former is just now excessive, not that it wasn't before. At least I know that the damn things can actually sell on eBay.

Then there's the relic that I hit:

I have to say that this is by far one of the coolest relics that I've pulled. Sure, I haven't pulls hundreds of relics like some of you, I've only pulled MAYBE a couple dozen over the years (remember, I pulled my first dual auto just a couple weeks ago). Apparently this bad-boy isn't part of any specific sub-set, it's a card all by it's lonesome. At least the back states pretty clearly that "You have received a trading card with Ken Griffey Jr. Game-Used baseball memorabilia. The memorabilia has been certified to us as having been used in an official Major League Baseball game." So it probably wasn't the bat that he USED to hit his 600th HR, but at least it was HIS bat that WAS used in a game. Better than the normal boiler-plate nonsense that lawyers demand go on the backs of these things. I just checked eBay, and there are only three copies listed, currently one's selling for about $5, one's selling for about $15 and one has a opening bid of $150. I haven't decided if I'm going to keep this one, proabably not. If someone out there wants it make me an offer - you know what I like...Angels and Bruins (the UCLA Basketball Variety).

Based on only a couple packs, I can pretty much confide that I'm not really impressed with UD's opening salvo of the 2009 Baseball Card Campaign. There's nothing really overtly different to make me want to buy dozens and dozens of packs, though we'll have to see what the retail packs have in them to distinguish them from Hobby. I can say though that even with the good luck I had today, I probably won't be buying a whole lot of UD's base issue this season...

2009 Topps Series One First Impressions

That's because I'll be obsessed with Topps initial set of the season. Yes, once again I'm overly enamored of a Topps base product design. I don't know what it is to be honest, maybe it's all the colorways that the cards come in (coded by team if I'm not mistaken). Maybe it's the arch design on the back, complete with the goofy "factoids" above them. I think though, the end result is more than the sum of it's parts. Sure Topps goes overly nutso with the parallels, but I can ignore those, and hey, Gold Parallels that are numbered don't really suck.

Out of the three packs I bought at Target on Monday I managed only one decent insert, this Legends of the Game Babe Ruth. To be honest I'm not sure if this is the Target Variation Version or the Regular Version, but either way, it's pretty nice.

I must be one of those really odd collectors in that I actually enjoy the interactive elements of Card Collecting these days, in that I mean I enjoy ToppsTown and am looking forward to UpperDeckU. ToppsTown Codes this year are individual player cards, which is nice. Unfortunately the codes do not work quite yet. At least they didn't yesterday. I don't particularly care that they're now considered an insert card, because at least they have players on them, and the design doesn't suck that badly. As an aside, there are codes on the inside wrappers of Upper Deck packs for UpperDeckU.Com. They don't work yet either. That's just bad planning on both companies' part. If you launch a product, you should make DAMN SURE that the interactive element is WORKING BEFORE the product hits the street.


dayf said...

Wow, that's a heck of a Griffey Bat card.

William Noetling said...

Yeah, it's pretty sweet isn't it? I'm really torn to be honest, I'm not a Griffey fan by any strech (though I'm not a hater either), but I think it might end up on eBay...sigh.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested, but I'd have to know how much or what you'd want. You know, if you keep it off da bay.

Anonymous said...

Wow. great griffey card. Do you know when the other 2009 baseball cards come out?

-Isaac (